For the first time ever, tradespeople are to be offered protection against customers who fail to provide them with a hot drink while on a job.

Being offered a hot drink by a customer has always been an unspoken rule between tradespeople and customers, however in recent years this tradition has slipped with too many customers failing to provide a cup of tea or coffee.

Research by Trade Direct found that as many as 55% of all customers fail to offer hot drinks, and this has prompted industry insurance specialists to develop a bespoke policy that not only would allow tradespeople to insure against clients who don’t make them a hot drink, but also those who serve them unacceptably weak brews.

In full, the policy would offer protection against:

• Failure to be provided with a hot drink (tea, coffee or other)

• Failure to be provided with an acceptable number of hot drinks relative to the length of the job

• Failure to be provided with a hot drink of acceptable strength

• Failure to be provided access to a kettle

To ensure the policy is fair, Trade Direct has developed a tea chart detailing the different acceptable levels of ‘brew’ strength, which tradespeople can print out and take to jobs.

Those interested in the policy can claim by providing visual evidence of a bad brew. The policy offers three levels of cover, ranging from poor taste and temperature to an absence of biscuits, costing £18.50 a year, £4.12 a month for 11 months with a £5.46 deposit.

The policy was preceded by research, which found that being made a hot drink that was too milky or not being made one at all was one of the things that annoyed tradespeople the most, affecting 10% of all those in the trade.

Research by Trade Direct found that customers in Glasgow are the worst offenders when it comes to being kettle shy. A shocking 13% of people in Scotland’s largest city say they never make their tradesperson a brew. Wolverhampton is the best city for parched installers though, receiving a hot drink on nearly two thirds of jobs.

Other findings from Trade Direct’s research shed more light on the nation’s weak tea epidemic, and included:

• 36% of customers leave the tea bag brewing less than 60 seconds. Yorkshire Tea recommends brewing the tea bag for 4-5 minutes

• Customers admit that they actually brew tea for less time if it’s for a tradespeople

• Despite this, more than half of customers rate their tea-making skills as good or excellent

Currently in development stage of the policy, Trade Direct is appealing for customers and tradespeople who have been on both sides of the hot-drink relationship to get in touch and provide feedback on their experiences to inform the final policy. Customers and tradesmen can get in touch with Trade Direct here.

Andrew Marlow, Sales & Service Manager at Trade Direct, said: “We pride ourselves on the service we offer tradespeople and we’re always looking at things we can do to keep them protected while on a job. It may sound trivial on paper or to someone outside of the trade, but to not be offered a hot drink or, even worse, be made one that is effectively a mug of tepid milk is a big deal to tradespeople – it’s called builder’s tea for a reason after all.

“If there was no tea on offer at every site across, the UK the downturn in productivity would be huge, along with the damage to morale. We’re stepping into help our tradespeople insure themselves against these non-caffeinated situations and hopefully educate clients along the way.”