Do Manual Tradespeople need Professional Indemnity cover as well as Public Liability insurance?

Is Professional Indemnity required for my manual trade? Is Professional Indemnity required for my manual trade?

Added on Monday 26th April 2021

Professional Indemnity cover is not to be confused with Public Liability Insurance and there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question. Whether the cover is needed by you depends entirely on your specific trade, areas of expertise and the way that you work. Many people will think of Professional Indemnity in connection with service businesses such as Accountants, Estate Agents, Solicitors whose advice is what you go to them for. However it is also important for manual trades to consider whether they have potential exposure too.

Firstly lets look at the difference between what Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance covers you for? Public Liability covers your legal liability in the event of damage to third party property or causing injury to a person. Whereas Professional Indemnity is for your legal liability where your unintentional error or omission in the professional advice you provide has caused a financial loss to somebody, and the person or organisation tries to make a claim against your Professional Indemnity insurance for their financial loss.

There is a distinct possibility that as a manual tradesperson you may require Professional Indemnity cover if you offer any sort of design or advice (even informally) that could leave a client with a future financial loss due to a professional error made by you or a sub-contractor employed by you as part of a particular job.

For example, a design created by you or an architect or designer employed by you for a particular contract makes an error on the drawings. Problems are found with the building’s structure at some point in the future and rectification of those problems causes financial loss to your customer.

Another example could be that you advised the client against the use of one type of material for a build in favour of your alternative recommendation. At some point in the future the material you advocated the use of causes a problem that leads to your client being out of pocket due to having to remove this material and replace with something else more suitable and long lasting.

Ultimately professional indemnity cover is a complex type of insurance and every tradesperson will have slightly different needs. If you have any doubt as to your requirements then, in the first instance, please contact us for an informal discussion and we can assist you accordingly.

Contact our commercial team on 01323 438843 or email