Painters

Painters or painting, staining and decorating contractors fill a great role within the construction industry. As the economy continues to recover the need for painters continues to grow. With the growth in this industry comes an increase in risk and a need for more insurance coverage. The risks in this industry are much different than if you run an auto repair shop or an HVAC company.

There are certain types of information you will need for a general liability and workers compensation quote. Here are 5 policies every painting contractor needs to secure in order to completely cover them and their employees.

Find the best info about insurance coverage for painters at My Insurance Question.

 

General Liability

General liability insurance is normally the first coverage any small business purchases. This is no different for a painting contractor. In most states this coverage is required by law to be in business. General Liability coverage will cover your liability to third parties for accidents that occur as a part of normal business operations. For painting contractors who work at remote locations, it is important to speak with your independent insurance agent about what exactly is and is not covered when you are operating on the premises of a third party. If you interact with a general contractor who has many contractors operating at one location it is important for you to make sure all of the other contractors have the proper insurance required for the work taking place.

Inland Marine Coverage

Inland marine coverage will cover any specialized equipment you or your employees use as part of your daily operations. This is an important coverage to secure, especially if you have expensive specialized equipment, because most basic policies will not cover this equipment when it is damaged. For instance if you have a van or a vehicle with a trailer carrying extra tools, when a wreck occurs your commercial insurance policy will cover your liability to the other person hurt in the accident and to fix your vehicle, but it will not pay to cover your specialized equipment. This is a coverage your agent can help you determine if you need it or not. Depending upon how much the equipment costs, you may be able to do without this coverage.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance is different from your personal home owners insurance policy. It is different primarily because it is sold one of two ways: Replacement cost or on an agreed upon value of the property. It may be tempting to go with an agreed upon value to save on premium, but this is almost always a mistake. This is because the agreed upon value is usually what the property is appraised at currently. This amount does not include the cost to tear down the dwelling and remove all the debris after a disaster occurs. This additional cost can be extensive.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is also different from a personal auto policy. Commercial auto can be purchased for vehicles your business owns, but it can also be purchased for employees who drive their own vehicles or rented vehicles while on the job. This type of policy is called hired and non-owned auto coverage. Again, with this coverage it is important to take some additional time to speak with your agent about the daily operations of your business. If you are honest with them about what you do on a daily basis they can do their best to prevent occurrences from taking place where your business or your vehicles are not covered.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers compensation insurance is the second coverage a business purchases because like general liability insurance it is required by law in most states. Workers compensation is like general liability, but it applies only to your employees and not to third parties. If your employees are injured at work as a part of what would be deemed normal business operations, workers compensation coverage will pay them for some of their lost wages (typically 60%) and medical expenses. Depending upon the state in which you operate in and the accident occurs, there are time limits on how long the employee can collect workers compensation benefits. Having adequate safety programs and a strong return to work program will help your business from experiencing excessive damage to your experience modification rating.

 

Here at My Insurance Question you can find the best advice on the insurance policies all painters need.

Recommended Insurance Programs for Painters

Minimum recommended coverage:

•   General Liability

•   Inland Marine Coverage

•   Property Insurance

•   Commercial Auto Insurance

•   Workers’ Compensation

Other coverages to consider for Painters:
Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Contractors’ Equipment (Inland Marine), Umbrella Liability, Commercial Auto Liability, Goods in Transit, Environmental Impairment Liability, Stop Gap Liability and Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI).

Business Interruption Insurance

Business Interruption Insurance is the key when disaster strikes your business.

Business Interruption Insurance is the key to protect your business when disaster strikes.

Having good commercial insurance is essential to the long term stability of your business.  It is a product that is necessary for you business, but a product you hope you never have to use. When there is a disaster that strikes your business, the quality of your coverage can mean the difference between a bump in the road and the end of your business.  One key policy to help your business whether the storm when a disaster strikes is business interruption insurance.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, “Business interruption insurance compensates you for lost income if your company has to vacate the premises due to disaster-related damage that is covered under your property insurance policy, such as a fire. Business interruption insurance covers the revenue you would have earned, based on your financial records, had the disaster not occurred. The policy also covers operating expenses, like electricity, that continue even though business activities have come to a temporary halt”.

This policy is normally offered as part of a Business Owners’ Package, but not always.  It is important to confirm with your agent if this is included in your package.  If it is not they will more than likely bring it to your attention as an add-on.  It is a policy to strongly consider for your business.  This business can help you pay necessary bills, retain key employees and may just be the difference between success and failure when a claim occurs.

In most states general liability and workers compensation insurance is required by law, but those are the bare minimum coverages any business should secure. Most businesses need several additional coverages to properly protect the organization.  If you own property or vehicles their is a need for commercial property and auto coverage.  If you own specialized equipment there may be a need for inland marine coverage.  The one frequently forgotten coverage is business interruption coverage.  Many small business owners fail to anticipate how they will pay their bills in the event a claim causes their business to be closed for a period of time.  When this occurs the bills keep coming and payroll has to be met.  If you are a cash strapped company, failing to secure this coverage may cause the ultimate failure of your business.

