Saying the wrong thing in the business world can cost you big time.
Studies show that reputational harm makes up 5% of insurance claims for small businesses. All it takes is 1 of your employees publicly criticizing the competition and you could be dealing with a major lawsuit.
The average claim amount for reputational harm rests right around $50,000. If don’t have the right insurance policy, your company could be on the line to pay all of the damages out of pocket!
Are you looking to start a policy for general liability contractor insurance? Then you’re in the right place. This article will review everything you need to know to make sure you have the right coverages with the best rates possible.
Read on to learn the ins and outs of starting a contractor insurance policy.
Questions to Ask Insurance Agents
Before signing any type of insurance contract, you need to ask the right questions. First, ask the insurance agent what the general contractor insurance requirements are for the type of business you own. Next, find out how many insurance providers the agent has access to that specifically deal with your industry.
For instance, let’s say you own a landscaping business. Will the insurance agent have access to multiple companies that can ensure landscapers? Agents who have access to a large number of insurance providers will have an easier time getting you the best coverages, for the best price.
Know the Claims Process
Moving on, you’ll want to figure out what the process is for filing a claim. It’s a good idea to take notes as the agent walks you through the claims handling process. Find out exactly what documents you’ll need if you’re filing a claim to make things as easy as possible if you have any incidents.
You can also ask the agent for advice to prevent the need to file a claim in the first place. Reputable insurance agents will be able to brief you on the best safety practices for your industries.
Why Experience Matters
Finally, look into the experience of the insurance agency who’ll be handling your policy. You’ll want to choose a company that has extensive experience handling business insurance policies. After all, your business is your livelihood, and having the right policy means protecting what’s yours. If an agency is new to the business world or specializes in personal policies, they’re probably not the best choice.
Get the Right Coverages
What coverages does a general liability contractor insurance policy include?
Here’s a shortlist of the most important coverages:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
- Products and completed operations
- Personal and advertising injury
- Medical payments
- Damage to premises
The bodily injury portion of your insurance will cover any business-related injuries that happen to a 3rd party. For instance, let’s say a customer falls on 1 of your premises, the bodily injury coverage would help pay for the cost of the injuries.
Next, the product coverage includes any products you sell, distribute, or manufacture. If any of your products cause harm to a customer, your product coverage will help protect your assets.
Personal and advertising injury helps cover damages you cause that aren’t physical. If 1 of your employees slanders another business, personal and advertising coverages will help protect you.
Medical payments are a lot like bodily injury liability coverage. If a customer sustains an injury and blames your business, the medical payments will help cover the damages.
Finally, if a landlord blames you for damages that occur to a property your renting, your damage to premises coverage will kick in. For instance, let’s say an employee accidentally causes a fire that damages your rental property. Instead of having to pay for everything out of pocket, your premise coverages will help foot the bill.
Qualities of a Good Insurance Company
Having the right coverages is only the beginning. You also have to make sure your insurance provider is one you can trust. For instance, when you get a business policy by Farmer Brown Insurance, you’ll know you’re working with a reputable team. What makes an insurance agency reputable and trustworthy?
Here are a few qualities you should expect your insurance company to have:
- Outstanding customer service
- Financial stability
- Transparency with clients
- Good online reviews
- Fair insurance rates
As you shop around for different insurance quotes, notice how the companies treat you as a customer. Do they return your emails and phone calls promptly? Are they happy to answer all of your questions?
Finally, do a little bit of research to find out how happy their current customers are. Reading multiple online reviews will help give you an idea of how the insurance company operates.
Cost Affecting Factors
How much will you have to pay for a contractor insurance certificate? Here are some of the top cost affecting factors:
- Type of business
- Deductible amounts
- Coverage limits
- Size of business
- Business location
- Annual income
- Claims history
- Number of employees
The type of business you have is 1 of the biggest cost affecting factors. Operating a low exposure risk business usually means your policy will cost less. However, if you’re in a construction industry where accidents are more likely to occur, your rates will go up.
How to Get Insurance Discounts
One of the easiest ways to lower the rates on independent contractor insurance is to raise your deductibles. The deductible is what you have to pay before certain coverages start working. High deductibles will help you have lower policy rates, however, make sure you’re able to afford the deductible if you need to file a claim.
Paying the insurance policy in full is another way you may be able to discount your policy. When you’re getting quotes, ask the insurance agent to go over every possible discount with you in detail.
Find the Best General Liability Contractor Insurance
Now you know the ins and outs of getting general liability contractor insurance. Remember to take your time as you explore different providers. Also, don’t be afraid to ask all of the questions that come to your mind.
The more you know about your policy, the easier it’ll be for you to make the right choice. For more tips like the ones in this article, check out the rest of this site!