Take a look at this article published by The Telegraph. Not far from 20 years old, the article is still the typical, anxiety-stirring “be on the lookout for cowboys” piece that puts people off dealing with builders.
Describing the “disastrous results” that can befall property owners dealing with tradespeople who aren’t fully insured, it paints an unfortunate picture that becomes perception for many people. Here’s why a simple insurance document could help to assuage those fears…
It proves your professionalism
If you do a little search engine research, you’ll find that the definition of “cowboy builder” relates to inflated prices and shoddy work, and also attaches itself to many other trade skills. However, having no builders insurance can certainly downgrade your reputation to the same level, even if the work you complete is appropriately priced and of exemplary quality.
While sayings like “mistakes may be made” and “problems could arise” can come across as advertising for insurance, holding builders insurance says that you’re fully prepared for any eventuality. Another perception of the “cowboy builder” is a kind of cocky, pretentious “Jack the Lad”. Having insurance makes you appear more human, humble, approachable and professional.
It could make all the difference
Imagine that you’re an employer. You advertise a role, filter the select applicants and invite them for a test and interview. Two candidates stand out, answer everything you ask and score highly on the test. Then, one immediately provides excellent references, while the other hesitates before sending you the details later.
There’s only one decision you can really make, and it comes down to trust. In your line of work, being able to openly advertise that you hold builders insurance could have the same impact, and help you to land a job over another builder with similar experience, pricing and reputation. Think about how many other builders operate in your area, and ask yourself if you can afford to fall behind them.
It’s now an expected quality
Customers have many resources to turn to – like the article cited above – when they’re looking for advice on who to hire. This checklist published on the Citizens Advice website provides a simple, step-by-step guide for property owners to work through before choosing a builder.
This is what you’re up against when securing any new customer. Familiarise yourself with the format, and prepare your business to meet these criteria.
You will notice, at Step 4, that the right insurance is a must. You’ll be asked to provide it, they’re aware that you must show it to them, and they can’t move on to Steps 5 and 6 (at which point they’ll have “chosen” the builder for their project) without completing this important step.
It’s better for both of you
It must be added that it’s not only the customer’s peace of mind which is at stake here. After all, while it’s their property, it’s your livelihood which is at stake, too. Builders insurance means, that if something does go wrong, either in or out of work, you don’t have to worry about legal fees, repairs or even compensation costs.
Knowing that you’re covered takes away that extra, unnecessary burden of pressure which, on its own, can be enough to force anybody into making a mistake. There are many companies around offering builders insurance at a very reasonable price; Tradesman Saver, for instance. Buy you and your customers a little more peace of mind, and make sure your builders insurance is always up to date.