How To Protect Your Plumbing Business With Public Liability Insurance

As a plumber you are faced with different challenges every day, one minute you’re fixing a burst pipe, next you‘re unplugging a drain, no two days are ever the same! While you are busy looking after your client‘s plumbing problems, take the time to consider protecting your plumbing business with the right kinds of business insurance. When there’s an overflow of unplanned issues like a claim from a customer, Public Liability insurance* could help save the day!  

Let’s take a look at how Public Liability and business insurance can help protect your plumbing business for the long haul.  


What is Public Liability Insurance?

Public Liability insurance is designed to provide protection for you and your business in the event a customer, supplier or a member of the public are injured (and not covered by the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) ) or sustain property damage as a result of your negligent business activities.     

If you were found liable for a claim, the financial impact to your business could spell disaster, potentially causing you to close the toolbox for good. Many small businesses underestimate the costs of defending a case in court, and worst case if found liable, the cost of compensation awarded to the victim.  

You’ve worked hard to build your plumbing business and the last thing you need is a claim to flush your dreams away. With the appropriate level of Public Liability insurance in place, you are providing a financial safeguard to help you stay around for the long haul.   


What does Public Liability insurance typically cover? 

  • Compensation for accidental damage to third party property 
  • Compensation for personal injury or death to third parties where the ACC does not provide cover 
  • Legal and defence costs 


What does Public Liability insurance typically not cover? 

  • Injury to your employees 
  • Damage to your own property 
  • Compensation for personal injury whereby cover is provided by the ACC 
  • Known claims and circumstances 


Are plumbing leaks covered by insurance? 

The good news is yes, plumbers leaks are covered. A claim example of this is where a plumber went to fix a faucet at a holiday home. While he was checking the other faucets in the house, he accidentally left one of the others at the other end of the house slightly on, whilst the water mains were switched off.  

After he had left the home, the end bathroom flooded and caused a significant amount of water damage by the time it was discovered three weeks later.  

Another claim example is when a plumber fixed a kitchen sink tap but didn’t tighten the pipe in the cupboard below, tight enough. The leak was gradual which eventually caused enough damage for the whole kitchen cupboard needing to be replaced.  

Is Insurance for Plumbers mandatory in New Zealand? 

Plumbers insurance is not compulsory in NZ. However, it is an important to consider the risk of not having insurance in place and the impact a claim could have on your business. The reality is any plumber in business who is attending a customer’s or third-party premises, can easily damage third party property and be liable for costs. 

The impact of a claim can take a real toll on a business and isn’t always something that small business owners can bounce back from. There are the financial implications of a claim, the related legal costs, the time spent away from the business to deal with the claim, as well as damage to your hard-earned reputation. 

As a plumber, it may be a legal requirement to have a certain level of Public Liability insurance in place before you can step foot on certain sites. It is always important to check this and the minimum amount of cover required well before you pick your tools! 


What are the different levels of cover? 

Each business is different and will require its own level of Public Liability insurance to suit its specific needs. BizCover offers four different levels of cover ranging from $1 million, $2 million, $5 million, up to $10 million.  

When can Public Liability protect your business?  

No matter how much care you take in providing a safe working environment, accidents can still happen. You may be working at a client’s house and accidentally crack a pipe, causing extensive damage to the client’s property. Think about the cost of removing and relaying carpets as a result of the incident– is this something you could afford to pay for from your own pocket?  

This is where your Public Liability insurance comes into play, providing cover for those messy situations when you need a helping hand.  


Other Business Insurance options to consider  

To get the job done, you need your tools, they are one of the most valuable assets to your plumbing business and like many things in life, you don’t realise how much you need something until it is gone.   


Portable Equipment (or general property) insurance*:  Covers you for loss and damage to your tools and equipment due to theft, fire and other perils listed in the wording. 


Even if you take the utmost care to secure and look after your tools, unfortunately, thieves can strike anywhere at any time. With Portable Equipment insurance your tools are protected anywhere in New Zealand. 

With Portable Equipment insurance in place, you don’t have to worry how you are going to afford to replace or repair your tools if they were accidentally damaged, stolen or destroyed due to an insurable event.   


Insuring your plumbing business   

Getting your insurance sorted for your plumbing business doesn’t need to be a murky experience. BizCover provides a straight-forward purchase process, providing you with multiple quotes in minutes from some of New Zealand’s most trusted insurers. In a few clicks of a mouse, you can choose the appropriate cover for your business and receive your certificate of insurance, within minutes, in your inbox.   


* This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice. 

The provision of the claims examples are for illustrative purposes only and should not be seen as an indication as to how any potential claim will be assessed or accepted. Cover for a claim will depend on the specific circumstances around the loss and would be subject to the terms and conditions of the policy concerned. 

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