In the current climate, starting up a renewable energy installation company may seem a great idea; however as with all businesses it doesn’t come without risk. Many insurance quotations will automatically assume your needs are covered by generic tradesman insurance, with a generic business description. It is essential your insurer understands exactly what your business does; otherwise you risk a claim not being paid.
Making sure you have the right insurance in place is paramount to protect you and your business. Renewable Energy Development Executive for Jelf Insurance Brokers, Carl Gurney, highlights what key insurances you need to consider when starting up.
• Covers your legal liability to your employees
Employers’ Liability Insurance is a legal requirement. In addition to direct employees you should include anyone working under your control such as labour only subcontractors.
Public and Products liability
• Covers against third party damage and bodily injury
Contractors are responsible for including labour only sub-contractors in their employers and public liability policies. However you should also consider bona fide sub-contractors when arranging your public liability. Further information on this can be found in the article Sub-Contractors Insurance: Who’s responsible?
• Covers professional negligence (errors & omissions) claims made by your customers as a result of the services and advice you have provided or have failed to provide.
For example, renewable energy assessors who provide advice, feasibility studies, calculations and design relating to the installation of renewable energy systems should have Professional Indemnity insurance.
Contract works: materials aren’t the responsibility of the customer
• Covers materials used on site, in temporary storage and in transit to site; your customer may have made an upfront payment for the materials however until the works are completed and handed over they remain your responsibility and you should arrange appropriate insurance.
One area to consider when purchasing this cover is to ensure it extends to include any testing and commissioning, and if it does be wary of increased excesses.
• It is important to consider obtaining cover for your environmental liability. This covers your own, third party and environmental agency clean-up costs, loss mitigation costs and legal costs.
Every policy contains exclusions, warranties and conditions. Contractor’s policies commonly include height and depth limits and conditions regarding the use of heat. It is important that you understand your policy terms and are able to comply with any warranties and conditions, if not a claim could be refused.
As always, it is advisable to seek advice from an independent, qualified insurance broker who understands this niche sector before finalising any agreements.
For more information contact Carl Gurney on 07799 474419.