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If you’re a carpenter, you probably work for yourself. If you’re like most carpenters, you do much of your work onsite for a builder. As well as this, you may do small projects for individual customers on the side. Since you work for yourself, you own and are responsible for the most important assets you need for your jobs. Your tools, including saws, compressors, and nailers. Your vehicle, whether it’s a van, ute, or trailer. And of course, yourself. As a carpenter, it’s vital that you take out insurance to protect all these things. In this article we outline the 4 most important types of insurance for carpenters, that you may choose to consider.

  1. Public and Product Liability Insurance

Public and product liability insures you against all amounts you or any insured person become legally liable to pay compensation  for personal injury or property damage, that happen as a result of or in connection with your business. Ordinarily if something you’ve built such as a railing, beam or veranda, gives way, you may be liable for any damage caused or if someone suffers personal injury. Even if there was no fault with your work, defending such claims can still be extremely costly. Public and product liability insurance can cover you for both the amount of these claims, and the reasonable cost of legal representation you require to defend them.

If you are a contractor, you may be required to have public liability insurance in order to step foot onsite. The builder may ask you for a certificate of currency specifying cover up to a specific amount. Check with your insurance provider that your policy meets the requirements.

  1. Commercial Motor Insurance

Just as it is important to protect your personal car with car insurance, it’s vitally important that your carpentry vehicle is properly protected. Commercial motor insurance will cover your vehicle, and any amount for which you become legally liable for loss or damage to someone else’s property. You can choose from a range of cover levels, from third party insurance only, to fire and theft, and finally comprehensive cover. Consider the cost of your vehicle, and pick the option that’s right for you.

  1. General Property

General property insurance will protect your property from accidental damage no matter where you are in the world and includes cover for theft resulting from forcible and violent entry evidenced by visible damage to a locked vehicle or premises – most policies won’t cover theft of property left in the open air.

It’s important you specify electronic items such as mobile phones and also your high value items, such as high end saws and drill kits, when you purchase your insurance policy. Otherwise, for items not specified cover it limited to a maximum amount specified in the policy (generally $2,500 per item).

  1. Personal Accident and Sickness Insurance

The most important thing you need to do your work, is you. If you’re injured, or fall sick with an illness, you may be unable to go to work for months. Personal accident and sickness insurance will cover you for part of your income in the case that you are unable to work, so you can still cover your expenses. If something goes wrong and you’re permanently injured, this cover will also pay out lump sum compensation.

If you’re a building contractor, you should be aware you’re not covered under the general workers compensation insurance policy held by the builder on your work site. It’s vital you understand the risks and the benefit of getting your own cover in case anything goes wrong.

Picking the right insurance types can be complex. Fortunately, as a carpenter you can often find all the cover you may need available to be selected as a bundle in a Small Business Advantage Pack Insurance. Check with your small business insurance provider to make sure the policies included are what you’re after.


Allianz Small Business Insurance is issued by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708. We do not provide advice based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Before making a decision please consider the product disclosure statement available here.


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