Safe Drivers

How to choose safe drivers for your Small Business?

Some businesses are forced to require at least some of their employees to drive as part of their job. This can be true for a landscaping company who drives to many third party locations throughout the day, but it can also be true for a restaurant who has the assistant manager run to the grocery to purchase snacks for the staff. No matter what the scope of your employees driving is in relation to their overall job, it is important to have a plan for how you are going to make sure they are safe drivers. In order to do this you must have a detailed plan in place to keep your employees and your vehicles safe while they are out on the road.  Here are five ways to ensure your business is doing everything it can to protect your business.


You should strive for consistency in everything related to your vehicle fleet. This should be the same if you have two employees who drive for your business occasionally or 200 drivers out on the road at any given time. You should train all drivers the same way and hold everyone to the same standards throughout the length of their employment with your organization. Consistency is the best way to ensure your business is employing safe drivers.

Verify all records

It is crucial to verify any record your employee gives you about themselves. You should hire people you trust, but you must verify what they tell you in order to ensure your trust is not being violated. This goes for their past work history, their certifications, as well as their driving and criminal records.

Conduct thorough Background Checks

If you are going to be trusting your employees with expensive equipment than you need to run a thorough background check on them at the time of hire and periodically throughout their employment. How in-depth this check is will be different for every business depending upon the scope of your work and the experience of your employees. Digging deeper in to your employees background is always better than not exploring their history far enough.

Pull Motor Vehicle Records Yearly

Before anyone uses a vehicle as part of their job, you need to have a look at their motor vehicle record. This is a requirement for many insurance policies and failure to do so can cause your commercial auto insurance premium to increase or your business to be dropped from coverage entirely in some instances. These should be pulled yearly to ensure nothing has come up that would disqualify any of your employees from continuing to be qualified as a safe driver. You can never expect your employees to notify you of every traffic violation they experience while not on the job. The only way to know if they are continuing to be a safe driver is to look at their driving record.


Periodically testing your employees is crucial to ensuring they are taking the safety procedures you have in place seriously. This test can be as informal as going for a ride along with the driver occasionally to a formal written exam. The depth of this test will depend upon how much the employee uses a vehicle as a part of their job, but some type of test should be a part of your overall vehicle safety program.



Commercial Auto and Inland Marine

Where does the grey area exist?  

If you own a business and that business owns and operates vehicles, you need some form of Commercial Auto Insurance. If you rent vehicles or have employees use their personal vehicles for work purposes, you need to secure a hired and non-owned auto policy. If you have a trailer where you move specialized equipment to third party locations’ than you need an inland marine insurance policy. When you have a claim that involves a vehicle there becomes an issue of which policy kicks in to cover what is damaged. This is a time when partnering with an experienced independent insurance agent and purchasing all policies from one carrier can benefit your business immensely.  Here are several tips to help you make sure all of your vehicles and equipment are properly insured.

First you need to know what exactly is covered under each policy.

Commercial Auto

A Commercial Auto Insurance Policy will cover vehicles your business owns that are used for business purposes. If you have a personal vehicle that you also use for business purposes, you still need to buy separate personal and commercial auto insurance policies for that vehicle. If you only have a personal policy and you use the vehicle for business purposes, the liability is taken on by the business. The personal auto policy will not cover the damage to third party vehicles that are damaged in an accident you cause. If you do use your personal vehicle for business purposes, it is important to speak long and honestly with your independent insurance agent about what exactly you use the vehicle for and how best to insure it.

Hired and Non-owned Auto

If you have employees who drive rented vehicles when they travel or who use their personal vehicle for business purposes, you have a need for a Hired and Non-Owned Auto Policy. This policy may be in place of a Commercial Auto Policy or in addition to it. When an accident occurs that is the fault of your employee, if they are in their personal car, the personal insurance policy will cover the damages to the employees vehicle.  Now the property and bodily injury liability to third parties is the liability of the business. This is why you need to strongly consider this policy for your business. One accident that causes a car to be totaled and a third party to spend a week in the hospital can easily result in your business being responsible for tens of thousands of dollars. If you do not have the ability to cover these costs you need an insurance policy to protect your business.

