A Tradesman Damaged My Floor Tiles – Will My Home Insurance Cover This?

Caeva O'Callaghan | August 10th, 2020

Will my home insurance cover damage done by tradesman?

It’s always best to hire a tradesman with a good reputation, so you know they’ll do the job well. But if they damage your home while doing work, are you covered by your own home insurance?

Unfortunately, no. Your home insurance will not cover the cost of damage done to your home by a tradesman making repairs.

However, the tradesmen should have their own insurance to cover it – if they’re the reputable sort.

In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:

  • Does my home insurance cover tradesman damage?
  • Will my home insurance cover a cash-in-hand job?
  • A builder caused damage to my tiles – will my insurance cover it?

Accidents like these are the number one reason you should always employ fully qualified and insured tradesmen to work on your property. If you don’t, you may find yourself worse off than before.

What is tradesmen’s insurance?

Builders, contractors and tradesmen need specialist insurance for their business. This will allow them to work in others’ homes safely, and will cover the costs of repairs if unintentional damage is done.

Any builder, plumber, plasterer, painter or other profession worth their salt will have purchased business insurance before they started trading. This will be like most other kinds of business insurance, with policies taking into consideration company turnover, the number of employees and the annual wageroll.

But when it comes to tradesmen, their cover starts to differ when it comes to liabilities. Tradesmen need three main types of liabilities when taking out insurance:

  • Public Liability
  • Products Liability
  • Employers Liability

The importance of having the right cover is vital for all tradesmen as work can be very high risk. They need to be able to protect themselves, their employees, their customers and their property, equipment and materials.

Tradesmen’s insurance and you

When a fully insured tradesman enters your home, you can rest assured that you, your family and your home will have cover.

Public Liability is a requirement for all tradesmen. Its purpose is to protect the customers of the tradesmen or any member of the public in the event that a claim should arise and the tradesmen are responsible.

This is exactly what you’ll need if a builder damages your floor tiles while working on the site. Their public liability insurance will cover the cost of the labour and materials involved in replacement.

Meanwhile, Products Liability covers the customer in the event of a claim relating to parts installed by the tradesman. This is the policy you need if the tiles your tradesman used were faulty, and the job needs doing again.

In the majority of cases, if you claim against the tradesman regarding a faulty part the tradesman’s insurance company will pursue the manufacturers. As long as the part turns out to be defective and it wasn’t the tradesman’s fault and they didn’t put it in wrong, the manufacturer will be liable.

Damage done by neighbours’ building work

Having renovations happening next door can not only be a headache, it can also be dangerous. Particularly if you’re living in a semi-detached or terraced property, neighbouring building activity can pose a risk to your home.

Any competent builder will engage a surveyor to do a pre-construction survey of the adjoining houses before construction starts. This makes sure any prior damage – such as cracks in the wall – can’t be claimed as a result of the building works.

But if a neighbour’s contractor damages your property, all is not lost. If you’re on good terms with your neighbour you may be able to claim off their home insurance or their builder’s insurance: it all depends on the level of cooperation.

If the building works are repairs following an insurance claim made by your neighbour – for damage as a result of subsidence, for example – it would be normal for the original insurance policy to pay for damage in neighbouring properties if the damage was unavoidable.

Sometimes, neighbours are argumentative. If so, you need to check if your own home insurance policy has accidental damage cover. In this case, we would encourage you to make a claim on your own policy. If this isn’t the case, you can take a legal action against your neighbour as a last resort.

In any event it’s worth the initial cost to get a building surveyor to check out the damage. This will only help settle the claim in your favour.

If you have any questions about home insurance, pick up the phone and call us today

If you are getting work done on your home, and you are unsure of what level of cover you have on your home insurance, feel free to pick up the phone and talk to our home insurance experts directly. We can help you understand what is and what is not covered. We are available for phone calls between 8.30am and 5.30pm each weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

If you require a home insurance quote online, you can use our online quote engine. We compare home insurance in the Irish market from 12 insurers to get you the right cover for your situation.