Why do I need Demolition Contractor Liability Insurance?

There are many considerations when taking out Demolition Contractor’s Liability Insurance. You are responsible for the safety and workmanship of all your staff and sub-contractors, even if they have their own insurance in place. You are also responsible for the employees of any subcontractors you employ too. If anything were to happen, the legal paper work can be overwhelming as well as the cost, which, without the correct insurance in place, could put you out of business.


As well as protecting your employees, you also need to protect yourself and your assets. When taking on commercial work, you are exposing yourself to claims to damage, injury and loss of income from your clients if you were at fault for a mistake or accident. These faults don’t have to be obvious to be disastrous to your business. They can be failing to do something you should have, failure of equipment you’ve supplies or that your work does not meet your customers expectations. You may have done nothing wrong, but while the case is being disputed, you need to have the right cover in place to protect your business.


In most cases, you’ll need to show evidence of cover to gain entry onto the site, so without it you might not be able to do the job you are being paid for. These setbacks and delays can cost you time and money.


What cover can my Demolition Contractor’s Liability Insurance provide?


As a Demolition Contractor, you can face lawsuits from all angles. At Bruce Burke we can arrange a policy that is tailored to your needs. This way all your insurance information is in once place with only one renewal date to remember. Some of the cover we can provide are:

  • Demolition Contractors Employers Liability Insurance – If you employ anyone that works in the UK, you are required by law to have at least £5m worth of cover. Employers Liability Insurance became a legal requirement in 1972 as a direct result of the 1969 Employers Liability Act.
  • Demolition Contractors Public Liability Insurance – Public Liability Cover should be considered if members of the public, clients or customers visit your premises. If you’re based at home and customers sometimes visit you there, Public Liability cover might also be appropriate. If your business does not have Public Liability Insurance in place and you get sued for compensation then you will be liable to pay the full amount of the claim. If you are not able to cover the costs of the claim then you may lose your business and potentially other assets including your home.
  • Motor Fleet Insurance – If you have 3 or more work vehicles then Motor Fleet Insurance is a cost effective way of making sure that all your vehicles and drivers have the correct cover in place, in case any damage or accidents should occur.
  • Legal Expenses Insurance – Legal Expenses Insurance covers the cost of defending legal claims that could be made against you or your business. These can include solicitors’ fees, the cost of barristers and expert witnesses, court costs and claimants’ awards in civil cases.

What is the difference between labour only and bona fide sub-contractors?


Labour only sub-contractors:

  • Labour only sub-contractors work directly under your supervision and use materials, equipment and, possibly, tools that you have provided. They may use their own portable hand tools.
  • Because they are working under your direction, they are treated, in law, as employees and so you are required to have Employers Liability Insurance for them.
  • Even if you employ labour only subcontractors for a short period of time only, you still need Employers Liability cover
  • You should also remember to include labour only sub-contractors under your Public Liability Insurance. For this, you may need to provide an annual wages figure or the maximum number of people working in the business at any one time.

Bona Fide Sub-contractors:

  • Sub-contractors who work without your supervision and bring their own materials, equipment and tools are known as bona fide sub-contractors.
  • They may specialise in different aspects of construction work to you. For example, you might bring in a plumber or an electrician on a shop fitting job. In this case, bona fide sub contractors are not considered to be employees and so you don’t need Employer’s Liability Insurance for them.
  • It is often a condition of your insurance policy that you check that any bona fide sub-contractors have Public Liability Insurance in place, to the same indemnity limit as yours, before you appoint them.
  • It is good practice to ask to see proof of this – either a copy of the policy schedule or a letter from their insurance company, showing cover dates and the indemnity limit – on an annual basis. This will protect you, should they cause damage to property or injure someone whilst working, as your sub-contractor, on a job.
  • You should also declare to your insurance company how much you pay your bona fide sub-contractors annually, so that some contingency public liability cover can be included on your insurance policy in case a claim occurs, and, for whatever reason, the subcontractor does not have the appropriate insurance in place. As this is contingency public liability cover only, it costs much less than the standard rate.