Inland Marine

An Inland Marine Insurance Policy is a policy you would purchase in addition to a Commercial Auto Policy in order to protect specialized equipment that is commonly in transit. A common business who needs this coverage is a landscaping company.  A Commercial Auto Policy will coverage the vehicle your business owns and operates. It will also cover your business for any liability you face to third parties damaged by an accident caused by your business. If you have specialized equipment that is transported on either a trailer connected to your vehicles or in the back of a truck, you need to purchase an Inland Marine Policy.

What can you do as a Business Owner?

Partner with an independent insurance agent

Partnering with an independent insurance agent is always the best place to start when you are considering purchasing commercial insurance for your business. This is best for you because an independent agent is not restricted to one or a select few carriers. Typically an independent agent partners with anywhere from 10 to 40 carriers. They can use these relationships to force carriers to compete for your business. This will allow you to get better coverage at the lowest possible rate.

Talk with your agent extensively

No matter if you decide to partner with an independent or captive agent, you need to take the quoting process seriously. If you fail to disclose something to your agent or carrier during the quoting process, it can create an enormous headache for you at a later date. The work case scenario would be that your carrier drops you from coverage because of the failure to disclose something about your business. This can cause you and your agent to have to find a new carrier to cover your business mid term. If this process does not go smoothly it can cause you to have a lapse in coverage. Many carriers will not cover a business who has had a lapse in coverage and this may force you to have to buy some coverage’s from the state provider. The state provider is almost always more expensive than buying coverage out on the open market.

Express your comfort with risk to your agent

Insurance agents talk to many business owners throughout each work day. If they are a nationwide agency, they may speak with a restaurant owner from Los Angeles, a dairy farmer in Wisconsin and a commercial fisherman from New Orleans all before lunch. Each of these businesses faces enormously different risks and the people who own these businesses may have dramatically different expectations from their insurance agent. The only way to be for certain that your agent is looking for what is most important to you is to directly tell them. If you value price above all else, let them know. If you want to insure your business to the teeth, let them know this as well. The more you tell your insurance agent, the less likely you are to have problems with that agent.

Listen to your agents recommendations

Listening is a skill most people could do much better. Business owners especially are confident people. They would not have branched out on their own to start a business without confidence, but that confidence can be a hinderance if you think you know more about every aspect of your business than the experts you partner with.  If you find an independent agent with whom you trust and you have a detailed conversation with them, they should be able to find the best package of coverages to fit the needs of your business. If you go through this process listen to the insurance professionals. They interact with business owners not only when selling them a policy, but also when they have to use that policy because something bad has happened to them.  If you trust your agent, they should only offer a policy that you absolutely need. If they recommend it, it is more than likely in your best interest to listen to them.

Residential Cleaning

How a Residential Cleaning Company Can Benefit From Pay as You Go Workers Comp

A Woman Working at a Residential Cleaning Company. Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required by law for businesses in most states. So is General Liability in most industries. For that reason, these two policies are the bare minimum coverage a business needs to be in business. Now for a cash-strapped, seasonal, or start-up business; coming up with the initial payment to get coverage in place can be difficult. Because of this issue, many carriers have come up with alternative payment options for these necessary coverages. The most popular alternative payment option is Pay as You Go Workers’ Compensation. One industry in particular that benefits from this option is the residential cleaning industry. Here are four ways residential cleaning companies benefit from choosing the Pay as You Go Option for Workers Comp Coverage.

  • Pay-as-You-Go has lower up-front costs.
  • Pay-as-You-Go frees up cash for more pressing business needs.
  • Pay-as-You-Go allows businesses to pay premium monthly.
  • Pay-as-You-Go prevents most audits

Residential Cleaning Companies depend upon their employees to keep their customers happy.

Lower Up Front Costs

When a cleaning company decides to go with a traditional workers compensation policy, they are required to make a large lump sum payment just to get coverage in place. They later have to make nine monthly payments at the end of the term. These payments are based upon an estimate of payroll from last year. If your business has plenty of cash on hand and your employee hours are regular from year to year this may not be much of a problem. Most residential cleaning companies do not have regular payroll or mounds of cash on hand. If this sounds like your business than the Pay as You Go Option is a great way to get coverage in place without tying up too much cash.

