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Groundworkers insurance

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What's on this page

Why is groundworker insurance important?

From the equipment you use to employees you have on site, your trade comes with specific risks. We cover thousands of construction companies every year, and understand what goes into a solid ground worker insurance policy. Whether it’s a public liability case or equipment theft, our 24/7 UK-based claims team are ready to go.

  • protection from big claims for third party injury or property damage
  • public liability insurance for groundworkers between £1 million and £5 million
  • quotes start at £6.79* a month based on 2020 data
Start your quote

What does groundwork insurance cover?

We’ll start with public liability insurance, designed to cover property damage or injuries to the public. Many ground workers’ insurance policies include employers’ liability cover – a legal requirement for most businesses with employees – plus your own personal accident insurance and protection for your tools and equipment.

Looking for more general construction business cover? Switch over to our construction worker insurance, for quotes geared to your trade and contracts.

Public liability insurance for groundworkers

In case someone is injured or their property gets damaged, because of your groundwork business.

What’s typically covered by public liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • damage to someone’s property, caused by your work
  • injuries caused by your business activities
  • accidental damage or injury caused by your employees, if you have any

If you do employ anyone, you’re usually required by law to have employers’ liability insurance too.

For example:

  • you drill through a water pipe while working on a new build development site
  • while working on a client’s extension you leave your digger on their drive but forget to switch it off properly, causing damage to some fencing and the front garden

Read more about public liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance

In case an employee gets sick or injured while working for you.

What’s typically covered by employers’ liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • an employee, including a temp or casual labourer, suing you after falling ill because of working for you, or
  • making a claim for an injury they’ve had while working for you

**Employers’ liability insurance is required by law if you have people working for you. Without it, you could be fined up to £2,500 a day for each employee.**

For example:

  • a contractor working for you is injured while digging foundations for a new build development, and needs to take a month off work
  • a casual labourer is climbing down some steps you built and breaks their ankle – they need two operations and three months off active work

Tools insurance

In case your groundwork tools are lost, stolen or damaged.

What’s typically covered by tools insurance for groundworkers?

  • loss, damage or theft of your hand tools, power tools and specialist groundworking equipment

For example:

  • someone breaks into your locked garage overnight, stealing £2,000 worth of tools and equipment
  • a leak in your garage causes water damage to some of your digital thermometers and oil sprayers, which will need replacing

What you’ll need additional cover for

  • larger plant items you use to carry out your work – you’ll need to add our specific plant cover for these

Read more about tools insurance

Stock insurance

In case the groundwork materials you keep in stock are lost, stolen or damaged.

What’s typically covered by stock insurance for groundworkers?

  • loss, damage or theft of the materials and supplies you keep in stock

For example:

  • you stop for breakfast on your way to work and someone breaks into your van. The alarm system scares them off, but two boxes fall out, damaging the contents and delaying the day’s work

Read more about stock insurance

Business and office equipment insurance

In case things like your phone or laptop are lost, stolen or damaged.

What’s typically covered by business and office equipment insurance?

  • theft, flood, fire or accidental damage to the equipment you use to run your business
  • operational equipment like your laptop, rather than specialist tools of the trade

For example:

  • someone breaks into your home office annex, stealing your laptop, phone and printer
  • a burst pipe in your home office causes water damage to your laptop and printer

Read more about business and office equipment insurance

Hired-in plant insurance

In case plant machinery, like excavators, you've hired in is lost, stolen, or damaged.

What’s typically covered by hired-in plant insurance?

  • loss, damage or theft of things like concrete mixers, mobile access towers and pressure washers which you’ve hired in

For example:

  • a digger you’ve hired gets damaged while you’re moving it into your secure garage
  • you’ve hired a lift to give your team street level access, and it gets damaged by a reversing vehicle

What you’ll need additional cover for

  • tools and plant machinery which you own yourself – you’ll need to add our specific own plant insurance for this

Read more about hired-in plant insurance

Own plant insurance

In case plant machinery, like excavators, you own is lost, stolen, or damaged.

What’s typically covered by own plant insurance?

  • loss, damage or theft of things like your own dumper or forklift

For example:

  • an overnight break-in on your works site leaves your digger badly damaged
  • while digging a hole in the road your barrier fencing falls and damages your trailer

What you’ll need additional cover for

  • plant machinery you’ve rented – you’ll need to add our specific hired-in plant cover for this

Read more about own plant insurance

Contract works insurance

In case your building work in progress is damaged by something like a fire, flood or vandalism.

