Be prepared – common chimney sweep insurance claims and how to avoid them
As the colder months draw in and business for chimney sweeps picks up at this time of year, HETAS Insurance Services has been looking at the most common insurance claims reported by our chimney sweeps. It’s easy to think “it won’t happen to me”, but looking at some real life examples proves it can happen to anyone. Knowing what could potentially cause a claim should help you to put some simple measures in place to avoid making a claim of your own.
The most common claim we receive from chimney sweeps is for damage caused to third party property, usually belonging to the customer. We often see claims for damage to sofas and carpets caused by soot, property damage due to smoke, and even things falling from chimneys outside and damaging cars.
We understand that your work can be messy, but by being aware of your surroundings, you can try to mitigate the risk of causing damage. Upon arriving at a job, a quick assessment of the surrounding area can prove invaluable. Consider what could potentially be damaged and take steps to protect it before you start work. For example, soot can be bad news for your customers’ carpets and soft furnishings so using adequate protective covers or dust sheets is a must.
If you or your team are working on the roof of a property, assess the surrounding parameter of the premises. Are there parked cars, people walking by, anything that could be hurt or damaged if something were to accidently fall whilst you are carrying out your work?
Such claims are often a result of negligence by an employee, so if you employ a team – make sure that they understand the risks they face at work and ensure they know how to mitigate these risks to help reduce your likelihood of a claim being made.
We appreciate that accidents will happen, even when the utmost care is taken, so make sure you have the right insurance cover in place in case the worst does happen. Public liability provides protection should you damage third party property or cause an injury. So, it’s important to make sure you have this included in your policy, just in case.
At HETAS Insurance Services, another common claim we see is for tool theft, often taken from vehicles. Your tools and equipment are your business, so without them you could be out of work until they can be replaced.
There are a number of simple steps that you can take to try to prevent the theft of your tools, for example not leaving them in your vehicle overnight, or consider investing in stronger, heavy-duty locks for extra security. If you use your vehicle to get to jobs, consider where you park your van – particularly when the mornings and evenings are darker. Parking in a well-lit area, preferably somewhere with CCTV, can make all the difference.
Commercial vehicle or van insurance provides further protection and there are a number of additional extras that can be added to your policy for complete peace of mind, such as key protection.
If you would like to find out more about insurance from HETAS Insurance Services, or to get a quote, please contact the team or call 01905 886462.
This is a marketing communication.
HETAS Insurance Services is a trading name of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Not all products and services offered are regulated by the FCA (for details see marshcommercial.co.uk/info/regulation). Registered in England and Wales number 0837227. Registered Office: 1 Tower Place West, London EC3R 5BU.