Frees Up Cash

Now if you are a business that is not rolling in cash, you may need to consider the Pay as You Go Option.  This type of alternative payment method for workers comp coverage allows you to not only lower your up front costs, but it allows you to free up cash throughout the year by paying your premium in real-time each month based upon the accurate payroll from the previous month. This is instead of paying premium based upon an estimate of payroll from last year or the three previous years. This estimate can cause you to severely over or under-pay on premium.

Allows Monthly Payments

Allowing payments of premium each month can help your business in many ways. One of the best ways it helps is by keeping your payments accurate from paying them in real-time. When workers comp premiums are paid on an estimate basis, it can cause you to severely under or over-pay throughout the year. This gets cleared up whenever an audit takes place and an audit takes place at the end of each term, but if you under pay throughout the year it can cause your business to have a surprise payment at the end of the term. Even if you are one of the lucky businesses who over-pays and gets a refund at the end of the term, you still have had additional cash tied up in premium payments throughout the year. This is cash that could have been spent on more pressing needs.

Buying the proper chemicals is an essential part of any successful residential cleaning company.

Prevent Audits

An additional benefit your residential cleaning business can gain from choosing the Pay as You Go Option is to prevent audits mid-term. Because the payroll is calculated monthly by a payroll company it is accurate. This eliminates the need for a mid term audit because the payroll company is auditing the premium payment each month. The Pay as You Go Option also makes the end of term audit much more smooth because the payments have been done based on actual payroll each month. Your staff will spend less time gathering data to compare your actual payroll with the estimated payroll and premium payments based on that estimate. If you have ever underpaid premium and owed a significant amount at the end of the term, you appreciate the accuracy this program provides.

5 Industries who can benefit from Pay as You Go Workers Comp

Pay as You Go Workers Comp is a great program that many insurance carriers offer to help businesses get insurance in place without the burden of a large lump sum payment. For many businesses, it is not in their best interest to tie up cash in a large payment just to get a workers comp policy in place.



Landscaping can benefit from a Pay as You Go Workers Comp Policy because of the seasonal nature of the work involved in landscaping. No matter where you operate, there are more than likely certain times of the year when a majority of the work is done. For most businesses, this is in the Summer when grass and other plants are growing like crazy. Even if you offer Winter Snow Removal Services, that time of year will more than likely be less busy than other times of the year. Pay as You Go will allow you to pay your premium each month based upon the previous months payroll.


The Hospitality Industry includes all businesses that cater to people who are travelling. This can include hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, bars, and restaurants.  The nature of this business is dependent upon the weather and the Summer Break from school. Because children are free from the daily routine of school, many parents decide to take them on vacations. While these people are on vacations they typically have lots of disposable income. Because of the seasonal nature of this industry, Pay as You Go Workers Comp can allow business owners to pay their premium during the busy time when they have cash on hand and pay less during the slower time of the year.


Construction is another business that because of the weather and the outdoor nature of the job, it has slow times. If these slow times are causing your business to have less cash coming in, Pay as You Go might just be a great option to help construction businesses keep coverage in place while keeping premium payments to a minimum.

Food Trucks

Food Trucks are booming in popularity all over the country. Most cities now have numerous Food Truck Friday Events and sporting events are beginning to see more and more trucks compared to just a few years ago. Because this business is located outside, it is somewhat dependent upon the weather. If the truck is located in a sports town, it can even be based upon the success of the professional teams in your area. With the Pay as You Go Option, you can pay a higher premium during the months when you have cash on hand and less when the business traffic is slow.


Farming is another industry that can be both seasonal and cash-strapped for several different reasons. Some family owned farms depend on government programs for part of their revenue. Those payments are usually sent out at one or a few times per year. During those times in between, some farmers may lack cash on hand to make large lump sum payments for things like commercial insurance. A Pay as You Go Option can help these family farms by allowing them to pay their premium monthly depending upon the work they do each month.

