Business conditions for Australia’s tradies have been in a state of flux as coronavirus pandemic restrictions have been introduced and eased, and in some cases strengthened again, and as client budgets are recalibrated.
After months of social distancing the coronavirus is continuing to have impacts across the country. In Victoria harsher lockdowns have put the brakes on many renovations and building projects and introduced new rules for tradies to navigate.
Tradies nevertheless are considered an essential service and can continue to operate according to the specified health and safety practices, and even under Victoria’s stage four restrictions urgent repairs to homes have been permitted for emergency or safety reasons.
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.
Looking at the wider economic picture, The Reserve Bank of Australia says spending on homes will likely be weak for some time due to reduced incomes, employment worries and a “generalised uncertainty”.
The Federal Government has responded to concerns about a downturn in the sector with the HomeBuilder scheme, which provides owner-occupiers with grants of $25,000 to build a new property or substantially renovate an existing home.
All states and territories have signed up and grants are available for contracts entered into between June 4 and December 31.
Whatever the circumstances facing firms and sole traders, many are taking a close look at how they are positioned, and insurance is an important consideration in reducing business risks.
Each trade has different risks and needs, but here’s a few areas that you should have covered for when things go wrong.
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.
Products liability insurance offers protection against problems that may emerge down the track. Potential issues include water damage caused by bathroom fittings, which could trigger the expense of fixing the initial problem while also being held responsible for resulting damage in the home.
It’s easy to think that such events are unlikely, given skill levels and with all care taken, but the financial costs are high when the unexpected happens.
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, while other issues to consider include vehicle insurance.
We are always available to discuss with you the best policies for your specific business circumstances, and can advise on actions you can take to reduce the chance of having to make a claim.
With all the uncertainty around at the moment, it’s more important than ever to make sure the right insurance is in place to reduce the risks you face.
If you work within the trades industry and would like to discuss your insurances further or for an obligation – free insurance review, contact a member of the team 1300 MY ADROIT or adroit.com.au