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Insurance for mining contractors

Although mining may be cooling off after the past decade’s boom, it is still a huge industry in Australia.

Around a quarter of a million people are employed directly in the mining industry,[1]and many thousands more are employed in related areas.

A portion of these people operate as contractors or subcontractors, and will therefore need their own insurance.

Finding cover

The first thing you’ll notice when you start looking for quotes is that many insurance companies are uncomfortable with anything involving mining.

This is especially true of the retail insurers such as AAMI and NRMA etc. If your work has anything to do with mining you’ll most likely need to deal with a specialist insurer.

In most cases this will mean going via an insurance broker, but this should be seen as a positive, as a broker will be best placed to find you the best deal.

Something to keep in mind is that your insurance is going to be more expensive. This is not because you’re using a broker, but because your insurance will be with a specialist provider.

Types of cover

If you are working as a contractor or subcontractor, the first type of cover you will most likely be asked about is public liability insurance.

This policy will cover you in the event that your work actities result in property damage or personal injury to another person.

If you are providing advice or working in a professional role you may also be required to hold professional indemnity insurance.

This cover is somewhat similar to public liability, but covers losses relating to your professional services rather than your physical activities.

Type of work

We mentioned earlier that it can be tricky finding insurance when you work on mining sites, but just how tricky depends on the specific type of work you are doing.

Mining or non-mining operations

The first consideration is whether your work involves the actual mining operations or not.

A lot of tradesmen work on building and maintaining on-site accommodation. Although the work is located on the mine, it does not involve the mining operations.

In this case insurance will be much easier (and cheaper) to obtain, but you’ll still often find that the big mainstream insures will not offer cover.

Underground or above ground

Whether or not you work underground will have a major impact on all forms of insurance you might need, including public liability and income protection.

You can still obtain all forms of cover when working underground, but you will need to go through a specialist insurer or underwriter.

If you deal with an insurance broker who has experience with underground workers you will find the whole process a lot easier.

Explosives handling

If you deal with explosives your insurance options will be more limited, but it is certainly still possible to obtain cover.

Where it gets very difficult is when you combine underground work with explosives.

Cover can still be obtained in some cases, but it will be more expensive and using a broker with good mining experience will be a must.

More information

Whilst it may sound from the above that insurance is going to be a major hassle for those working in the mining industry, it certainly doesn’t have to be.

The key is using an insurance broker who is familiar with the industry and who has provided cover to other mine workers.

One more tip is to make sure you let your insurance company or broker know everything about your mining work.

Whilst it may be tempting answer ‘no’ to the questions relating to mine sites, if you ever need to claim your claim will almost certainly be declined.

It’ just not worth it when you consider the consequences.

For more information about miners insurance give our team a call on 1300 542 245 or complete our online quote request.

References:

1. Mining Careers, About the industry. Available from: http://www.miningcareers.com/about-the-industry. [22 September 2014].