Slips, Trips, and Falls on Ice

Tips to prevent you, your family, and your employees from slips,trips,and falls on ice this Winter

During the Winter Months, there is an increased risk of slips, trips, and falls on ice due to the Winter Weather. This can cause injury to you in your personal life around your house and in your business life with your employees. There are several steps you and your business can take to limit the risk of injury during the Winter Months.

During a Winter Storm it is important to get ahead to prevent slips, trips and falls on ice.

Be aware of your surroundings

Paying attention to the surface you are walking on can go a long way towards preventing slips, trips, and falls on ice.

Select appropriate footwear

This goes for men and women both. In the Winter, especially when a snow or ice storm hits, is not the best time to wear footwear that is not suitable to slippery conditions. In most all scenarios, the people you are interacting with are dealing with the same conditions as you and will understand if the footwear you are wearing is not your Sunday best.

Get an earlier start to your destination

The only way to prevent slipping on ice is to go slow. This goes for walking around your house as well as out in your vehicle. The best way to get to your destination safely is to give yourself adequate time to take the proper precautions due to the weather.

Keeping the proper equipment around can help you prevent slips, trips, and falls on ice.

Keep Proper Equipment around to deal with Snow and Ice

Buying a good shovel is only the beginning of dealing with Winter Weather. Storing the proper type of salt for the sidewalks can prevent slips, trips, and falls on ice. There are specific rakes that can help you remove snow and ice from the roof of your property. Depending upon the area in which you live, you may need some or all of these pieces of equipment.

Be extremely careful getting out of your vehicle

Getting out of your vehicle is the one time when you are moving from a controlled environment into inclement weather. It may take a few steps for you to get accustomed to just how bad the conditions are. Use extra caution at these moments to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.

Don’t take shortcuts

It is important to always use sidewalks, the cleared paths and other designated walking areas on the streets and in parking lots when the weather is treacherous.

Watch for slippery floors when entering buildings

Once you have made it to your destination, it is still important to keep aware of your surrounding. Many people clean off their shoes as soon as they get in to the building. It is common for this area to become wet and cause additional slipping hazards.



Slips, Trips, and Falls on ice can be treacherous during the Winter Months.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

Here are several ways to spot, prevent, and remove ice dams around your house or business. 


What Is an Ice Dam?

Ice dams can be extremely damaging to your home or office. Taking just a few prevention tips can have an enormous difference in the amount of damage you experience each Winter.  Ice Dams form when there is excessive melting snow freezes over night at the edge of your roofline.  When there is an extended amount of time where extreme Winter Weather is present and proper snow removal is not done, the ice at the edge of your roofline can grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof when it does melt. This can cause the rain to not be able to drain off your roof and move underneath your roofs shingles. Eventually it could cause the water to back-up into the house.

Excessive Icicles can lead to ice dams. Find the best ways to protect your home or office at my insurance question.

Prior Prevention is key to preventing Ice Dams

There are some steps you can take prior to a Winter Storm that can go a long way towards preventing ice dams from occurring at your home or office. During the day snow melts when it is exposed to warmer temperatures and sun light. Each night the melted show has a tendency to remelt and build up around the edge of your roof. Here are a few tips to prevent this from happening.

  • Properly Insulate your attic –  Each fall it is important for you or a trained professional to inspect your attic for proper insulation to help prevent warmth from escaping through ceilings.
  • Prevent air leaks –  Thoroughly check and seal any openings where warm air or heat could escape from your attic.  Keeping more of the warm air in can prevent parts of your roofline from continuing to allow melted snow to refreeze.
  • Ensure proper ventilation –  If need be, it may be beneficial to increase the number or size of vents in the attic and on the top floor of your building. These vents allow cold air to properly circulate and flush warmer air in to the proper areas of your house.
  • Install a water-repellent membrane under shingles –  When building a new house or when replacing parts of your roof, it can be very beneficial to install a water-repellent membrane underneath the roofs’ shingles.

Ice Dams

How to Remove an Ice Dam

Removing an ice dam from your roof immediately after spotting one is essential to preventing damage to your home or office.  Calcium Chloride is a great product to use to speed up the process of removing any potential ice dam.  Our partners at Travelers Insurance came up with this 5 step process for removing an ice dam.

Step 1. Using a roof rake, remove snow 3-4 feet from the edge of your roof, being careful not to damage the roof covering or to allow snow to build up around walking paths or to block emergency exits.

