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The work that contractors do exposes them to a range of potential risks. Equipment damage, personal injuries and liability lawsuits are all problems that contractors may have to deal with if something goes wrong. Contractor insurance policies help general and skilled contractors working in Massachusetts protect their businesses from some of the covered risks they face.
Contractor insurance policies are specialized commercial policies. They usually have several carefully selected coverages, and the exact coverages in a policy can often be customized for a particular contractor’s situation.
Not all contractor policies have the same list of standard and optional coverages. Nevertheless, there are many coverages that most contractor policies offer:
While contractor policies may have protections that offer coverage for injuries, such coverage usually only extends to non-employees who are injured by a contractor’s or their employees’ actions. Policies typically don’t offer coverage for injured employees.
Coverage for employees who are injured while working normally falls under the domain of workers compensation insurance. Most businesses that have employees in Massachusetts are required to carry workers compensation, and contractors who don’t have employees may still want to get the insurance for themselves. Workers compensation policies, however, are generally purchased as stand-alone policies apart from any contractor policy.
(While workers compensation policies tend to be purchased as stand-alone policies, insurance agents who specialize in contractor policies often also can help contractors find workers compensation policies).
Most business owners who run a contracting business in Massachusetts should protect their business with a contractor policy. This includes both those who are widely referred to as contractors, and those who might not be called contractors but work as such.
General contractors are exposed to a great deal of risk that they may want to protect against. Residential and commercial contractors alike work on sizeable projects that can result in major liability lawsuits if something goes wrong. In fact, the risk can be so substantial that customers may require general contractors to have adequate insurance before hiring them.
Artisan contractors who own their own small business (including self-proprietors) are also exposed to risk. Although their risk exposure might not be as great as general contractors, artisan contractors can still be financially devastated by a liability suit. Few plumbers, electricians or carpenters have the financial resources to defend themselves against and/or settle a suit of substantial size.
Finally, some other artisan contractors may also want to purchase a contractor policy. In certain situations, it makes sense for exterminators, interior decorators and other skilled contractors to carry this form of protection.
Within the contracting industry, there are many diverse businesses that each have their own unique risk exposures and insurance needs. These variances must be taken into account when shopping for contractor policies, and quotes should be compared with a particular contractor’s situation in full view. For these reasons, contractors ought to seek out the assistance of a specialized insurance agent when seeking quotes for policies.
For help comparing quotes for your particular contracting business, contact the contractor insurance specialists at Haberman Insurance Group. Our independent agents are licensed in Massachusetts and familiar with the nuances of this type of insurance. They’ll review your particular situation first, and then help you request and compare quotes for policies from different insurance companies.