Just got my annual workshop insurance bill.


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Established Member
6 Mar 2015
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Just got my annual insurance bill for my workshop. It seems a bit steep to me and I would be interested to know what other professionals think. Especially those who run a similar sort of business to me. Does this price sound realistic to you guys?

First of all I should admit that I never shopped around when I first took out the policy just over 10 years ago. At the time I was on the committee of a kid‘s football club and one of the other committee members was an insurance broker and we were spending a lot of time together back then going to meetings, marking pitches, organising games and so on and had become mates. He organised everything for me and I started off paying £665 per year.

What I get for this is ‘comprehensive’ insurance that covers, fire, flood, theft etc in the joinery shop itself. I am listed as having £40,000 worth of plant and tools and £30,000 worth of stock on the policy. Although, the former number is probably low and the latter is too high; to be honest these are just projections I plucked out of my @RSE when I first set up the policy as I wasn’t yet sure what kind of work I was going to get. There is also a £1,000,000 public liability insurance clause covered in the policy as I also do some carpentry in customer’s houses.

Anyway, 10 years later my policy bill has crept up to around £840 per year. Does this seem resonable to you guys? My workshop is a very typical one man joinery - extractors, table saw, band saw, moulder, lathe, jointer and all the other machines and tools you’d expect to carry out our trade. All these are single phase machines as I get free electricity as part of my rent at the business park: but only 240v. The shop is about 12m x 10m with some extra square meterage on a mezannine.

Any advice gratefully received.
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I don’t have any experience with insurance for your specific needs but in general you should always shop around , there is no such thing anymore as loyalty to good customers and they will squeeze every penny out of your pocket. Are there any comparison sites for this type of insurance. Insurance providers know that a lot of people don’t have the time to shop around or don’t want the hassle so they will keep banging up the premium knowing that your likely not to even question it. If your still within the cooling of period then start looking. if it’s passed then you may have to pay to get out of it . Hopefully this is helpful. No doubt there will be other members in your position with more specific advice.
I organised buildings and contents insurance for the private ambulance service that I used to work at, in terms of values we were dealing with similar sorts of numbers but a much larger building space and from memory our policy came back to be just under £1000 (split between three sites).
I guess from a woodwork perspective the risks are higher, increased risk of fire and theft being the main two?
£665 to £840 over a ten year period is a ~£17.50 increase per year, roughly 2.5% change each year, looking at inflation over that time it seems reasonable? As Bingy man says though I'd still shop around as no loyalty anymore in any service provider!!
ur lucky u can get any kind of insurance for tools etc.....
I was refused insurance for my machine shop......
had it inspected by the ins comp and found no faults in the security....
they said it was just to risky.....bad area I guess.....
after a few years, sold up......went abroad.....
Sounds reasonable.

Completely different but we have been with the rac for 20+ years and not shopped around to save a £10 or two... I sometimes think it might have helped when we have broken down?

Maybe the same might apply to you.

Car insurance well that's another balk game!🤣🤣
Unfortunately it does seem realistic, it is similar to mine.
Shopping around is pretty tricky for this type of insurance as few companies will even consider joinery stuff.
I have Zurich which I found through a broker it was about the only option for various reasons and the type of building it is.

Sounds reasonable to me, I had a workshop on a short term let to build a one off boat back in 2013 for just over a year, it cost me £1500 to insure & that was pared to the bone with tools not covered. All that was covered was building insurance & stock/ work in progress totalling about 15k, plus of course third party of 5 million.
I would suggest that you need to up your third party as its too low. Attend any public event as an exhibitor & councils or organisers usually insist on at least 2.5 million insurance these days.
My home office insurance which covers lower values of kit but the same public liability is just over £500 so your rate doesn’t look to be far out.

A big surprise for me this year was our house insurance. I got the renewal through as usual and the premium was REDUCED by nearly half. I rang them and the agent was also surprised but checked it and it is correct. I of course asked if I had been over charged for the last few years. The answer was a very quick No 🙄
I was paying £2,700 for business insurance: theft, PL, employees liability insurance, flooding, fire, business interruption, goods in transit, work in progress.

that was for a joinery company employing 5 people

I reckon your price is not out of the way.

I made the fatal mistake of accepting a lower offer from our broker one year…all great until the insurance assessor came in….all his requirements cost me £5k.
I don't think there has ever been any. I am just to lazy to change most of the time due to the paperwork.
But that’s unfortunately what they as a business depend on , that’s how new customers get the best deal -it even says so “ new customers only “ then the savvy new customers only stay a year and move on .
As with most insurance - read the policy carefully as prices can change materially depending on cover and exclusions.

For a workshop this may extend to - eg:
  • security systems
  • marking machines
  • fitting correct safety kit - limit switches, guards etc
  • type of alarm and locks
  • limits to individual item values
  • etc etc
In the event of a claim you do not want it rejected for non-compliance in some way. Worth paying a bit extra for cover that "fits".
Since 2022, the FCA has banned price walking, i.e. increasing prices for existing policies just because they can.
That means you've had several years of price-walking applied to your policy.

Insurers are still allowed to offer discounts to new customers.

Unfortunately as insurance companies are largely a data-sharing price-fixing risk-adverse cartel (regardless of what the regulators say), you may struggle to find a better option and the consensus here seems to be that it is a decent price for the policy...

There is more competition in car insurance so one should always shop around, IIRC customers who are with their insurers for 10 years are paying 80% over the odds.