Step 2. Use a calcium chloride ice melt product, which you can generally purchase from your local hardware store. Be sure not to use rock salt or sodium chloride, which can damage your roof.

Step 3. Fill a nylon stocking with the calcium chloride ice melt.

Step 4. Safely place and position the calcium chloride-filled nylon stocking vertically across the ice dam so that it can melt a channel through the ice.

Step 5. Cover and protect any shrubbery and plants with lightweight tarps near the gutters or downspouts for the duration that the calcium chloride stockings remain in place. This is important because the calcium chloride-saturated water dripping from the roof may damage the shrubbery and plants.

Ice Dams can harm your home or business. Get the best tips and advice at My Insurance Question.

Tips to Prevent Ice Dams from creating in the future

Ice dams can frequently form despite your best efforts to keep your property safe.  Keeping the entire building at a safe temperature is a good place to start when attempting to prevent ice dams.  It is equally important to monitor the weather and maintain your roof throughout the coldest portions of the Winter.  During these months your property may need additional protection against ice dams. Some of the best steps you can take include:

  • Keep your gutters clean –  In order to prevent water from accumulating and freezing inside your gutters, start in the fall by adequately cleaning leaves, debris and snow accumulation from your gutters and downspouts.
  • Remove snow quickly after each storm –  As soon as it is possible for your to safely remove the snow from your roof after a storm the better it is to prevent ice dams from forming.  There are tools like roof rakes that are designed specifically for this purpose. Whenever possible, clear the snow on your roof for about three to four feet from the edge of your roof.  Snow accumulation along the edge of your roof increases the likelihood of an ice dam developing, which prevents water from draining off the roof. This water can then back up underneath roof shingles and make its way into your home.
  • Remove Ice Dams early and often –  During a Winter Storm, it is important to check your roof often to spot any trouble spots that may be forming. Removing these spots earlier in the storm can go a long way towards saving you property from facing immense damage down the road.

Winter Driving Safety Tips

This Winter has been a colder then average year for a majority of the country.  When the temperatures plummet life keeps churning along. For this reason, many people are forced to get out and driving in dangerous conditions in order to get to work. Here are several tips to help you get to where your going safe and sound.


Preparing Your Vehicle

Stocking your car with a Winter Weather Survival Kit is a great idea to prepare yourself for the unfortunate event that you are stuck in your car for an extended period of time. Additionally you should have proper maintenance done to prepare your vehicle for the colder months. Much of the maintenance that needs to be done depends upon the area in which you live and how cold it actually gets. Additional antifreeze is needed in many parts of the country as well as keeping chains available for when ice is on the roads.

Watching the Weather

Keeping an eye on the weather forecast is important during the Winter Months. Most snow and Winter Weather Storms are known a few days in advance. If you are at work and you know a storm is coming in at 5:00 PM. It might be a good day to leave the office at 3:00 PM. Keeping an eye on the weather can help you be prepared when the conditions are less than ideal.

Drive Slowly

The only way to drive safely on ice is to go slow. Four wheel drive will help you get out when you are stuck in the ditch, but it will not make your brakes miraculously work when you hit a patch of black ice. When you do hit ice it will only mean you have four tires slipping instead of two. Driving slowly and giving yourself plenty of distance is always the best way to drive when you are dealing with snow and ice.

Breaking Down or Getting Stuck

Having a Winter Safety Kit in your car is the first step to dealing with a situation where you are stuck on the roads when the temperatures are cold. Many sporting goods stores have many of the supplies you may need to keep handy. An emergency sleeping bag or at least a blanket should be available. Some snacks and bottled water are a good idea as well.

Stay Home

The best way to prevent having to use any of these tips is to stay off the roads and do not drive unless you absolutely have to.


Winter Weather Preparation

Tips to Protect your Car, Home, or Business during the Winter Months

Winter weather can bring extreme conditions that can have adverse impacts on your car, home, or business.  It does not have to take an enormous amount of time and effort to be prepared for the colder weather.  Here are several tips to help you prepare your car, home, and small business for the Winter Weather Season.