HVAC Contractors

Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors ( HVAC Contractors ) are those business that provide services for and repair heating and air conditioning units.  They provide these services for both commercial and residential clients.  They have to be knowledgeable about both duct and vent work, the different types of fuel sources for heating equipment, which can be natural or LP gas, electric, steam, solid fuel, coal, or fuel oil.  Many contractors also install, service, and repair air conditioners. While air conditioning units are normally electric-powered, they are charged with different coolants, some of which may be hazardous.

All of these different types of work bring their own unique risks to the contractor. For this reason, it is very important for you to have an extended conversation with your insurance agent about all of the types of work you do and do not participate in.  It is equally important to inform your agent if there are certain types of work you do not partake in. There are more than one classification code for this industry and the types of risks you take on can dramatically impact what you pay in premium for a number of commercial insurance policies.  Below are 6 policies most HVAC Contractors need to secure in order to protect their business properly.

•   General Liability

•   Property Insurance

•   Hired and Non-Owned Auto (full commercial auto if vehicles owned)

•   Inland Marine

•   Business Income with Extra Expense

•   Workers’ Compensation

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Exposures at the contractor’s office or shop are generally limited due to lack of public access to the premises. Retail sales increase the possibility of customers slipping, falling, or tripping if customers visit office to view products.

Property Insurance

Property exposures at the heating contractor’s own location are generally limited to those of an office, shop, and storage of materials, equipment, and vehicles. Operations may also include retail sales. The fire exposure is generally light unless repair operations involving welding take place on premises. Welding involves the use of tanks of gases that must be stored and handled properly to avoid loss. The absence of basic controls such as chained storage in a cool area and the separation of welding from other operations may reflect a greater risk.

Commercial Auto

Automobile exposures are generally limited to transporting workers, equipment and supplies to and from job sites for HVAC Contractors. Hazards depend on the type and use of vehicles and radius of operation with the main hazards being upsets. Vehicles may have special modifications or built-in equipment such as lifts and hoists. Large heating systems may be awkward and require special handling and tie-down procedures. Age, training, experience, and drivers’ records, as well as the age, condition and maintenance of the vehicles are all important items to consider. If employees utilize their own personal vehicles for work related tasks then Hired and Non-Owned Coverage should be purchased.

Inland Marine Coverage

Inland marine exposures include contractors’ tools and equipment, including ladders and scaffolding, hoists, and portable welders, the transport of materials, and installation floater. Goods in transit consists of tools and equipment as well as products purchased by the customer for installation at the job site. HVAC units can be of high value and susceptible to damage in transit; they frequently require expertise in loading to prevent load shift or overturn.

Workers’ compensation

Workers compensation exposures vary based on the size and nature of the job. Both residential and commercial work involves lifting, work with hand tools, wiring, and piping. Cuts from the fabrication and installation of sheet metal for ducts and vents are common. Lifting injuries such as hernias, strains and sprains plus back injuries may occur. Electrical burns are common; electrocution can occur from the use of high-voltage lines. Any time work is done above ground, injury or death from falls and being struck by falling objects can occur. Slips and falls, foreign object in eyes, major and minor burns, and inhalation of fumes are all potential hazards.

Food trucks

How much insurance do owners of food trucks need?????

  • Food Trucks are a booming industry.  In 2015, the industry represented more than 1.2 billion in annual sales. This booming industry has contributed to an annual growth rate of more than 12% over the 5 previous years. Because of this popularity many more business owners entering the market. As they enter the market there are many risks that come to this industry. Many business owners in this industry got their start in the traditional restaurant industry. There are many more risks that come with a restaurant that is mobile and processing many transactions at a remote location. Those risks are much different from a traditional restaurant, a non-profit organization or even a home health care agency. For this reason, food truck owners need to have a strong relationship with an independent insurance agent who can help them properly protect their investment. Here are 5 coverages most food truck owners need to secure, in order to properly protect their business.
  •  •   General Liability

