Job sites are dangerous. Even under the best management, and while making every effort to be safe, accidents can and do happen. Visitors to the site can injure themselves and property can be damaged during construction. There are also a number of factors that can be out of your control, such as theft or vandalism. It’s important to be prepared for these situations. The ones everyone strives to avoid, but inevitably may come around.
While there are numerous coverage options at your disposal, here are just three you may want to consider so that you’re able to rest easy at night, knowing that you have a safety net in place.
3 types of coverage every contractor should consider
Commercial General Liability Insurance
People generally think about insurance covering contractors while they’re completing work. But what about if something goes wrong after the job is done? Commercial general liability insurance, or CGL for short, may cover you if the work you’ve finished is incorrect and results in damages. For example, if you install a sink in a home but make an error, and years later, there’s a leak resulting in water damage throughout the house.
But obviously, it’s not just the finished product you have to be worried about. What about if things go wrong while you’re completing the work? It’s a job site—with power tools, sharp instruments, and heavy lifting all playing a role, the opportunities for injuries and property damage to a third party are abundant.
Despite your best efforts, things can go wrong, and a customer or visitor may be on site when that happens. A crane could topple over, just like one did in April 2017 at the LRT tunnel near the University of Ottawa. Or a balcony could collapse, like one did at a construction site in Gatineau in August 2017. The list goes on and on. And visitors to the job site could be injured as a result.
Over the years, construction sites have played host to numerous dangerous accidents including cranes toppling over and balconies collapsing.
CGL insurance is the foundation to any liability insurance program for business owners. Whether you’re hired directly by a customer or working as a subcontractor for a larger company, you could be held responsible if something goes wrong at your jobsite, which could lead to a costly lawsuit. CGL insurance is designed to protect business owners if they are found legally liable for bodily injuries or property damage to a third party.
At Federated Insurance, we like to take this a step further. Our commercial general liability policies include bodily injury/property damage liability, personal and advertising injury liability, employee benefit program liability, and coverage for medical payments.
Commercial property insurance
Fire, theft, and vandalism can be out of your control. While you can take steps to mitigate these risks, like having a current inventory, keeping detailed records of equipment and tools used on the project sites, and closing off your construction site from uninvited visitors, you can’t always stop bad things from happening.
Stories in the news about people stealing from construction sites and arrests over these issues come up regularly. Contractor tools, after all, are popular targets for theft, as they’re often left unattended and can be sold on the black market.
And if someone is truly determined to enter your job site, they will. Let’s not forget about crane girl. For those who somehow missed it, a 22-year-old woman scaled a crane in downtown Toronto in April 2017 and spent hours suspended on it high above the city. And while she did not steal from the site or vandalise anything, she did prove that a seemingly secure site is not always secure.
To protect your physical assets like buildings and their contents, you should consider commercial property insurance. The coverage can help protect equipment, furniture, fixtures, tools, machinery, and third party property. It also covers property in transit.
Commercial property insurance can help you replace stolen tools, cover some of the costs associated with theft, and sometimes even reimburse you for the cost of renting tools in the meantime.
Picture this. You’re about to install an air conditioning unit for a commercial building. You’ve purchased all of the necessary materials and are ready to go. But before you get a chance to finish the job, the AC unit gets damaged. Luckily for you, there are installation floater policies.
An installation floater policy covers materials that you’re planning to install against loss or damages from causes like theft, fire and vandalism. For instance, if materials for installation are left on a site and they’re stolen or damaged, or something happens to them while they’re in transit, you may be covered.
Installation floater coverage can help limit the impact to your bottom line when accidents happen.
Protect your business
As a contractor, you’ve got a lot to consider and a lot to manage. But despite your best efforts, you can’t control everything and unfortunately you can’t supervise every aspect of a job site 24 hours a day.
So if you’re looking for more ways to protect your business, contractor’s insurance may be the solution for you.
This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.