  • Tires –  Make sure to check the tread on your tires and ensure they are inflated to the correct PSI for the conditions of your area.
  • Anti-Freeze –  Make sure to correctly mix the anti-freeze properly for the conditions you will face in your area. If you are not certain how to do this, it is always best to have this done by a trained professional.
  • Gas Tank –  Make a habit to keep more than a half a tank of gas in your car at all times during the cold months of the year. If you do get stuck somewhere for an extended period, it may mean the difference between a small inconvenience, a trip tot he hospital, or something worse.
  • Keep a safe driving distance –  When you have to be out driving in snowy or icy conditions, the only way to do this safely is to go slow and give yourself room. Even if your vehicle has four wheel drive, in most cases this only helps a vehicle to get out of a situation where they are stuck. It will not prevent you from slipping on ice. Make sure to go very slow and keep more than adequate room between yourself and other vehicles.

Man Shoveling Snow at his house after a Winter Weather Storm.


  • Have your Furnace inspected yearly – It is best to do this early in the year. That way you are not tempted to turn on the heat when you unexpectedly get the first bit of Winter Weather.
  • Have someone check on your Chimney before using it – Just like with your furnace, it is best to have your chimney checked early in the season.  That way you are not tempted to go ahead and make a fire for the kids the first time it dips a little cold in the Fall.
  • Be safe with Christmas Lights –  Everyone loves to get in the Christmas spirit by decorating their house with Christmas Lights, but these lights bring with them a fire hazard. Make sure you are not plugging too many lights in to any one outlet.
  • Clean out the gutters –  Clean gutters can prevent snow and rain from causing other problems throughout your house.
  • Seal all leaks throughout your house –  This is important all year long, but is especially important in the Winter.  Closing any leaks can save immensely on your energy bill and help your family live a more comfortable life in the Winter.


Roadside Business after a Witner Weather Storm comes through.


Snow Removal –  If you live in an area where you experience a lot of snow, buy snow shovels and salt for the parking lot early. Consider consulting with a snow removal business to have your parking lot cleared when there is big snow.

Communicate with Employees –  Today we are living in a hyper-connected world. This gives you many options to communicate with your staff when you either are or are not going to be open.  Have a system for communication in place and test it when the weather is optimal so you know what you need to fix before Winter Weather hits.

Limit the use of space heaters –  It is difficult to keep your business at a comfortable temperature for everyone in your office. If you do allow some employees to use



The word snow written on the back window of a car during a Winter Storm.

Relief is on the way for Missouri Businesses

On Friday December, 15th; The Missouri Department of Insurance announced it is recommending a 3% decrease in workers compensation insurance loss costs for 2018.  This decrease comes on top of a 4% decrease that took effect in August of this year.

State of Missouri Flag celebrating a decrease in workers compensation insurance premium for 2018.

According to a release from the department of insurance, the decrease is driven by declining lost-time claim frequencies combined with stable average claim costs.  According to a statement from Department of Insurance Director Chlora Lindley-Myers, “Missouri’s lost-time claim frequency has fallen since 2010, and average claim costs have stayed steady for the past several years,”  This means the average claim cost is lower than in years past and the frequency of claims has gone down in recent years.  Additionally, this will be the fourth consecutive year of declining comp rates in the state, according to a department statement.

Relief is on the way for Missouri businesses in the form of a decrease on workers compensation insurance premium in 2018.

Under Missouri law, insurance carriers are not required to follow the recommendations of the state or that of The national Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).  Insurers may set their own rates based on NCCI’s recommendations, the department’s recommendations or their own analysis. In order to remain competitive, most insurers offering coverage in the state will change rates accordingly for most class codes.  Now this does not necessarily apply to businesses across all class codes. Some businesses may see larger decreases depending upon the appetite of the carrier to quote that particular coverage and industry. If your business operates in a high risk industry, the decrease may not apply or may be a smaller amount.


