It’s all in the detail

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By Christopher Bates, Divisional Director of Corporate & Commercial:

Insurance policy terms and conditions – they simply make no sense!

Have you ever tried to read your Public Liability insurance policy? If you have, you’ll agree it’s like trying to decipher the Da Vinci code.

Poor grammar, no consistency of language, definitions, bold words, words in italics, conditions, warranties, exclusions, obligations… what do they all mean?

As more and more of us are using aggregator websites like or compare the meerkat to obtain cheap policies online, this means we are putting more pressure than ever on ourselves to understand policy wordings and to get it right. I get it, saving money is great! We love to spend our money on new tools or iPhones, not insurance.

The cheaper we get an insurance policy the better right?

Saving money is great, but there is always a downside. Buying cheap policies online, generally means you will have to read the terms & conditions of the policy yourself. If this is the road you want to take, fine, but beware.

Lots of our members become confused when reading conditions or exclusions surrounding Heat Work or Working from Heights.

Without boring you with a tedious insurance sermon, here are a few tips to allow you to navigate your way through the choppy seas of Heat Work or Working from Heights conditions or exclusions:

1. Be honest with yourself and understand whether you are working with heat or at height. If you’re doing neither, a heat or height exclusion won’t matter. However if you’re using a blow torch to connect pipes or fitting a kitchen in a block of flats, you need to make sure you’re covered (unless you have spare cash to pay for compensation if something goes wrong).

2. Now you’ve admitted you’re working with heat or at height, this is important! Make sure you read your policy to see whether you’re covered whilst you work with heat or at height!

3. The wording surrounding heat or height work can be confusing. Make sure you read it carefully. Read it a few times to be certain. I’ve seen policies for plumbers which exclude the use of heat. It’s ridiculous, they may as well exclude working with water too!

I hate to tell you this, but if you’ve found a super cheap policy online, there’s every chance it’s going to be riddled with exclusions.

4. Now you’re reading the wording around heat work and working from heights, you need to understand whether there are restrictions or onerous obligations. I’ve seen loads of different working at height wordings, some of which state it’s you’re covered 5 metres from ground level, whilst others say 5 metres from floor level.

Doesn’t this mean the same thing? No, it’s doesn’t!

One means you can’t work in a 3 third floor flat, whilst the other does. Look, bargain policies aren’t always bad, just make sure you understand what you’re buying.


If you can’t be bother and would rather spend your time making money, use BiKBBI’s recommended insurance broker. They offer a wording with limit exclusions or conditions. You can get a quote online by following this link

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