Contractors Insurance Overview
It isn’t easy to be a contractor. As the middle-man for any given project, you have all the stress of managing your client’s expectations, budget and timeline along with the fees, idiosyncrasies and scheduling issues of any subcontractors you need to hire. In addition, you have the ever-present stress of completing whatever portion of the job that you need to do yourself.
And while there is no real way around these struggles, there is something you can do to make your life easier. Contractors insurance is a must-have product so that your liabilities as a contractor are covered under your own policy and your wallet is protected. Also, since your clients are less likely to hire a contractor whose liabilities must be covered under their homeowners insurance policy, contractors insurance is likely to help you gain business over the years.
There are many different coverage options you can consider when looking at contractors insurance policies. Some of the most popular include:
General Liability: If someone is injured or has any property damaged as a result of your actions or any of your subcontractor’s actions, you could be held liable. A general liability policy offers wide spread protection from these liabilities.
Workers compensation: Generally speaking, contractors are not responsible for providing workers compensation benefits to the subcontractors they hire. However, if you have any real employees on your payroll—maybe an assistant who handles phone calls and paperwork—then you should have workers compensation coverage.
Equipment/ Property: If you leave property or equipment anywhere that it is exposed to damage, you could have a hard time finding the money to replace it. For equipment that isn’t stored at your primary location and equipment that is, you need to consider commercial property and equipment coverage.
Auto: As a contractor, you may need to drive from job to job checking on the progress of your subcontractors or you may need to travel for meetings and onsite work. All that driving exposes you to additional risks that commercial auto insurance can help protect against.
Protection by Industry, Location and Profession
Another point for consideration in contractors insurance is whether to choose industry, profession or location-specific coverages.
Industry-Specific: Contractors work in many different industries. Some get down and dirty with building jobs while others work in an office with a computer as their primary power tool. Depending on your field, you may want to choose contractors insurance that is specific to your work—like construction or roofing contractors insurance. Another consideration you should make is the potential for environmentally hazardous waste within your business. If you deal with waste, either the creation or removal of it, then you may also consider environmental insurance.
Location-Specific: Some contractors keep all their business close to home and take on only domestic clients. Others might work with clients all over the world. If you do any work internationally, you need to expand your liability coverage beyond the domestic policy you might have and get international insurance.
Professional: As a respected professional, you are responsible for being thorough and bringing an expert knowledge into every job that you do. While general liability covers damages that stem from physical and environmental issues with your work, professional liability deals with errors and omissions that you might make.
As a contractor, you have the power to work within your own hours, at your own pace and in your own office location. But this freedom doesn’t make you free from the concerns and risks that every business owner faces—from those with a brick and mortar retail store to those with a medical practice. Work with your agent to create a contractors insurance policy that covers the specific risks you face each day so you can focus on the tasks at hand rather than the potential liabilities.
Commercial Insurance Agent
MIG Agency LLC
CUSTOMER TESTIMONY – “Thank you for working to fill in all the gaps n my information and for crafting the right insurance for my business” – Amy Larovere, A Larovere Consulting LLC