Insurance tips for Trade and Commercial General Contractors
Lexie Haase provides her expertise on protecting your business
When you’re shopping for insurance for your construction contracting business, you have so many things to consider. What types of coverage do I need? What coverage do my customers expect me to have? Should I go with the lowest price or the best coverage?
Lexie Haase, one of our Senior Underwriter Trainer experts, understands how confusing these questions can be. Her dad is an independent insurance agent, and she practically grew up in the insurance industry. Still she says that she learns new ways to help our agents and policyholders every day.
Today, she offered to share some tips on how you can find the right coverage to fit your needs.
Trade contractors can span the gamut of the construction industry. Some of the most common types of businesses that Lexie helps are Concrete, Electrical, Excavation, HVAC, Janitorial, Plumbing, and Water Well Drillers. “At SECURA, we insure a lot of Trade Contractors, and we’re very familiar with your work, your equipment, and the coverages you need to protect your businesses,” said Lexie.
When she’s collaborating with an independent agent on a new quote for a Trade Contractor, there are a few things Lexie always recommends.
1. Errors and Omissions (E&O) – According to Lexie, “We love to insure Trade Contractors, and we know sometimes things happen. Errors and omissions coverage protects against faulty workmanship or damages that result. This added coverage protects your business against the labor and material costs associated with redoing the work.”
2. Equipment – Lexie can’t stress enough how important it is to have your equipment insured properly. “A contractor’s equipment can be scattered over numerous jobsites, so we want to make sure all of your equipment is covered properly. Without equipment, you can’t complete your job to the best of your ability.”
3. Additional Insured WRAP – WRAP is an insurance term that provides a blanket of coverage for specific types of businesses. Lexie shared, “SECURA’s Additional Insured WRAP is a huge time saver for business owners and agents. It provides the five most common forms and coverage requirements for most construction contracts, so there’s no need to endorse your policy every time you sign a contract.”
Commercial General Contractors
Providing insurance for Commercial General Contractors is very different than Trade Contractors, but Lexie has suggestions for this type of business as well. “Whether you’re remodeling or contracting new construction, there are so many moving pieces when you’re building a commercial space like an office complex or a retail strip mall.” Lexie recommends making sure you have the following in place.
1. Subcontractor Agreements – While not technically a type of coverage, a solid subcontractor agreement is a vital tool every Commercial General Contractor should have. It transfers financial and liability risk and defines who is responsible for the work and any claims against it. “Our Risk Management Consultants are great resources for our agents and the businesses we write. They can help provide trade-specific tools like this agreement, as well as advice on other business concerns like jobsite safety and OSHA regulations.”
2. Umbrella Coverage – “In my opinion, an Umbrella Policy is something every business and individual should have,” said Lexie. “Umbrellas provide businesses with liability protection, above other policy limits. It’s added protection against the unimaginable, and it’s really quite affordable. I recommend it to all of my Commercial General Contractor prospects.”
3. An Experienced Independent Agent – SECURA works with a select group of experienced, independent agents. If you’re looking for insurance to protect your Commercial General Contracting business, you can find a list of our independent agents on secura.net.
Additional guidance in selecting an experienced agent
Just like contractors, sometimes agents specialize in certain industries or types of insurance. If you’d like additional guidance on finding an agent who can help protect your business, call 800-558-3405 and ask to speak with someone in Commercial Lines Underwriting who can suggest a few agents in your area.