This article looks at what is needed for an effective demolition insurance policy, with references to legal requirements and optional extras.
If you have been working in the business for any length of time, you’ll know that demolition insurance is a highly specialised area, with very few insurers offering policies and many of those not offering much in the way of flexibility or, for that matter, cost effective cover. Ideally, you ought to find a broker who knows their way around the industry and has the ability to assess your needs before finding or creating a suitable policy.
In terms of what you need to have in a demolition insurance policy, there are some mandatory and some optional items. Public liability is mandatory whenever there is any risk to the public from your operations, but the levels of cover can be adjusted to reflect the nature and scale of any demolition work you are undertaking. Product liability is also required to insure against injury or property damage if you are supplying any products to others, and employer’s liability is a good idea so that you are protected in the event of injuries caused to your staff.
Beyond those basic items that are pretty much standard in every policy, you’ll also get a number of options that may be appropriate for your work. Cover can be extended to cover unusually hazardous locations, or exceptions can be made to height or depth restrictions. Equipment may also be covered, and any vehicles you own or hire will likewise want to be included in the policy as these are areas where damage or loss can make a significant increase in operating costs if you aren’t insured. There are other options of course, but your broker will work through those with you to help you decide whether to include them or not.
Once you’ve decided which elements to include in your demolition insurance policy, you’ll need to pay for it. There’s no getting away from the fact that premiums are expensive, but there are ways of bringing the cost down a little. First, you should make sure that you are only covered for what you need – there’s no point, for example, in paying for hazardous location cover if you don’t need it, while on the other hand you do need to make sure that you’ve added the activities that you do carry out. Secondly, look at the excess you are willing to pay in the event of a claim. Voluntarily increasing the excess level can have a significant effect on the premium, though of course you should work it out carefully and make sure that you aren’t left out of pocket if you do have to make a claim. Finally, a good working history with few or no claims will always benefit you and result in lower policy costs.