Tradies must expect the unexpected

Published: 12/10/2020

Tradies must expect the unexpected

As Australia's pandemic restrictions continue to evolve as required and, often, client budgets change, the business conditions for tradies have fluctuated.

For the vast majority of Australians, day-to-day life has changed drastically, with measures being enforced to contain the spread of coronavirus, such as social distancing. Having recently faced harsher lockdowns, many Victorians are experiencing delays in renovations and building projects, with tradies now needing to navigate new rules.

That being said, tradies are considered an essential service and; thus, even under Victoria's stage four restrictions have continued to complete urgent or emergency repairs, all the while complying with relevant health and safety requirements.

In New South Wales, the Government recommends construction companies and tradespeople develop a COVID-19 safety plan which includes strategies for physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning and record-keeping.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has provided a broader economic outlook, projecting that due to reduced incomes, employment concerns and a "generalised uncertainty", spending on homes will likely be down for some time.

In response to such concerns, the Federal Government has introduced the HomeBuilder scheme, which incentivises spending on homes and, ideally, will help stimulate the building sector. This scheme provides owner-occupiers with grants of $25,000 to build a new property or substantially renovate an existing home.

With all states and territories signing up, these grants are available across Australia to owner-occupiers who enter into a contract between June 4 and December 31.

As firms and sole traders continue to navigate the current unfamiliar landscape, many are reviewing their positioning and, when reducing business risks, insurance is important to take into consideration.

While different trades can have different risks and needs, there are a number of key areas that, generally speaking, should be covered.

Tradies arriving at worksites should at least have public liability cover, which protects against the financial risk of being liable for personal injury to a third party or damage to their property.

To protect against problems that may emerge in future, it's suggested that tradies get products liability insurance. This typically covers occurrences such as water damage caused by bathroom fittings, where tradies may need to not only address the initial problem but also fix subsequent damage in the home.

Even when skilled tradesmen are completing quality work, the unexpected may still happen and, in such cases, amending the issue can be costly.

Tools, machinery and equipment, including portable technology, that are fundamental to the job should be covered so they can be quickly replaced with minimal disruption. Other issues to consider include vehicle insurance.

How Coverforce can help

For assistance determining which policies are suited to your business' circumstances, as well as valuable advice to help you reduce the chance of having to make a claim - we can help.

In the current market, there's a high level of uncertainty, which has made ensuring your business has the right insurance to reduce ever-changing risks all the more important.

Find your local Coverforce office here.

The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. If you require advice that is tailored to your specific business or individual circumstances, please contact Coverforce directly.

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