Offshore energy contractor insurance - The back of an offshore energy worker walking on to his work site in the evening.

Which are the best liabilities insurance policies for energy contractors, and why?

Posted on 12th May 2021 by


offshore energy contractors liability insurance

A simple guide to insurance for energy contractors, including infographic.


Life as an offshore energy contractor can be greatly rewarding, but the profession comes with high levels of risk that are rarely experienced in any other industry sector.

Contractors working in the energy sector require specific types, and levels of cover to ensure they can legally work on certain contracts and to ensure they are fully protected from the hazards of day-to-day operations.

We explain how the following Caunce O’Hara insurance products will provide you with the cover you need and why you need them.


Business combined liabilities insurance

At Caunce O’Hara we offer public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance as part of our business combined liabilities insurance package.

Public liability insurance is typically one of the key insurance covers that are stipulated in contracts and are vital for offshore and onshore energy contractors to protect you should you be held responsible for damage to property, or injury to other contractors or members of the public.

As a limited company that employs one or more members of staff, it is a legal requirement under the Employers Liability Act (1969) that you carry employers’ liability insurance. Many contracts carry a substitution clause that you cannot comply with if you did not carry this type of cover, thus breaching the client contract and exposing yourself and the company to HMRC scrutiny.

Government legislation states that the minimum level of cover is £5m. £10m of cover is available under the combined liabilities insurance policy, but cover is limited to £5m in any one event in respect of offshore risks and terrorism.

The business combined insurance policy also offers £5,000 of general business contents insurance as standard, with the option to increase cover up to £10,000. The policy will cover computers, electronic equipment, furniture, stationery, and documents within your property. These contents are covered for ‘All Risks’, which includes theft, fire, water damage from burst pipes and malicious damage.

The policy also offers optional cover, including:

  • portable equipment insurance up to £5,000 worldwide whilst working away from home or based at a clients’ site.
  • Manual Work cover for contractors who undertake at least 20% manual work as part of their job.
  • Offshore Work cover, which provides cover for the insured person whilst they are working offshore from the point of final departure to an offshore oil rig or support vessel until the employee disembarks onto land upon their return.

Starting at only £112 per annum (£212 for offshore workers) this policy represents fantastic value when you consider how much cover is provided.


Click here for a quick quote for your liabilities insurance in as little as 90 seconds!


offshore energy contractors insurance

Professional indemnity insurance for contractors

Even the most successful contractors will have made mistakes at some point in their career. Mistakes and trial and error are how lessons are learned and they provide valuable information for how business processes can be improved.

But in some cases, mistakes can be expensive to rectify, potentially leaving the person in question in an uneasy position.

That is why professional indemnity insurance for contractors is vital if you provide professional services, including advice and/or designs to clients.

The PI policy will provide cover if a client makes a claim against you for alleged negligence in work you have completed for them which has resulted in them suffering a financial loss.

The policy is written on a ‘claims made basis’, which means the policy must be in force at the time the claim is made, rather than at the time the event occurred.

PI policies will typically cover you for the following:

  • A negligent act, or errors made in your work.
  • Unintentional infringement of intellectual property rights.
  • Loss of data or documents entrusted to you.
  • Unintentional breach of confidence.
  • Unintentional libel or slander.


As a contractor it is important to be aware that, if you make an error in your work or omit something essential, you could be liable for the legal costs incurred in correcting the error if you do not have professional indemnity insurance in place.

For many contractors, professional indemnity insurance is stipulated as a requirement of the contract by the hiring client. To this end, the key benefits of carrying PI not only include the protection and peace of mind the policy offers, but also that carrying PI insurance helps you to win contracts.


Legal expenses insurance

Legal expenses insurance is not a widely considered form of cover but is a policy that provides a fantastic level of protection, and at only it represents great value for money for contractors and small business owners.

