According to the latest research by home service marketplace Plentific.com, nearly four out of five homeowners admit that they would hire a trade professional without checking for public liability or professional indemnity insurance.
Hiring a trade professional who does not have the appropriate insurance cover can leave a homeowner financially vulnerable if things go wrong, or if they are dissatisfied with the work carried out.
All home improvement or renovation projects come with some risk. Without public liability insurance, any costs arising from on site injuries or damaged property will fall to the customer to pay. Similarly, if the work carried out, advice given or specialist services offered by a Pro are unsatisfactory, without professional indemnity insurance, the financial costs to amend the project will again fall to the homeowner to organise.
Shockingly, according to the research, only 54% of homeowners check the Gas Safe Register when hiring tradesmen to work on their gas utilities. This percentage drops to 48% for under 55-year-olds, but rises to 60% for homeowners aged 55 and over. Ensuring that a property’s gas utilities are safely maintained is essential to prevent serious hazards or accidents. Checking the Gas Safe Register lets homeowners know whether a trade professional is qualified to legally and safely carry out work on gas appliances.
The research shows that 57% of homeowners believe checking reviews from previous customers is a must before hiring a trade professional. Checking a trade professional’s website also ranked highly, with 43% of respondents claiming that this was a key step when hiring a professional. This trend was stronger for younger homeowners, with 63% of 18 to 34-year-olds following this rule, compared to just 39% of respondents aged 55 or over.
Knowing what to look for when hiring a professional may be daunting for some, so Plentific does all the hard work for the customer when it comes to checking credentials. The ‘Verified Pros’ available through Plentific have been thoroughly vetted to ensure that they have all the appropriate cover for their trades. With the added backing of the Plentific Guarantee, an industry first insurance policy that comes as standard with Verified Pros, homeowners can also benefit from an extra layer of protection if the job doesn’t go to plan.
Plentific has partnered with several high profile names in the property industry, including Simply Business, the UK’s biggest business insurance broker. This partnership makes it easier for Pros to keep on top of their insurance cover through automated notifications that alert them when their cover is due to expire, and by comparing the best deals on their behalf. For homeowners, this provides further reassurance when hiring a trade professional that they will be protected if something goes wrong.
Stephen Jury, Spokesperson for Plentific, commented, “It’s shocking to think that the majority of homeowners aren’t properly checking the tradesmen they let into their homes to carry out renovation or repair work. These projects can be costly, so if something goes wrong, it’s essential to be protected.
The fact that more homeowners check previous customer reviews over credentials such as the Gas Safe Register, could be surprising to some. However, it shows how much influence people put on real life testimonials and recent customer experiences."