Tradies insurance for apprentice in Canberra?

Kurrajong 16 June 2012 9

What do people know about obtaining insurance cover for carpentry tools while an apprentice?

The car insurance company said being an apprentice is an issue as its not really operating a business, so can’t be given car ‘business insurance’ which covers goods inside ute.

They don’t otherwise insure tools in private cars.

Maybe only need $10,000 cover just now, plus some public liability to cover other work done on weekends.

Would getting an ABN and using up a business name work?

All ideas or recommendations welcome.

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9 Responses to Tradies insurance for apprentice in Canberra?
zllauh zllauh 9:33 am 09 Jan 13


In the insurance industry, it is quite common that you will hear different kind of stories.

One insurance broker in canberra who has given us good insights is .

My 2 cents.

hk0reduck hk0reduck 2:22 pm 20 Jun 12

It appears you may have missed the underlying message of my response.

Allow me to summarise it for you. The answer is ‘YES’.

If someone is telling you that you can’t get it you are talking to the wrong person.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 8:51 am 19 Jun 12

Kurrajong said :

That’s all very helpful guys, especially hk0redduck’s epistle.

Still unclear is whether an apprentice can get insurance for tools and PL – some say no, as they are not running a business.

Does anyone know or had experience as an apprentice?

Try talking to Master Builders Group Training or one of the other industry based group training organisations, they should be able to provide you with the relevant advice and info.

Kurrajong Kurrajong 8:36 am 19 Jun 12

That’s all very helpful guys, especially hk0redduck’s epistle.

Still unclear is whether an apprentice can get insurance for tools and PL – some say no, as they are not running a business.

Does anyone know or had experience as an apprentice?

cranky cranky 8:00 pm 17 Jun 12


Thank you for the best plain english version of insurance I have read.

Perhaps your future lies in being an honest broker?

hk0reduck hk0reduck 4:57 pm 17 Jun 12

Sorry, I’m not based out of Canberra anymore and probably best if I keep hk0reduck / worklife separate as I’d probably lose my job over some of the comments I’ve made on other posts! (Same with everyone else here!)

Thanks for the vote of confidence though! 🙂

CoffinRX2 CoffinRX2 3:16 pm 17 Jun 12

Hk0reduck, anyway of contacting you if I need to talk about products liability?

hk0reduck hk0reduck 8:14 am 17 Jun 12

(Disclosure: I’m an insurance broker)

You can either go it alone or find an insurance broker to assist you. I strongly recommend a broker as the industry is extremely competitive so you can normally wrangle free advice and obtain obligation free quotes at no cost. Also, they’re a heavily regulated by Financial Services Regulations so if they provide incorrect advice about cover (I.e. You request theft cover for your tools at the worksite. Tools get stolen and turns out the policy doesn’t cover theft in open air.) If you have the documentation to back up the request you can take them to the Obudsman/Court and the broker will be have to cover the cost of the claim.

On the other hand, going it alone has the potential to save a little bit of cash on a broker fee(If you shop around, but sometimes brokers can get even better deals) but if there’s a gap in your cover you only have yourself to blame.

Here is some free advice that I’m giving you as a friend. It doesn’t apply to every policy from every insurer so make sure you read your wordings! 🙂

Firstly, you don’t ‘NEED’ an ABN to get business insurance. That’s probably just a requirement for that one insurer. That said, you probably need an ABN for tax reasons so it can’t hurt.

Every major insurer in Australia (Allianz, Lumley, QBE, Zurich, CGU, Vero, Calliden to name a few) will offer what’s called Business, Office or Trade Pack insurance policy. This policy combines all the basic business covers into the one package that you can then pick and choose what you want. In your case, the sections you are looking at are General Property & Liability.

General Property cover will offer protection for your items Australia Wide rather then at a specific place (E.g. At home, in ute, at worksite). This isn’t just for theft but could also cover things such as Fire, water damage, damage from collision or over-turning of vehicle and, if you’re willing to pay for it, scenarios such as dropping the tool while not in use or reversing over it with your vehicle.

I like this cover better then purely a tools-of-trade attached to a car policy as if the cover isn’t Australia-Wide there are quirky gaps that you might not think about that leave you exposed. I.e. You want to use your trailer on the weekend to take stuff to the dump, unload all your tools and leave them locked in the shed at home and it gets stolen while you’re away. You may find that your home policy won’t cover Tools used for business & your vehicle policy will only cover theft from a locked vehicle/toolbox so there’s no cover.

Theft-wise it’s generally ‘Theft with violent & forcible entry’ which means you need to have the item locked/chained to your ute/trailer or, if left on-site overnight, locked inside the house or behind a gate. ‘Theft in open air’ cover is available at a price and will cover situations such as accidentally leaving your toolbox unlocked, downing tools for a few minutes for a stop-work meeting or needing to evacuate the site in an emergency.

Finally, you can get this as ‘unspecified tools of the trade’ which can you can choose a blanket amount of cover over unspecified items valued up to a certain limit (So $10,000 total with a limit of $2k – $2.5k per item). This means if you replace your drill throughout the year it will be covered automatically. Also, you won’t have to spend time counting your screwdrivers & assigning values to them.

In relation to Public Liability it’s pretty much for muchness to an apprentice and you can pretty much shop on price (READ THE WORDINGS!!!). The one thing to check out is to see if your policy has a Height Limitation on your work. Sometimes this can be 5-10m which is ok for domestic house-work that you might do. But if you’re working on any high-rises or larger Government sites this can leave you exposed.

One last thing I’d recommend considering is Personal Accident & Sickness or Income Protection or Life Insurance policy as your bosses Worker’s Compensation isn’t going to respond if you hurt yourself doing off-the-clock weekend work on your own.

Hopefully this is enough to get you started! Feel free to post any other questions, I may forget to check this thread though! 🙂

CoffinRX2 CoffinRX2 5:04 pm 16 Jun 12

Hey mate, most general motor insurance companies wont cover tools of trade in the car if they are used for business.

Get onto AON or a similar broker and see what they can find for you. I’m currently using them to find Products Liability insurance and their service has been great so far.

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