The policy provides up to £100,000 of cover (in any one claim) for legal costs incurred from the following instances:

  • Contract Disputes
  • Employment Disputes & Compensation Awards
  • Court attendance costs, including jury service
  • Tax Protection, including tax and VAT enquiries
  • Legal Defence Cover
  • Contract Disputes
  • Personal Injury
  • Identity Theft
  • Data Protection Defence & Compensation cover
  • Landlord Disputes

offshore drilling contractors insurance

Personal accident and travel insurance

Engineering can be a dangerous environment to work in depending on your profession. Working offshore adds unique risks to the engineering environment that make working in the energy sector one of the most hazardous of all.

The personal accident policy is essential for contractors working in hazardous environments and has been specifically written for contractors working in the Energy sector. With this in mind, we provide kidnap and detention cover under this policy.

An injury sustained in the course of your work may prevent you carrying out your work and without work you could run into financial difficulties.

Our innovative personal accident policy provides financial help should you suffer from an injury and also includes cover for business travel worldwide, excluding the following countries: Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Pakistan (other than Punjab and Sin Provinces) Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The policy is available in four ‘stepped’ packages as follows: basic, standard, silver, and gold, please contact us for details of the cover each package provides.


The travel insurance options are:

Option a) Business Travel Only.

Option b) Business & Holiday Travel Cover. This policy will cover your spouse and your dependent children.

Cover includes:

  • Medical and additional expenses
  • Cancellation and curtailment
  • Journey continuation cover
  • Delay
  • Personal Liability
  • Employment Replacement
  • Hospital Benefit
  • Personal baggage, clothing or effects
  • Tools
  • Money up to £1,500 (cash limit £500)
  • Delayed baggage cover

Trips exceeding 90 days are excluded unless disclosed and agreed with underwriters.

For further information about the personal accident and travel policy please call 0333 321 1403.


Click here for a quick quote for your liabilities insurance in as little as 90 seconds!


Contract reviews

A contract review will help to clarify your position as a contractor for your working practices and for your tax status in the eyes of HMRC.

This service has become more important than ever since the launch of the private sector off-payroll working legislation (IR35), which came into force on 6 April 2021.

At Caunce O’Hara we offer contract reviews at a reduced cost of only £60.00 per contract (usual cost £199). This fantastic price is only available when the contract review is purchased with our legal expenses insurance policy.

Contact us today to find out more information about this service and our other IR35-related insurance products on 0333 321 1403.

To find out more about contract reviews and IR35


Health and Safety Service

Assistance with Health & Safety legislation by provision of a full Health & Safety policy statement which can be personally tailored to your company and is provided by our partners at Themis Support Services. Please note, this is a service not an insurance policy.

In addition to the Health & Safety policy statement you will be provided with log in details to sit an online course (maximum of 30 minutes) on Health & Safety in the working environment – this is to the actual level required by HSE. Please note, this online course is for one person only and only one person can sit the online exam.

Upon completion of this exam a unique ID card, that the holder can use as evidence to their having successfully completed our Health, Safety and Environment training will be provided. This card will have a picture of the contractor, a unique contractor number and a web address that can be used by the client to validate the details.

This service is provided by HSE Passport. HSE Passport is a rapidly expanding service focused on providing generic Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental training to freelance contractors working throughout the UK.

Contractors may work through their own company, an umbrella company or may be self-employed. Whatever the trading arrangement, the client has a responsibility to ensure that they have carried out a full risk assessment on their premises. The client has a responsibility to provide health and safety training and ensure that each contractor understands any risks they may be exposed to. To win work, the contractor must meet the clients’ health and safety standards.

Participating in the HSE Passport saves time, saves money, and could ultimately save lives.


Why you should choose Caunce O’Hara for your insurance protection

Caunce O’Hara are vastly experienced at providing insurance for contractors in the offshore energy industry and offer cover for professionals working in oil refineries, offshore oil and gas rigs, chemical works, power stations, and in the renewables sector.


Click here for a quick quote for your liabilities insurance in as little as 90 seconds!


If you prefer to speak to one of our team, please call 0333 321 1403


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