What’s typically covered by contract works insurance for groundsworkers?

  • repair costs for the work you have in progress if it’s damaged or destroyed
  • labour, materials and tools to get the job back to the stage it was at before it was damaged or destroyed
  • damage caused by things like fire, flood, storm, vandalism or theft

For example:

  • a fire caused by a cigarette damages materials and works on site, setting your job back back by a few weeks
  • vandals break into the site and damage the work you have in progress, meaning you’ll need to buy in new materials, extend your plant hire, and start from scratch

Read more about contract works insurance

Legal expenses insurance

In case you’re faced with legal costs from running your business.

What’s typically covered by legal expenses insurance?

  • legal expenses resulting from your day-to-day business activities, like disputes with employees
  • the cost of legal claims relating to property damage, nuisance or trespass
  • HMRC investigations, or tax and compliance issues
  • includes a tax advice helpline, a 24/7 confidential legal helpline, and crisis support to help you protect your reputation, as a trusted tradesperson

For example:

  • you’ve agreed a three-month contract with your client but the job runs over, delaying their shop opening. The client claim against you for breach of contract
  • after letting a contractor go you’re sued for unfair dismissal, and need to cover associated legal costs

Read more about legal expenses insurance

Personal accident insurance

In case anyone you’ve covered is accidentally injured, at or outside of work.

What’s typically covered by personal accident insurance?

  • injury or death at work or elsewhere, for anyone covered on the policy
  • lost income, medical costs and hospitalisation benefit

For example:

  • you drill through your boot while on a job, causing severe bruising to your foot which needs elevation and rest for at least three weeks
  • while out with friends, your employee trips over a pub bench, breaking their wrist and signing them off work for a month

Read more about personal accident insurance

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always check policy documentation for details and seek professional advice. Read our full Terms and Conditions

How much does groundworks insurance cost?

Find out how much you’ll pay by comparing prices from a range of trusted insurers. You choose what goes into your policy, so you only pay for what you need.

Prices start from £5.17 per month

Get your quotes in 7 minutes – prices are guaranteed for 30 days.

Get your tailored quotes in 7 minutes

Start your quote

How we work out example prices We take the highest price from the bottom 10 per cent of all our customers paying in monthly instalments (based on data from 1 July - 31 December 2020). Most customers pay more than this but some pay less.

Example groundworker insurance quotes, real prices

£13.48 /month

£114.81 /year

A self employed groundworker working on residential properties in the local area

  • 1-2 years' experience
  • Sole trader
  • No employees
  • Based in Sheffield

Public liability

£1,000,000


Employers liability

Not included


Tools

Not included

£160.23 /month

£1424.26 /year

A small groundwork that has employees but also uses a part time casual worker

  • 5+ years' experience
  • Limited company
  • 2 employees
  • Based in Cardiff

Public liability

£2,000,000


Employers liability

£10,000,000


Tools

£5,000

How we work out example quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 11/01/2021). They’re based on a range of factors, like employees and location. Your own quote will be based on what you tell us about your business. Prices may go up or down from day to day, so the prices you’re quoted may differ to the ones you see here.

What kind of excess should I expect?

An excess is an amount you pay towards any claim you make on your insurance. For example, if your excess is £250 and you make a claim worth £1000, your payout will be a maximum of £750.

Insurance coverLowest excessHighest excess
Public liability£100£2500
Employers' liabilityNo excessNo excess
Tools£60£500
Stock£100£500
Business and office equipment£50£750

The figures above are for guidance only and any excess applying to your quote may differ. You’ll get a breakdown of the excesses for each quote when you compare with us.

How it works

  • Pick what goes into your policy

    Only pay for what you need

  • Get prices from a range of insurers

    Choose the best fit for you

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    Get your documents the same day

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We handle claims, so you can get on with business

How do I choose insurance?

Making sure you have the right type and level of business insurance can be the difference between getting a claim paid and having to cover the cost of an expensive accident yourself. Read our tips for guidance on what to consider when buying a policy.

Is public liability enough for third party property damage?

In some situations you may need more than public liability to cover certain kinds of property damage.

Can I just cover my most expensive tools?

Make sure you cover the total cost of replacing all your tools or you’ll only get a proportion of your claim paid out if something happens to them. Learn about tool cover.

Which type of workers do I need insurance for?

Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ people.

If you have people working for you, including bona fide subcontractors (BFSC), labour-only subcontractors (LOSC), part-timers, or full-time staff, employers’ liability insurance is required by law.

