What is Contractors Insurance?
Massachusetts contractors are exposed to an array of possible risks that they need to protect themselves from. Equipment malfunctions, liability lawsuits, damage to supplies, workmanship errors and other incidents can all cause financial hardship if a business isn’t adequately protected against the risks it faces. Contractors insurance helps contracting businesses get the protection they need.
Contractors insurance policies are specialized insurance policies that have been uniquely designed for contractors. Most policies several coverages, including contractors liability coverage and others, that work together to provide robust protection against many of the risks contractors face.
What Massachusetts Businesses Need Contractors Policies?
Most contractors in Massachusetts should have a contractors policy. This includes both general contractors and tradespeople (e.g. plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, etc.). Additionally, both large companies and sole proprietors ought to have coverage.
What Coverages Are Included in Contractors Policies?
Because contractors are exposed to a variety of risks, contractors policies include a number of different coverages. The exact coverages that are included in policies can vary, but there are several coverages that are widely available as either standard or optional protections. Some of these coverages include:
- Contractors Liability Coverage, which may cover liability claims related to work a contractor does or advice they give
- General Liability Coverage, which may cover common accidents that non-employees are injured or have property damaged in
- Commercial Auto Coverage, which may cover vehicles a contracting business owns and accidents employees are in while driving company vehicles
- Contractors Equipment Coverage, which may cover equipment that a contractor owns
- Equipment Leased or Rented from Others Coverage, which may cover equipment that a contractor doesn’t own
- Inland Marine Coverage, which may cover supplies and equipment while they’re in transit between locations
Contractors liability coverage and general liability coverage normally help pay legal fees and settlements associated with covered claims. The various equipment coverages might help pay to repair or replace a covered item that’s lost or damaged.
Do Contractors Policies Cover On-the-Job Injuries?
The liability coverages included in contractors policies normally can be set up to provide solid coverage for third-party injuries, but these coverages typically don’t offer any protection for on-the-job injuries sustained by employees. Job-related injuries generally fall under the domain of workers compensation insurance.
Workers compensation insurance is frequently purchased as a stand-alone policy rather than as a coverage that’s included within a contractors policy. Most insurance agents who specialize in contractors insurance, however, are able to help contractors find the workers compensation coverage they need.
Thus, coverage for job-related injuries normally isn’t included in contractors policies per se, but it’s easy to get workers compensation coverage that does cover these injuries while purchasing a contractors policy.
How Can Contractors Obtain Certificates of Insurance?
Contractors are sometimes requested to prove that they have insurance, and some customers may refuse to hire contractors who can’t show that they carry sufficient coverage. Proof is usually furnished by showing customers a certificate of insurance.
Certificates of insurance are usually sent with a policy’s initial paperwork. Contractors who still have their original certificates can use the certificates to make copies for customers. Contractors who have misplaced their original certificates can request new ones by contacting their insurance agent. Additional copies of certificates are almost always available at no additional charge.
How Can Contractors In Massachusetts Get Contractors Policies?
Contractors in Massachusetts that need contractors insurance should speak with an independent insurance agent who specializes in this form of insurance. An agent who specializes in contractors policies will know what risks contractors face and what protections are available to contractors. An agent who’s independent will be able to offer contractors the best available policies regardless of what insurance company offers the policies.