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Discuss PLI requiring separate trade for smoke alarms - is this correct? in the Insurance for Electricians area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. Selfmade
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    Selfmade Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    My PLI agents are telling me I need alarm/CCTV installation down as a secondary trade (electrical contracting being the primary) to cover me for fitting smoke alarms. I asked them if this was strictly necessary as I don't see any greater risk from fitting a smoke alarm than from fitting a light or socket. They were adament. So I asked whether I need separate insurance for say, connecting a cooker (why should smoke alarms be a special case and nothing else?).

    Looking at their quote I see they list cover for "failure of an alarm [to operate]" as an option under the Electrical Contractor heading. Why would you need this if you are not covered to fit alarms as an electrical contractor? Worst of all they have written 'yes' to this option under Electrical Contractor, but not under alarm/CCTV installer. This seems like at best a botch and at worst a cinical attempt to get out of any claims.

    So my questions:

    • do I really need separate insurance for alarm/CCTV installation or am I being ripped off? Could they really refuse a claim if I, say, drilled a pipe while fitting a smoke alarm but not a light (if I'm only insured as an electrical contractor)?
    • if I accept their quote 'as is' and then have to make a claim for 'failure to operate', will they say I wasn't insured for this as an alarm installer, only as an electrical contractor, and I couldn't have installed the alarms in my capacity as an electrical contractor, as that's a different trade?
    • should I expect them to phone me on Monday and tell me I need separate 'cooker installer's' insurance?
    I've already had to agree to give up fitting replacement showers as they wanted me to pay for insurance for plumbing (which would have more than doubled my premium, for the sake of two or three showers a year).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2016
  2. Wilko
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    Wilko Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Business Name:
    Wilko Electrics
    Hi S, my first thought is ... don't get mad, get some new quotes. I haven't got intruder alarm /cctv nominated and like you I don't think I need it to be fitting smoke detectors under BS7671. This year I used the insurance folks associated with Stroma and I found that pain free. Please let us know how you get on.
     
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  3. Dan
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    Dan I'm not a sparky but I know a couple ;-) Staff Member

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Shop around a lot. There are dozens of insurance firms about.
     
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  4. HandySparks
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    HandySparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Business Name:
    Neish Electrical Services
    Yes, worth phoning around until you get a decent deal for the cover you need.

    I'm also using the Stroma insurance brokers, Arthur J. Gallagher. It's a combined liability policy with £5M PL and £250k PI cover.

    Business described as: Electrical Contractor - Domestic/Small Commercial Only
    With additional business activities: Plumbing/Heating & Ventilation - Domestic/Small Commercial, Property Maintanence (sic)

    Can't remember exactly, but think I declared the additional activities as less than 10% of the business each.

    Total cost was less than £200 as a sole trader.
     
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  5. Selfmade
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    Selfmade Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Thanks for the helpful replies folks! I will probably give Stroma a try. That sounds like a very good deal. One insurance are asking for nearly £150 for £2m PL only (no PI), and no plumbing or HVAC (was going to be nearly £300 with plumbing).
     
  6. HandySparks
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    HandySparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Business Name:
    Neish Electrical Services
    If you can (truthfully) state that the plumbing is a specific small percentage of your turnover, then it should help to bring the cost down.
     
  7. Selfmade
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    Selfmade Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    I could take a rough guess but it would be very variable year by year. And also, if I quote for changing a shower, some of that job is plumbing and some electrics. I wouldn't take on a job that was all plumbing. And I don't work out exactly how much is for the plumbing and how much for electrics. So pretty much impossible to work out an exact figure. But thanks for the suggestion.
     
  8. HandySparks
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    HandySparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Business Name:
    Neish Electrical Services
    Maybe worth looking down your list of invoices for the last year and totting up those jobs that involved some plumbing. Then take, say, 50% of the value of those jobs as the plumbing element of your turnover?

    I keep track on my invoicing spreadsheet of the type of job, which makes that sort of analysis quicker.
     
  9. Pete999
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    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Top Poster Of Month

    Location:
    Northampton
    Electrician, CCTV Engineer Alarms, All the same nowadays.
     
  10. Selfmade
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    Selfmade Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Thanks for the tip - maybe won't get time for this year but might tweak my admin a little to make this easier for next year.
     
  11. spinlondon
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    spinlondon Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Harlow Essex
    It used to be with van insurance, that if you did anything connected to the motor trade, it had to be on a separate police to anything else.
    So a welder who welded gates and cars would need two insurance policies for the same van carrying the same equipment and tools.

    Because I work on temporary building sites, I do not not have a single place of work to comute to.
    As such I have to have business use, even though I don't use my vehicles for business.
    From a safety aspect, it is reckoned that commuting to a single place of work is more dangerous than commuting to different places of work.
    Something to do with running on automatic pilot.

    Yes I believe a lot of these policies are cons.
     
  12. Selfmade
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    Selfmade Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Got it from AXA via Compare the Market. Under £150 for Electrical Contractor (90%) and Alarm Installer (10%, which didn't add anything to the cost). Still no plumbing though. Slightly cheaper than APC via One Insurance.

    Looked at Stroma but they only provide insurance for their members. That said, I might look at membership of their scheme at some point as the prices look very reasonable. I ruled out NICEIC when I first started as it would have cost thousands and offered very little benefit.

    Thanks for all the help folks!
     
  13. Selfmade
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    Selfmade Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Pretty sure mine still excludes use in connection with the motor trade. Surely you could get a policy that covered both though?

    Interesting - I had always assumed it was the other way round as you would not be familiar with the road. So we are probably all paying less than 9-5 office workers.
     
  14. HandySparks
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    HandySparks Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Hampshire
    Business Name:
    Neish Electrical Services
    You could try going direct to the broker that Stroma use (name in one of my previous posts), or was that what you meant? I've also found A-plan quite helpful in the past. Often worth going to a broker, rather than a comparison website if you're after an insurance package that doesn't conform to the insurers' standard offerings.
     
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  15. Selfmade
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    Selfmade Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Thanks - just looked on Stroma's website and saw it said 'exclusively for members' or words to that effect. Reckon I'll stick with AXA for this year and maybe think about joining Stroma next year - if they serve Scotland.
     
  16. telectrix
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    telectrix Scouser and Proud of It Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    cheshire/staffordshire
    Business Name:
    Telectrix
    one thing to beware of is that generally, if you don't specify 3 phase as part of your work, most PL policies don't cover you for 3 phase.
     
  17. Selfmade
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    Selfmade Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Thanks for the tip - I never touch 3 phase - only do domestic.
     
  18. Risteard
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    Risteard Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Derry, Ireland
    Business Name:
    Walsh Electrical Services
    True. Also hot works are likely to be excluded unless you have them included.
     
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