The plumber often works on renovation or construction sites, alone or in a team. This professional craftsman carries out his missions according to the plans provided. He must be in good physical shape and the ability to work in awkward postures.
He can exercise his activity for his own account or as a subcontractor (see the decennial insurance subcontracting ) for a large construction company. Its role is to install along the partitions and walls the pipes for the toilets, the kitchen …
It may also be responsible for installing radiators, air conditioning and heat pumps or even fitting out bathrooms. But his work does not stop with the installation of pipes and equipment. It is also responsible for ensuring the maintenance and upkeep of these installations and of the water and gas pipes . In case of emergency, he may have to work every day of the week, weekends and holidays included.
Why take out civil and ten-year liability as a plumber?
According to the Spinetta law, the plumber must take out decennial insurance, like any other professional in a construction trade. In principle, it was not required for trades in plumbing and sanitary installations. Pipes, valves, hot water tanks, radiators or taps are simply considered as items of equipment. Intervening on these elements does not require major works. They are therefore subject to the two-year guarantee, also called the guarantee of proper functioning .
However, the craftsman often installs equipment inseparable from construction such as hidden piping, geothermal heating, embedded pipes, air conditioning and water heater. These elements could affect the solidity of the building in the future and the repair cannot be carried out without affecting the integrity of the construction. They are also considered as development works . Consequently, in the event of a claim, the plumber’s liability can therefore be incurred on the basis of the ten-year insurance.
For all these reasons, according to article 1792-1 of the Civil Code, it is compulsory for a plumber to take out the ten-year plumber guarantee .
And in the case of subcontracting?
In most cases, plumbers act as sub-contractors to the construction company responsible for the site. However, the Civil Code in its article 1792-1 stipulates that the ten-year guarantee is only imposed on builders who have entered into a contract with the owner of the property (the contracting authority). Does this exempt the subcontracting plumber from ten-year insurance? NO. If it is the cause of malfunctions of a ten-year nature, its liability may be sought by the main contractor or his insurer . In addition, the client can take legal action against a subcontractor plumber on the basis of ordinary civil liability law.
Another reason that should motivate a plumbing professional to purchase decennial insurance is that it is often necessary to win business . It is a guarantee of credibility and reliability .
What are the risks in the absence of a ten-year guarantee?
If a craftsman plumber does not take out the ten-year guarantee, he risks not only civil penalties, but also criminal penalties. According to article L243-3 of the Insurance Code, failure to take out such extensive insurance can lead to the conviction of the craftsman at fault. He is then liable to a prison sentence of 6 months and / or a fine of 75,000 euros .
In addition, you are liable in the event of a claim following your intervention. If you are not insured, you will be alone with the financial burdens for the necessary repairs. Making these expenses can put you out of business , depending on the extent of the damage. Being covered by insurance tailored to your needs is therefore a necessity. It is in your best interests to protect yourself financially and legally.