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Builder without insurance

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
11 replies 3.7K views
ThenewhouseThenewhouse Forumite
9 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
We are hiring a small builder who has no public liability or any kind of insurance.

He will be doing just flooring and removing wall paper, skimming, filling and painting the walls.

Also he would be changing the radiators with the help of a plumber and adding a ceiling to the kitchen.

Is it possible to get builders insurance ourselves as he is not insured?


  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    If he is willing to skimp on this, then what else might he not do properly when undertaking the work?

    Such policies are usually obtainable at a reasonable cost via trade associations and they're part and parcel of business expenses these days. In my former life running a small plant nursery, I couldn't have booked into most selling venues without sending them a current copy of my insurance certificate.

    Yes, if he's not covered, you can extend your own policy for a one-off fee. Insurers generally feel they should be advised of building work to properties they cover, though most people 'forget' to do this.
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  • davidmcndavidmcn Forumite
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    Depends what risks you're worried about. The fact he doesn't have insurance won't stop you from suing him if he causes damage and bùggers off - but he might not have enough cash to pay you.

    The work sounds relatively trivial though, I wouldn't be worrying about insurance if I were doing it DIY. Does the plumber have insurance?
  • DaftyDuckDaftyDuck Forumite
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    Doing it DIY, you'd be covered under your own house policy (so long as you check you have accidental on buildings)... accidently cause a fire (unlikely, I know) and destroy the house, you get a new house...

    Employ someone, they cause a fire (still unlikely) and you lose the house, your insurance won't pay (unless you have a rare clause that covers this).... what you'll have to do is sue the builder through the courts and pray that a jobbing builder who doesn't have enough nous to ensure he's insured does, instead, have enough asset to pay for your new house... as if!

    The reason I only use insured workmen is partly to encourage all the best practice that goes with that - which will likely include turning up (vaguely) on time, paying (at least some) tax, and actually being able to do (something like) the job he's paid for.

    I used not to be bothered. Experience taught me otherwise!
  • DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
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    A basic tradesman policy can cost as little as £80.

    Why would they not have a policy? If someone is prepared to cut corners that small, I don't like to think about the larger corners they'd be happy to cut.

    There's a thread on the DIY board asking why tradesmen are so bad. The answer is only because people are prepared to accept anything if they think it's going to be cheap.
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  • Jhoney_2Jhoney_2 Forumite
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    Where is the DIY board Doozergirl - I was looking for one here recently and thought there wasn't one!
  • Dan-DanDan-Dan Forumite
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    JHoney wrote: »
    Where is the DIY board Doozergirl - I was looking for one here recently and thought there wasn't one!

    Its called `in my home`
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  • Jhoney_2Jhoney_2 Forumite
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    Thanks Dan-dan.
  • Sounds like relatively easy work.

    I mean, even if they took one of the radiators off and had a bad leak onto one of your ceilings, them repairing it and buying the materials themselves would work out cheaper than the excess on the insurance.

    My excess on pub liability is £500 + the 140 quid a year it costs me so making a claim for trivial issues is out of the question.

    If you are that bothered which you seem to be starting a thread about it, find a builder who is insured but be prepared to probably pay more to cover their increased business costs.

    You can seldom have your cake and stuff it all in your face.
  • comeandgocomeandgo Forumite
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    Insurance is generally only a few pounds a week, unless they have made claims, when it can be very expensive. Maybe he has had a few claims against him, suggesting botched jobs, and insurance is now too expensive. I would never hire anyone with no liability insurance, end of.
  • cloocloo Forumite
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    I wouldn't use a contractor without insurance either, it can't bode anything good and we've experience the damage and expense that even a 'small' mistake can cause to a property.
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