Average Cost of Plumbers' Insurance 2020

Plumbers' public liability insurance costs £325 a year or more in most cases—but your insurance costs will depend on the amount of cover you need, the type of business, your post code and other factors like additional coverages. If you're wondering how much public liability insurance will cost a plumber, here's what you need to know to get started.

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How much is public liability insurance for a plumber?

The average cost of public liability insurance for a plumber starts from around £325 a year in the UK—this is higher than the average cost of public liability insurance across a range of businesses in the UK. This price reflects a solo trader with no employees and no added coverages (e.g., employers' liability, tool cover, legal cover, personal accident cover, etc.). The more cover you require, the higher your premium.

Average Cost of Public Liability Insurance for Plumbers
£1 million£328
£2 million£368
£5 million£652

A minimum amount of public liability cover is required by some trade organisations, so be sure that you have enough to meet the requirements of your trade body—for example the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors requires members have at least £2 million of public liability insurance at all times. For reference, £2m of public liability insurance for a plumber would cost from around £368.

Chart showing the cost of public liability insurance for plumbers

Different business types (e.g., a partnership or limited liability company) will affect the price, as will factors like extra coverages, your location, etc. For example, in our recent tests public liability insurance for a partnership costs around 30% more than for a sole trader (around £425 a year). Prices also vary by post code, with more expensive areas costing around 20% more than less expensive areas.

Employers' liability insurance costs

Plumbers who employ at least one person on a temporary or permanent basis are required by law to have an employers' liability policy in place (Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance Act 1969).

Adding employers' liability insurance for an office worker can cost under £100, but adding cover for a tradesperson can cost significantly more. For example, employers' liability cover for a temporary employee working under 50 days a year can cost as little as £180, but insurance for a permanent employee can cost more than £500 a year.

Adding employers' liability to public liability means sole traders would pay from around £876 a year all in for their insurance (assuming £1m of public liability cover and 1 permanent trade employee).

Chart showing the cost of employers liability and public liability insurance for plumbers

Cost of plumbers' tool cover

The cost of tool cover for a plumber will depend on the value of your tools and where you store them overnight. For example, plumber tool cover starts from around £250 a year to protect tools worth £5,000, so long as they are not stored in a van at night. By storing them in a van overnight, the cost of your tool cover insurance would increase by around 35% to 50%.

Chart showing the cost of employers liability and public liability insurance for plumbers

Adding tool coverage to your public liability insurance would bring your all-in insurance costs to nearly £600 (assuming £1m of public liability cover and £5k of tool cover).

How to save money on plumber's insurance

To save money on plumbers insurance, it's important to shop around before you buy. A recent test of the market found that some insurance providers quoted 2X as much as the cheapest insurance companies for plumbers' public liability insurance. Whether you're running a sole trader or a larger limited company, either way the cost of plumbers insurance can make a big difference to your bottom line so it's worth taking the time to find a good deal.

Those pressed for time will find using a comparison site the quickest way to access multiple quotes in minutes, without having to fill in multiple forms.

In many cases you can increase the excess on your coverages to reduce your premium, but many people think this isn't worth it. Usually, the premium will only drop slightly when you increase the excess, but you can test out different scenarios and see what you think.

Finally, make sure that you don't buy cover you don't need. Higher cover levels and extra add-ons all cost money, so think about what you really need before you buy.

Methodology

To find the average cost of public liability insurance for plumbers in the UK, we gathered dozens of quotes across many post codes across the country. Then, we took the average of the 3 cheapest quotes returned to determine the average starting cost of plumber's liability insurance. We also quoted for different coverages that plumbers might need, such as tool cover, employers' liability and personal accident.

Please note that insurance prices can vary significantly from day to day and person to person, depending on your particular details. Quotes that you receive from the market may be higher or lower than the rates mentioned here. Use this information just as a rough guide to help you learn more about the typical cost of plumber insurance and how rates are affected by different coverages.

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