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You have all the necessary tools, gear and equipment, the proper training and certifications, and more than enough drive and motivation, but do you have the right insurance coverage to sustain a successful Artisan & Contractor business?
To get to the position you are in today, it has probably taken years of proving yourself and your skill to others. Depending on your area of expertise, you’ve also spent hundreds of hours in theory classes, test-taking, and apprentice programs. Not to mention, the money and time you’ve expended making sure you’ve fulfilled and maintained the state’s strict licensure requirements.
With so much of your life and savings, not to mention heart and soul, invested in your company, you certainly want to do anything you can to protect it. From the most common construction risks to the unique exposures of your chosen field, there is an endless number of situations that could wreck a project, deplete your profits, and, ultimately, ruin your business.
Having the right insurance program in place is one of the best ways to secure your business against everything from minor mishaps to catastrophic events such as:
Your partially completed office building project catches fire, or is demolished by severe weather, or is wrecked by vandals
Expensive materials that you are installing, erecting or fabricating for a client are badly damaged in transit requiring thousands of dollars in repair
While hanging drywall, installing new electrical lines, or performing demolition work, your team accidently causes a release of contaminating substances
A few months after completing a project, the building owner alleges that your faulty workmanship resulted in extensive damage to their structure
For all of these things, and more, that can go wrong when you are an artisan or contractor, there are a variety of insurance solutions that can provide the crucial protection that you need.
The key components of a comprehensive insurance solution for Artisans & Contractors
Whether you’re the lead general contractor for a new home build or an integral part of a team involved in developing a large mixed-use space, it’s critical that you have the proper insurance protection.
To safeguard against the risks that could threaten your project timeline, blow up your budget, or, worst-case scenario, shut down your business, here are five important artisan and contractor insurance solutions you should consider:
Also known as Course of Construction Insurance, is perhaps the most important policy to secure for any construction project. This coverage is designed to protect everything from the structure you are building to the materials waiting to be installed, to other site essentials like portable toilets. Builders risk covers of all this property against damages or losses that are the result of events like fire, wind, theft, lightening, hail, explosion, vandalism, and more. Traditionally, the building owner and other key stakeholders take responsibility for purchasing the builders risk policy; however, at HUB International, we have found that it often makes good sense, especially for larger contractors, to obtain and maintain their own “master” builders risk policy. With this coverage, you could insure multiple projects simultaneously, while also tailoring terms to meet each individual project’s needs. In addition, a contractor’s builders risk policy generally will provide broader coverage, higher sub-limits, and improved terms and conditions for all parties involved in a project, all at a reduced cost.
Protect a specific contractor from the loss of their materials being used for the installation, whether they are in transit or being stored on the project site. As compared to builders risk which provides funding for covered losses for all contractors working on the project, the installation floater will only cover the policyholder. This policy is often used to supplement insufficient builders risk coverage that may leave an individual contractor exposed. It’s critical to understand that an installation floater does not replace builders risk or vice versa; they work in concert to fully protect all parties who have an insurable interest in a project.
Contractors Pollution Liability
Provides coverage for bodily injury, property damage, cleanup, and related legal defense costs that result from a sudden/accidental or gradual pollution condition caused by your operations. This insurance is available to any type of artisan or contractor, from environmental or remedial contractors to general and specialty trades. While all construction-related activities have the potential to create a pollution liability, only those trades operating in high- and medium-risk industries are required to have contractors pollution liability coverage. Contractors who provide the following types of services are typically required to have $1M minimum in pollution liability coverage:
excavation, landscaping, digging, and other site/dirt work
drilling or any subsurface work
moisture protection, like roofing, sealants, and siding
mechanical, electrical and plumbing
Contractors Errors & Omissions
Protects you from potential liability exposures that could result from allegations that you or an employee have been negligent or committed an error in your work. This insurance is not, however, intended to replace your comprehensive general liability (CGL) coverage, but instead provides you with important protection over and above what your general liability policy includes. For example, your CGL excludes claims stemming from improper installation of products, such as new pipes or electrical wiring, which leaves you exposed to claims of negligence if something goes awry with the work you’ve done. Having contractors errors and omissions in place fills this coverage gap. However, insurers generally limit this type of coverage to specific types of trade contractors such as plumbers, electricians, painters, and HVAC professionals. Since each insurance carrier has their own unique errors and omissions product and requirements can vary greatly, it’s essential to work with your local insurance agent to ensure that you are with the carrier that offers a product that best fits your business insurance needs.
Contractor Tools and Equipment
Is a critical piece of any artisan and contractor insurance solution. This insurance policy provides protection for the tools and equipment that may be essential to your trade such as:
hand tools, like hammers, tape measure, and screwdrivers
high-end power tools, like nail guns, welders, and electric drills
small vehicles, including forklifts and tractors
heavy equipment, including backhoes, excavators, skid loaders, bulldozers, and cement mixers
construction gear, like goggles, hard hats, gloves, and uniforms
miscellaneous equipment, including workbenches and sawhorses
If your tools or equipment are ruined as a result of theft, vandalism, a work-related incident or other covered event, contractor tools and equipment insurance will cover the expense of repairing or replacing them, minus your policy deductible. This insurance typically also covers the cost of leasing equipment while yours is being repaired and protects these rentals while in use by your business. The real key with this type of coverage is to ensure that the protection follows you and your tools wherever you go. In other words, your coverage should be designed to protect your equipment whether it’s stored at your shop, at a jobsite, in your vehicle, or all of these, and should extend to items in transit as well.
Working with the team at HUB International, you will get access to a broad range of artisan and contractor insurance solutions like these and more. Through our strong partnerships with a network of AmBest A-rated (or higher) carriers, we will be able to match your unique insurance requirements and budget with the insurance company that offers the options that best fit your specific industry and chosen trade.
HUB will go above and beyond to support your insurance and risk management needs
For decades, the team at HUB International has served the insurance needs of artisans and contractors across New England. However, our team provides much more than just coverage advice to business owners like you. If you choose to partner with HUB International, we will strive to help you effectively and proactively manage your many risks by providing specialized support services that include reviewing your construction project contracts, preparing your insurance policies for future bids, and 24-hour access to certificates of insurance.
We know that it’s taken a lot of hard work, determination and sweat equity for you to grow your general contracting or specialized artisan contractor business. Let HUB International help you safeguard this valuable investment with a range of exceptional insurance products and risk management support services.
If you are ready for a more personal relationship with a trusted insurance agent who is always looking out for you and your business, then please contact us today.
HUB can also serve additional business insurance needs for your artisan and contractor business, including providing you with these options: