If you’re setting out to become a self-employed spark, the last thing you’re probably going to want to think about is your insurance. Finding the perfect van, naming your business, buying in your ideal toolkit, winning your first clients – there are more or less 120 more interesting things than making sure you’ve got the appropriate cover.

However, skip or forget this crucial step at your peril. Without the right protection in place, your life and livelihood will be on the line every second that you’re out and about running your business. Insurance may be one more headache you’d rather not spend money on but, should something go awry, you’ll be bloody glad to have made the effort and sorted it out.

In fact, if you want to join Elecsa, Napit or NICEIC, you’re going to need the right cover to get through the door. So, time to quit your complaining and start setting up some essential cover…

First things first, what cover should you be looking for?

  • Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is the big one. This is the cover which will protect you should your business activities adversely affect a member of the public or their property. From trips on ladders to scratches on vehicles, if your work should cause damage or harm, this type of cover will keep you safe and pay out to injured parties. Ideally you should be looking for £2 million of cover, which works out at around £100 per month.

  • Professional indemnity insurance

Unlike public liability insurance, this type of cover isn’t obligatory. Instead, it’s a good one to have if you’re involved in work which could seriously hamper another business should something go wrong. This kind of protection is recommended for sparks who undertake PIR/EICR work.

  • Electricians’ insurance

This isn’t a type of insurance in and of itself. Instead it’s a package of insurances designed for electricians. You can usually tailor these packages to suit the work you do (for instance if you drive a van or work solely on residential properties). If you’re using one of these packages, make sure you look closely at exactly what is and isn’t included to be certain you’re getting the right level of protection at the right price.

There are a number of additional policies you may want to add to your insurance, depending on the nature of your work and of your business, including:

  • Van insurance
  • Employers’ liability insurance
  • Tool cover
  • Owned plant & hire-in plant cover

Once you’ve appraised the risks facing your business and worked out what sort of cover you need, it’s time to get comparing. Don’t just find a provider and stick with them, run comparisons online and check out a few different comparison sites to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Trade and electrician forums are another great place to get advice and find out about good deals.

Do you know a great resource for finding the right insurance? Where do you talk about your trade online? Share your knowledge with our readers below…