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Contractor Insurance Tips

If you are a general contractor, you know getting the right insurance in place can be time consuming. You can't always go with just the cookie cutter policy. Maybe you don't have any roofing exposure so your premium shouldn't be based on that risk. Perhaps you are a one man company without employees, do you need work comp then? It's important to make sure you are covered but not over insured at the same time. Having the right coverage in place can offer you peace of mind so you can focus on other things.

Here are a few things to consider when looking into insurance to cover your individualized company needs. Various options for coverage are available depending on what your exposure is. Such as painting, carpet laying, roofing, siding, etc. Each exposure is rated differently. Make sure you tell your agent all the things you do in the scope of your work so there are no gaps in the event you do have a loss.

A major loss to your business or contents is always a possibility. Fire, theft or natural disasters can strike at any time. Commercial property insurance can safeguard against these type of loses and can be used in a package policy with other products such as business auto or workers compensation to round our your insurance portfolio. Having coverage in place in the event you have a loss can protect you from not being able to continue working. If all of your tools are stolen form the job site, your business personal property would cover those items so you can get right back to work.

Your business vehicles, regardless if they are owned or rented, can present it's own unique number of risks. Having business auto coverage can cover liability and physical damage coverage for your vehicles. Don't be caught unprepared if you have a vehicle loss. Make sure your policy is in force to protect you against losing time for work because you're vehicle was in an accident or stolen.

Are you a sub-contractor? Are you the general contractor? Two different types of risk. If you are general contractor and sub work out, you are going to make sure you have that exposure covered in the event that sub-contractor is involved in a loss. Make sure you always get a Certificate of Insurance (COI) from any sub-contracting you hire, requesting to be added as an additional insured on their policy as well. If you are a sub-contractor, make sure you have the correct coverage in place to protect you. Be prepared to offer COI's to your general contractor on every job. Coming to an agreement between contractors and sub-contractors is vital for you both to succeed. Make sure you know whose policy would be responsible in a loss so you aren't left liable for something your policy doesn't cover.

Most commercial or homeowners policies do not provide coverage for things such as building materials or expensive equipment like compressors, nail or paint guns, etc on a job site. A builder's risk policy and installation insurance could provide that extra protection during the build out phase. Imagine showing up on a job site to find all of your building materials were stolen over night. You are now faced with the prospect of losing money on your job because you can't complete it until those materials are replaced. If you don't have a policy to cover that, you may have to eat the initial cost because you have to replace those materials or equipment. Ouch.

As a contractor you are susceptible to many risks which could result from bodily injury, property damage, personal injury and many more. And back to the sub-contractors you might hire; you might be responsible for damage they might cause. If you don't have a general liability policy in force, a large claim could shut you down. We would never suggests having only general liability for your company, but at the bare minimum, you should always carry general liability to cover you if something goes wrong.

And finally, workers comp. Laws are in force to protect your workers in the event of a work place injury occurring. Not only would you be liable to cover the costs associated with your employee's injury including but not limited to things such as lost wages, pain and suffering, etc., but you could also be given some hefty fines by your state for not having the coverage in place. A single work comp claim could have the potential to shut you down.

There are so many pieces to contractor's insurance that just grabbing the most inexpensive cookie cutter policy might not actually provide the coverage you need for the exposures you have. It's absolutely a conversation you want to have with your agent. Sit down and spend some time combing through your risk exposures with your agent. Let's make sure you have no gaps anywhere that could have the potential to ruin your business. You've worked hard building it into what it is today, let's make sure we are Protecting What's Important.

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