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A guide to insurance for mining, construction, landscaping and civil contractors

Every business depends on trusted tools from the largest construction company to complex mining operations, sole trader contractors, to landscaping franchises.

Have you considered what you would do if your essential equipment was out of commission?

Plant and equipment insurance is a mission-critical measure protecting Australian businesses from the costs and downtime associated with breakdowns, damage and theft.

But before you go sourcing plant and equipment insurance quotes from insurers, it’s essential to understand this type of insurance. Every policy is unique. 

Let’s look at plant and equipment insurance in detail, including:

  • Who needs plant and equipment insurance
  • What it covers
  • Why you need a tailored business insurance policy
  • How Connect Business Insurance can help safeguard your business

Specialised equipment deserves specialised insurance cover. So while the below is not legal or authorised advice, it should give a general sense of plant and equipment insurance.

What is plant and equipment insurance?

Plant and equipment insurance covers the fixed and mobile equipment that contractors, builders, miners, landscapers and related industries use.

This includes owned and hired equipment. 

Plant and equipment insurance is essential for Australian companies, contractors, and subcontractors. In case of theft, breakdown or accidental damage, tailored cover has several benefits:

  • Less downtime
  • No out-of-pocket replacement expenses
  • Avoid penalties for hired equipment
  • Easy claiming

Plant and equipment insurance is usually added to a contract works insurance policy. This ensures the company is covered from every angle if anything happens during the pre-build, construction or post-handover phase of an operation.

What does plant and equipment cover insure?

As the name suggests, plant and equipment insurance covers heavy assets. Commonly, this calls to mind machinery like cranes, earthmovers, forklifts, and farming equipment.

However, your policy can also cover portable tools, spare parts and hired equipment.

It depends on the type of cover you choose.

Material damage

The most common plant and equipment insurance type, covering your business for damage, destruction, loss or theft.

Material damage insurance can also cover associated damages. For example, imagine your security fence is damaged when a thief takes your forklift for a joyride that ends in a crash. In that case, material damage insurance can replace the forklift, reclaim the stolen forklift, send it to the wreckers, and fix your fence. 

Breakdown

Transporting broken-down equipment to the repairers can cost a fortune. And that’s before you even pay for the repair. Breakdown insurance covers these costs, getting you back to work sooner.

Hired-in plant

Most contractors hire equipment at some point. Whether for specialist jobs, seasonal work, additional power or another reason, the hirer is still responsible for the equipment. If it is damaged or stolen while in your possession, hired-in asset provisions in your plant and equipment insurance protects your business from bearing the costs.

Does plant and equipment insurance cover tools?

Yes, your plant and equipment policy can cover portable tools. 

Every policy is different, so you need to discuss inclusions with an expert when you call Connect Business Insurance for a plant and equipment insurance quote. However, in general, cover can extend to portable tools.

Equipment like concrete mixers, jackhammers, horizontal directional drills, trench diggers, generators, mobile lighting and more can come under your policy. And depending on your specific policy, equipment might also be covered in transit.

Who needs plant and equipment insurance?

Any Australian contractor or subcontractor who depends on heavy equipment should consider plant and equipment insurance.

It’s not only for the building or resources sectors. Because plant and equipment insurance covers owned and hired equipment, spare parts, portable tools and transit cover, it applies to many industries across Australia:

  • Mining: Mine operators, mining contractors, haulage, exploration
  • Construction: Concreting, plumbing, earthmoving, crane hire
  • Infrastructure: Road construction, earthmoving, paving, tunnelling, crane hire, traffic management
  • Energy: Trenching, pipe laying, directional drilling, cabling 
  • Landscaping: Irrigation, agriculture, excavation and earthmoving, general work
  • Events: Power, sound, lighting, transport, bump-in and bump-out, waste management
  • Transport and logistics: Forklifts, loading equipment, tippers, trailers

Even if you’re a contracting company of one, and especially if you hire equipment to get the job done, plant and equipment insurance is your protection against downtime and losses.

Take advantage of every opportunity

After a downturn in 2020, analysts expect Australia’s construction industry and mining sector to grow in the coming years. 

All this activity presents ample opportunity for contractors and subcontractors. Carrying plant and equipment insurance enables businesses to grow with confidence. From investing in new assets to hiring machinery with confidence, this type of insurance mitigates many financial risks.

What else do I need to know before getting plant and equipment insurance quotes?

Plant and equipment insurance protects contractors and subcontractors against losses arising from breakdown, theft or damage to their essential tools. We know what is included:

  • Accidental damage
  • Replacement and recovery costs
  • Damage repair
  • Dry-hired equipment
  • Hired-in equipment
  • Portable tools
  • Spare parts
  • Attachments 
  • Transit cover

But what about what isn’t included? Again, it depends on policy specifics, but generally, some of the standard exclusions to plant and equipment insurance policies are:

These are all unique – though related – policy inclusions. Although it’s possible to take out standalone equipment insurance, most contractors can benefit from bundling all insurance requirements into a comprehensive business insurance policy. 

Our construction and trades insurance experts can tailor a policy to suit your requirements at Connect Business Insurance.

With cover for everything you need and nothing you don’t, Connect Business Insurance policies give you the confidence to grow your business.

Contact our team for a plant and equipment insurance quote or to discuss your needs with a trusted insurance professional.

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