Trim Carpenter

5 types of Insurance Coverage every Trim Carpenter should strongly consider

A Trim Carpenter typically performs only interior work such as cabinet installation and interior trim for construction projects. There are many other types of carpenters who perform exterior work only or both. Because of the differences in the nature of the work between these types of carpenters, the risks they face are also different. Interior carpentry normally consists of either rough or finish work. Rough work involves framing windows and doors, laying floor joists and subfloors, stairways and more. This type of carpentry can also include: hanging doors, installing baseboards, installing the molding around doors and windows, and making or installing cabinets and shelving. There are many other types of custom builds the carpenter might partake in. All of this type of work can lead to bodily injury claims for the carpenter or their employees. It can also lead to risk if the windows or doors are damaged during installation. With these different risks a trim carpenter faces, comes a need for many different types of insurance coverage.  Here are five types of insurance coverage every Trim Carpenter should strongly consider purchasing.

Trim Carpenter

Recommended Insurance Programs for Carpenters

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Commercial Property Coverage
  • Inland Marine Insurance
  • Commercial Auto
  • Workers Compensation Insurance

Other coverages to consider for the various types of Carpentry:
Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Contractors’ Equipment and Tool Floater (Inland Marine), Umbrella Liability Coverage, Business Income with Extra Expense, Builders Risk, Goods in Transit and Installation Floater.

Tools for a Carpenter

General Liability Insurance for a Carpenter

General liability exposures at a trim carpenters shop are normally somewhat limited. These limitations are due to the lack of public access to the carpenters property. There should be policies in place because risks like fires from woodworking and/or lumber storage can affect neighboring businesses or homes. Talking about all the different elements of your business with your experienced insurance agent can help you prevent severe or frequent claims.

Carpenters Commercial Property Coverage

Carpenters face commercial property exposures at their location, but those exposures are limited to the office area and storage of materials, equipment and vehicles. If the risks will be different depending upon if the business owns the building or rents.

Inland Marine Insurance for a Carpenter

Inland marine insurance coverage is designed to protect businesses that have specialized equipment or equipment that is frequently in transit. This equipment includes owned or rented tools.  The tools may include tables saws, scaffolding, building materials and materials being transported to and from the job-site. These tools and equipment are heavy but less likely to be damaged during transport. Transporting woodwork done at the carpenter’s shop increases the exposure because these items are more susceptible to damage from shifting, improper loading or inadequate tie-down. Inland marine insurance coverage is needed for nearly all carpentry businesses.

Carpenters Commercial Auto Coverage

Auto liability exposures are limited, for the most part. This limited exposure is limited unless lumber and pre-made items are frequently transported by the carpenter. The hazards of transport include failure to secure the load properly and equipment failure. Paying attention to your employees age, training, experience and driving records can limit these risks. Also, the condition and maintenance of the vehicles are important considerations.  Those maintenance records should be documented in order for your insurance agent to use this record to negotiate better rates on insurance premium.  Companies who allow employees to drive their personal vehicles for business purposes should purchase a separate hired and non-owned auto policy.

Workers Compensation Insurance for a Carpenter

Workers comp liability varies based on the size and nature of the job the carpenter is working on. Work with hand tools and sharp objects can result in cuts, piercings and accidental amputation. Lifting injuries such as hernias, strains, sprains and back injuries may occur. Minor injuries may be frequent even when the severity exposure is controlled. When work is done on ladders and scaffolds, there is a potential for severe injury or death from falling, being struck by falling objects or adverse weather conditions. Addressing all of these risks with proper safety programs and equipment can help you reduce the frequency and severity of the claims your business has.  FOr this reason, it is extremely important to train all employees in the proper use of basic safety equipment.

Carpentry Shop

Common Carpenter Liability Classification Codes

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 1751: Carpentry Work
  • 1521: Residential Construction

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 238350: Finish Carpentry Contractors
  • 236118: Residential Remodelers
  • 238330: Flooring Contractors
  • 238390: Other Building Finishing Contractors

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 91340: Carpentry—Construction of Residential Homes
  • 91341: Interior Carpenter
  • 91342: Carpentry—Not Classified Elsewhere
  • 91343: Carpentry—Shop Only

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 5437: Carpentry—Cabinets and Interior Trim
  • 5403: Carpenters—Not Classified Elsewhere
  • 2802: Carpentry—Shop Only
  • 5432: California Class—Carpentry
  • 5645: Carpentry—Residential Construction