Read on for our simplified guide to the difference between labour-only subcontractors and bona fide subcontractors.

Will tools insurance cover all my equipment?

Depending on what you use to do your work, you may need other covers.

You may need more than tools insurance – for example, business equipment insurance if you have a work laptop, plant insurance if you use machinery.

Does groundworkers insurance cover my work correctly?

Make sure you're picking the right cover to protect you properly. It's important to know that if you have another trade or job, you'll need additional cover. For example, do you need to consider builders insurance or gardening insurance?

Do I need cover for other types of work?

If you provide these services alongside building work, make sure you’re covered:

Other types of insurance


Talk to an expert

Our team of UK-based insurance experts are here to help, Mon 09.00am - 05.30pm, Tues 09.00am - 05.30pm, Weds 09.00am - 05.30pm, Thurs 09.30am - 05.30pm, Fri 09.00am - 05.30pm, Sat 09.00am - 02.00pm

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FAQs

Find answers to common insurance questions

How do claims work?

Unlike price comparison websites, we take the hassle out of claims for you. We know how important it is to get your business back on track quickly – and with a minimum of fuss. That’s why you get access to your dedicated claims any time, day or night. Call them on 0333 207 0560 or claim online. They’ll do their best to be fair and supportive. The figure below is rounded across our range of products. Our claims process may vary for different products and operates on a ‘claim by claim’ basis.

£30 million in claims paid out in 2019

Paying 80% of settled claims within 24 hours in 2019

Example claim

Having groundworkers’ insurance through Simply Business has saved trade professionals thousands of pounds when the unexpected happened.

Gary saved more than £8,421

Gary (not his real name) hit a public sewer pipe while digging on site, causing significant damage to the contract works and other property. The public liability cover in his groundworker insurance policy covered him for third party property damage.

Insurance payout

£8,421.01

Covering the cost of third party property damage


Gary’s costs

£100

The excess amount stated in Gary’s policy terms

Chosen by 800,000 small businesses

We started out as a team of five back in 2005. We’ve grown since then with 600,000 customers across 1,500 trades now trusting us to provide their business insurance.

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Insurance for groundworkers FAQs

Whether you’re new to buying business insurance or you’ve been trading for a while, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about groundwork insurance. You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

  • Yes. It’s important to make sure you have the right type and level of insurance for the different types of work you do. For example, if you’re a plumber, you may also do building work on certain jobs – you’ll need additional cover for this, but you can have it all on the one policy.

    When you start your quote, you’ll have the option to add another trade or profession to your policy. If you need to add a third trade, give us a call on 0333 043 8527 and one of our insurance experts will help you set up your policy in minutes.

  • Each insurer looks at CCJs and IVAs differently – some apply stricter rules than others, but having a CCJ or IVA doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to buy insurance.

  • You can choose the payment type that suits your business and cash flow best. Some customers prefer to pay in one go, while others prefer to pay a regular monthly amount, like you do with lots of other bills. Simply Business offer three ways to pay for your policy:

    • one-off credit or debit card payment
    • BACS payment
    • Direct Debit

    If you choose to pay by Direct Debit, our credit provider, Premium Credit, pays Simply Business the full amount for your policy up front. You then repay Premium Credit in 10 monthly instalments.

  • If you change your business legal structure from sole trader to limited company mid-way through your policy, give us a call straight away on 0333 043 8527. It’ll only take us a few minutes to cancel your existing policy and replace it with one that correctly covers your new legal structure. It’s worth bearing in mind that your insurer and premium amount may need to change.

  • This will depend on whether you have employers’ liability insurance in place. Public liability insurance is designed to protect your business against the consequences of legal action brought by members of the public for injuries or damage to their belongings. But when it comes to your employees causing injury or damage, this protection only activates if you also have employers’ liability insurance.

    If you employ people, you’re required by law to have employers’ liability insurance.

    There’s one exception here. Family businesses that aren’t incorporated as a limited company are not legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. The government defines a “family business” as one where all your employees are closely related to you (as a spouse, civil partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, step-parent, stepchild or half-sibling). So if you run an unincorporated family business and you choose not to get employers’ liability insurance, it’s important to know that your public liability insurance wouldn’t cover you against damage or injury caused by your team.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always check policy documentation for details and seek professional advice. Read our full Terms and Conditions

Helpful articles for groundworkers

Groundworkers preparing the ground and laying pipes

21 May 2021 • 5-minute read

Groundworker: how to become one and be self-employed

Groundworkers insurance

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