Benefits of 'goods in transit' policies as construction industry struggles against shortages and rises

A shortage of HGV drivers remains a huge issue, with little sign of improvement in the next few months
Katherine Medwell

THE construction industry at all levels across Northern Ireland continues to face the challenges of unprecedented materials shortages and eye-watering price rises for products.

In its latest Construction Product Availability statement, the Construction Leadership Council said demand for products has fallen from the peaks seen during spring and summer but insisted the market remains extremely strong.

For example, manufacturing of roof tiles and bricks remains at full capacity and the price of cement remains volatile with increases expected in some quarters in the coming months.

The expectation from all regions and sectors across the UK is that this situation within the industry will continue during the final quarter of 2021.

One of the reasons given for the easing in demand for products has been a slight softening in residential DIY and repair, maintenance and improvement projects.

Meanwhile there continues to be major challenges around logistics and related labour shortages. The shortage of HGV drivers remains the biggest issue across all sectors of the industry with little sign of improvement ahead of the first quarter of 2022.

Overall, it is a worrying situation for the industry in Northern Ireland.

Earlier this year, the Construction Employers Federation which is the sole certified representative body for the construction industry in Northern Ireland, conducted its State of the Trade survey.

It revealed that 30 per cent of respondents reported a risk to the survival of their business while 78 per cent said they had been seriously impacted by the rising costs of materials.

For smaller construction firms and tradesmen who often transport materials in their vehicles it is worth considering the financial impact theft or damage to these items could bring.

The financial implications of the worst happening could be a lot worse today than they would have been 18 months ago. It is also likely that these costs will have to be covered by the small business or tradesman.

A 'goods in transit' insurance policy could provide real peace of mind against such situations.

This policy covers items that you are transporting from one place to another as part of your business, protecting them against theft loss or damage during the transportation process itself.

The best insurance brokers will have dedicated teams who can tailor your insurance policy to your business. They will be able to boost your cover to include policies such as goods in transit and tool cover.

Tool cover will enable you to replace your tools and equipment if they are lost or stolen, helping you get back to work as fast as possible.

In the face of fluctuating markets, it is also prudent advice to conduct annual reviews of your insurance cover.

Again, the best brokers will have an expert on hand to undertake the review to ensure you have the right level of financial protection and cover in place as your business needs evolve.

:: Katherine Medwell is commercial account executive at AbbeyAutoline (

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