At last; an insurance broker who understands the needs of a small furniture workshop making handmade fine furniture, and who does not think that we spend our whole life dropping cigarette butts onto piles of wood shavings left under part-finished dining suites! I would thoroughly recommend them to anyone with a similar business to my own.
What I was looking for was the standard public liability cover for me and my finished furniture, cover for my tools, and cover for my stock of timber, work in progress, and finished pieces on their way to the clients. It did not seem complex, and I could not believe that I was the first person to want these things, but I did not seem to fit into any of the standard categories online. "Craft" schemes seemed to expect me to be making high volumes of low-cost items at home that I would then take to sell at craft fairs. On the whole the cover was inadequate, or would have been prohibitively expensive to cover the value of my work and tools. Carpenters' insurance schemes looked a little bit more promising but seemed to expect me to be working on site and again the cover was inadequate and there was nothing that would cover the value of a finished hand made piece of furniture. There were brokers who went away and tried to put together a policy specifically for me but the quotations came back extremely high and often with inadequate cover for one or other aspect of my work.
Then a friend and fellow furniture maker – thank you (Matt Rogers) suggested I try the NFU (National Farmers Union). As it happens there is an office in my local town, but a very nice man there had similar problems to many of those that I had talked to online. The price was very high and the fact that there was no bank vault-like security wall between my own working space and the joinery workshop that I rent from seemed to create an insurmountable problem; that and the usual cigarette butt on wood shavings issue – and I do not even smoke! I had given up on them until Matt complained that I went specifically to the office that he had deal with in Bideford in Devon. That is where I came across Brian Butler of NFU Mutual. "Yes sir, certainly sir, I know exactly what you're talking about, I will get a quote to you." It was music to my ears, and he came up with the goods. Just to give you an idea, my insurance costs me a little under £ 500 a year. It's not trivial, but in the end it only puts up my daily rate by a couple or three pounds, and it does mean that if the worst were to happen it would not mean bankruptcy and the end of my furniture making career. I can also increase the cover for short periods if I have a particularly expensive piece in the workshop or in transit.
Source by Grant Sonnex