Plumbers, Do You Really Need Public Liability Insurance?


Come on, hands up all of you that wouldn’t bother with insurance if you really didn’t need it!
It can be a lot of money, and, for what? If you’ve never had a problem, it would seem a good way to waste money.

You’ve got to look at what the implications are if something goes wrong, and, once again I ask you to put your hands up if you’ve seen mistakes happen, that the odds of it happening would make you a millionaire if you had put a bet on it ! Ok, so we know where we stand, things happen that you sometimes don’t guard against. Ok you say, I can clean up, and make good a spill, a cracked tile, a broken hand basin etc.

Let me introduce you to Clive, ( Clive isn’t his real name) I’ve got to know him through a friend of mine. Clive is a plumber, been one for over two decades, got years of knowledge, and prior to 2008, had only a few minor leaks to go back to fix. A lot of his peers regard him as the reference book on how to do it properly. In march 2008, he had a boiler to install, this combi-boiler type he has installed ate least 30 of . Clive had started early to do this one as it was commissioning day, it all had to work when he left. He had done all the preparation work ,and had even made the effort to get the timing for the central heating so the client didn’t have to program it. A few hour late all the work was complete, all of the water pipes were soldered, and in place , together with the timing and wireless thermostat.

It took Clive around thirty minutes to clear up mess and put away tools and materials, As always Clive made sure he looked at ceilings below, and had his torch out to check for leaks under the completed work , after this he needed to visit the local supply merchants to stock up for a job on the following Monday. After a trip there he was coming back to hand over to the client and if possible go over the operation of the thermostat and boiler.

Forty five minutes later as Clive was driving back he noticed a plume of smoke in the sky, he thought it a bit big for someone burning waste, but didn’t think about it further till he turned into the clients road.

What Greeted Clive that afternoon still turns his stomach to this day. The roof was wreathed in smoke, the main bedroom window was smashed in , and the fire brigade had a hose firing into it. The ceiling eventually gave way as the fire burned through the rafters. The client was screaming at him “what have you done” over, and over. Clive asked if anyone was inside? And was told no!

Anyway The next day I was told what had happened by his wife, the fire brigade report stated that some solder had dropped between the floor boards on to old newspaper left by the owner for some reason. The papers started to smoulder with the insulation, then sometime later set fire to the boards, It took ages and Clive didn’t smell it, or see it.

Being his insurance broker, all the relevant forms were completed and the loss adjuster appointed went over all of the claim, Clive couldn’t be held to blame, he cant be expected to pull every board up in the house for old papers, nor can he stay for the day.

Total cost of the claim was a bit over the £82,000.00 mark, Clive breathed a sigh of release when he was told his plumbers public Liability Insurance policy would cover the claim.

He’s very adamant now that he will stick with the insurer he was with, they’re not the cheapest, but he figures that the extra £40.00 difference is very cheap liability insurance.

Contact us for that piece of mind that you get with public liability insurance at


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