Plumbers are facing a skills shortage. How can insurance help reduce this impact?
Did you know that the trade industry as a whole is experiencing a skills shortage as a result of reduced uptake in apprenticeships? According to recent reports, the apprenticeship volume has decreased by 5.6% in just one year1, which is worrisome for plumbers and plumbing business owners who could potentially be at risk of claims of negligence or faulty workmanship. This is simply because they do not have the skills or resources to avoid such issues in the first place.
Additionally, many plumbers are not always isolated to their own job sites. Working in conjunction with developers and builders can also increase the risk, where the advice given may inadvertently cause losses or damages. When this occurs, a standalone public liability policy might not provide adequate cover.
Further, it is no secret that customer expectations and demands are increasing. Plumber and podcast professional, Matt Reynolds even shared the idea that quotes alone are not enough to make plumbers competitive in the current field. Consumers are comparing quotes, knowledge and experience, approach, professionalism and testimonials to ensure they are receiving the right level of service they require2.
Combine these constantly evolving demands, the fluid nature of the workforce, and continuous reduction in skills or resources, and you could potentially find yourself facing a serious claim.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take today to mitigate this risk. For example, public liability insurance will provide cover in the instance of property damage or personal injury as a result of your business activities but it will not provide cover for the product advice you provide
It is Errors and Omissions insurance (E&O) for Products which provides protection for plumbers against claims where it has been alleged that product advice has led to damage or loss. These types of claims may not be covered by public liability insurance.
Moreover, E&O insurance is often purchased additionally on top of any outstanding insurance cover that a business may have, meaning that there are many plumbers who may not be protected. At Marsh Advantage Insurance, we understand the unique challenges that the plumbing industry faces. That is why we now provide automatic E&O cover, something that we believe is not done elsewhere in the market.
Our policies also adhere to the Victoria Plumbers Ministerial Order, guaranteeing that any mandatory insurance requirements that you may have are sorted. We also send VBA your Certificate of Currency automatically on payment, to save you the hassle and allow you to focus on what matters most.
More importantly, our team also collaborates with thousands of plumbers and tradesmen to provide insurance solutions that address their specific needs. For more information or to obtain a quotation, please contact our Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers on 1300 300 511.
Notice: Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) (MPIB) is a trading name of Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238 369). MPIB arranges the insurance and is not the insurer. This article contains general information, does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs and may not suit your personal circumstances. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting, or legal matters are based solely on our experience as insurance brokers and risk consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax, or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers and before making any decision about whether to acquire the product, refer to the specific policy wordings and/or Product Disclosure Statements available from Marsh Advantage on request. The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by Marsh Advantage, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry.
1 Alex Underwood. Tough Tradie Market: Why Australia is Experiencing a Tradie Shortage. Forsythes Recruitment. May 14, 2018.
2 Logan Nathan. 7 Emerging Trends That Will Transform the Trades Services Industry in 2018. 2018 i4tradies.