Business Insurance For Tradies And Handymen

Compare business insurance quotes with Savvy to find the best policy for tradies and handymen. 

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, updated on July 17th, 2023       

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We’ve partnered with BizCover to bring you a range of business insurance policies to help you compare them side by side.

Whether you’re a carpenter, electrician, plumber, gas fitter or general handyman, having the right business insurance is vital to make sure your work is covered. As a tradesperson, you know all too well that however careful you may be, things can and do go wrong, sometimes due to factors completely out of your control.  

You can compare quotes for a range of different business insurance types here with Savvy. Just answer a few simple questions about the work you do and the insurance you need and you’ll have multiple quotes from a range of respected insurers to consider instantly. Use our quick and easy comparison service to make sure you get the best insurance cover for a tradesman today. 

What types of insurance should I buy as a tradie or handyman?

There are several types of business insurance you should consider as a tradie or handyman, which include: 

Public liability insurance 

Public liability insurance is a must-have type of insurance for all tradies and is compulsory on most building sites. It'll also offer you protection if you undertake work directly for the public or offer your services as a contractor. It can cover you against claims that you or your work caused injury to a member of the public or accidentally damaged their property. This insurance is available for amounts between $5 million and $20 million, depending on your personal requirements or the level of cover required by the site you are working on.  

What it covers:  

  • Third-party personal injury claims 
  • Damage to a third party’s property 
  • Legal fees to defend yourself 

General business insurance 

General business insurance may also be worthwhile if you have tools, portable equipment and stock to protect. Business equipment insurance, which includes all-important protection for portable assets, is typically offered as part of a commercial package, offering a variety of types of cover bundled into one policy. For example, you can get public liability and business theft insurance in one business policy bundle. Having a package to cover all your business insurance needs can be an easier option than having several different insurance policies and it can make your life simpler if you do need to make a claim.  

Commercial vehicles aren’t included in a business insurance package, so you may need separate commercial vehicle protection for your work ute.  

What it covers: 

  • Fire, storms, water damage, explosions, impacts 
  • Vandalism and malicious damage 
  • Accidental damage 
  • Theft following forcible entry to locked buildings or vehicles 
  • Theft of equipment which is securely attached to a vehicle with a lock or padlock 
  • A collision which causes damage to your business equipment 
  • Cover for your tools including electronic equipment and other portable equipment such as generators 

Professional indemnity insurance  

Professional indemnity insurance is another form of cover you may wish to consider as a tradie, depending on the type of work you undertake. It covers you against claims that the advice, recommendations or service you provided were either wrong or negligent. This type of insurance can offer you protection against many types of claims, including: 

  • giving incorrect advice 
  • a miscalculation or incorrect diagnosis of a problem 
  • an omission or breach of duty 
  • loss of documentation 
  • engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct 
  • not meeting your client’s expectations (such as failing to meet a deadline)

Cover starts at $250,000 and goes up to $10 million or more. 

What it covers 

  • Cover for your legal defence costs 
  • Payment of compensation if there’s a successful claim against you 
  • Payment of court-awarded damages to the litigant 
  • Cover for the cost of investigations or disciplinary proceedings 

Personal accident and illness insurance  

Since you rely on your physical fitness to be able to do your job, taking care of your health should be a high priority for all people who earn a living working with their hands. Accident and sickness insurance can provide cover for you if you become sick and are unable to work, with a weekly replacement income available if you can’t work as a result of an accident or injury. 

What it covers: 

  • Loss of income as a result of sickness, injury or accident 

 Optional extras can include: 

  • Death benefits 
  • Disablement benefits 
  • Payment of business expenses during your recovery period

What isn’t covered under business insurance for a tradie or handyman?  

The most common general exclusions include: 

  • Injury to yourself or your employees 
  • Flood damage 
  • Glass breakage 
  • Unlawful activity or criminal negligence 
  • Reckless behaviour or intentional damage 
  • Anything to do with asbestos 
  • The effects of pollution caused by your business activity 

How much does business insurance cost for a tradie or handyman? 

There is no set cost for an insurance policy, as each applicant is different and faces unique risks. Many factors can influence the cost of business insurance, including the following: 

  • The state you’re in  
  • Whether you live in a rural or urban area 
  • Whether you’re a sole trader, are in a partnership or run a larger business 
  • Your business size and turnover  
  • If you have any employees 
  • Your credit history  
  • Your insurance history 
  • Whether you’ve made an insurance claim in the past five years 

The main factor which will affect the cost of your insurance is the industry you’re in. All businesses in Australia are classified according to the risk their industry poses, and are allocated a risk ratio. These ratios are used by insurers to calculate the comparative risk of any one business compared to another.  

You can find out how much business insurance will cost for your work as a tradesman by comparing quotes right here with Savvy. Whether you need insurance for yourself as a tradie or as an electrician, you’ll be able to find a policy that is perfect for your business needs right here. 

Why do I need business insurance as a tradie or handyman?

You worked hard as an apprentice and in the years following as you built up your skills as a qualified tradie. You may have started your own business, and spent years building up a good reputation as well as a loyal customer base, so you’ll want to protect your business and your reputation if things go wrong. Business insurance is there to offer you protection and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll be able to make a claim if the unexpected does happen and is covered by your policy. 

Most small to medium-sized businesses have some contingency funds to fall back on, but they’re rarely sufficient to cover the cost of a major catastrophe. For example, if your work ute was stolen with all your tools in it, you could find yourself unable to earn an income until you had the money to replace them. If this happens and you have adequate insurance to protect you, you’ll have a much better chance of recovering and getting back on your feet quickly. 

Types of business insurance

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Frequently asked questions about business insurance for tradies and handymen

Is it cheaper to get a tradie insurance package rather than insure my tools separately?

A business insurance package, including tool insurance and public liability insurance for tradies and handymen, will often work out cheaper than taking out several separate insurance policies. However, it’s important to check the maximum claim value for individual tools to make sure they’re all adequately covered should they be damaged or stolen.  

How much public liability insurance does a tradie need if they don’t work on unionised building sites?

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ rule for the amount of public liability insurance an individual tradie needs. It’ll depend on several factors, such as the scale of work you are undertaking and the potential risks involved. If you’re just working on smaller domestic jobs for members of the public, rather than larger construction jobs, you may only need the lowest level of cover, which is $5 million. 

What information will I need to make a claim?

The information you should have to hand when you contact your insurance company to make a claim will include: 

  • The name of the policyholder 
  • Your policy number and start date (which can be found on your Certificate of Currency) 
  • A detailed description of the incident (what happened to cause the damage or loss) 
  • Specific dates and times when the incident happened 
  • Contact details of any other parties involved (or witnesses to the event) 
  • Details of your police report number (if a crime took place) 
  • Details of the property lost or damaged (including its age and value) 
  • Your bank details for settling the claim 
Are my business insurance premiums tax-deductible? 

The Australian Taxation Office recognises that having business insurance is a legitimate cost of doing business, so the full cost of your insurance premiums can generally be claimed as a business expense and offset against your income. However, it’s worth seeking independent tax advice to find out what you can and can’t claim in relation to your business insurance. 

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Disclaimer:

Savvy is partnered with BizCover Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975, AFSL 501769) to provide readers with a variety of business insurance policies to compare. Savvy earns a commission from BizCover each time a customer buys a business insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via BizCover.

Savvy does not compare all business insurance policies or providers currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

For any further information on the variety of insurers compared by BizCover or how their business works, you can read their Financial Services Guide.