•   Commercial Auto

•   Inland Marine

•   Cyber Insurance

•   Workers Compensation

Food Trucks

    General Liability
    General Liability is the first and most essential coverage a food truck owner will need to secure in order to protect their business. It is required by law in most states depending on the way in which your business is classified and how much revenue you generate.
    Commercial Auto
    A Commercial Auto Policy will be essential to food trucks.  This will cover the main body of the vehicle if it is damaged in an accident.  It will also cover your liability to the other vehicle in the crash if the accident is the fault of you or your employee. A commercial auto insurance policy is not all encompassing.  The equipment kept inside your vehicle or pulled behind a trailer is not covered by a commercial auto policy.  These pieces of equipment will be covered by an inland marine insurance policy.
    Inland Marine
    An Inland Marine Insurance Policy is designed for specialized equipment that is meant to be in transit. The very nature of the food truck industry makes this coverage essential. One key to making sure all of your equipment is covered, is to have a detailed conversation with your independent insurance agent about what types of equipment you have and exactly how you use that equipment.
    Cyber Insurance
    Cyber Insurance is a necessary coverage far too many food truck owners do not realize they need. Even at a mobile workstation like a food truck, a majority of the purchases will be made with a card or mobile device. Depending upon what type of mobile Point of Sale software you use this can open up your business to becoming a victim of a data breach.  If you secure the proper coverage it can help you recover from the damages your business faces as a result of a data breach. The coverage can help you make your customers whole again and it can help you restore the damaged image of your business as a result of a data breach.
    Workers Compensation
    Workers Compensation insurance is required by law in 48 out of 50 states. Each workers compensation system is regulated by the individual states and each states’ system has specific exclusions based on how many employees you have, the revenues of your business and certain industries.  You may not be required to secure this coverage depending upon your specific state. Even if you are not required to secure this coverage it is more than likely beneficial to you to secure this coverage once you hire an employee not in your immediate family.

Find in-depth information about the best insurance for food trucks at MyInsuranceQuestion.com

Electrical Contractors

Insurance needs and concerns for Electrical Contractors

Electrical contractors carry unique risks that many other businesses in the construction industry do not face.  With those risks come additional types of insurance needs.  Each electrician is unique in the scope and capacity in which they operate their business.  Depending upon the type of work each electrician partakes’ in, there may be a number of types of coverage an electrician needs to secure in order to properly secure their business.  Here is a list of 5 commonly carried coverages most electricians secure.

 

  • General Liability
  • Commercial Property
  • Commercial Auto
  • Inland Marine (Tools and Equipment)
  • Workers Compensation

General Liability

Exposures at the contractor’s office are generally limited because of the lack of access to the premises. Storing materials outdoors may create vandalism and attractive nuisance hazards.  Electrical voltage is always a risk for electricians.  This is due to the risk of electrical burns or electrocution to employees or other third parties.  An electricians’ employees can cause damage to the client’s property and can cause bodily injury to members of the household, the public, or employees of other contractors.  These are risks that are covered by a general liability policy.

Commercial Property

If you own a property; no matter how small, your business needs to secure commercial property coverage. Property exposures at the contractor’s premises typically are fairly low for electricians.  This is generally limited to those of an office and storage for supplies, tools, and vehicles.

Commercial Auto

Automobile liability exposure is higher for electrician than other brick and mortar businesses.  Most electrical contractors are in transit to transport workers, equipment and electrical supplies to and from job sites.  A driving hazard is a huge risk for insurance companies to insure.  The more time your business spends driving the higher the likelihood of claims.  Those claims tend to rise in both frequency and severity.  Implementing a safe driving program and keeping up to date driving records for all employees can help limit what you pay in premium.  Age, training, experience, and drivers’ records, as well as the age, condition, and maintenance of the vehicles, are all important items to consider.

Inland Marine

Inland marine is also commonly called ‘Floaters’ coverage.  It is meant for specialized equipment that is frequently in transit as a part of business operations. The exposures often include owned or rented equipment, building materials, as well as materials being transported to and from the job site.  This is commonly needed for businesses that transport their equipment to a third party site for use delivering a service.  The most basic example of an industry that needs this coverage is a landscaping company.  It can also include any business that takes equipment away from the premises for use as a part of normal business operations.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers compensation insurance is required by law in 48 out of 50 states.  Each state has their own specific exclusions depending upon the number of employees and the scope of your work.  It is important to check with the proper governing agency in your state to determine if you are required to purchase this coverage. Even if you are not required to purchase this coverage in many cases it is still beneficial to your business to secure it.  The coverage provides you with protection from lawsuits that may result from injured employees who are injured as a result of normal business practices.  Employees give up the ability to sue for normal injuries, but get back coverage for their medical expenses and some portion of their wages while they are hurt and not able to work.  Typically they are reimbursed 60 percent of their normal wages for the time they are not able to work.

 

20 terms you need to know when purchasing or renewing commercial insurance

For many business owners, purchasing insurance is a foreign concept. Like many industries there are terms only the insiders know and they frequently use when discussing the policies. Here is a list of 20 terms that will give you a leg up the next time you are purchasing or renewing your commercial insurance policy.

 20 commercial insurance terms to be aware of the next time you look to buy small business insurance.

Insurer –  a person or company that underwrites an insurance risk; the party in an insurance contract undertaking the risk to pay compensation.

Insured –  a person or organization covered by an insurance policy.

Peril –   the possibility that you will be hurt or killed or that something unpleasant or bad will happen.  exposure to the risk of being injured, destroyed, or lost.

Premium –   An amount to be paid for an insurance policy. It is an amount paid periodically to the insurer by the insured for covering their risk.

Deductible –  A deductible is the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company will cover your remaining costs. 

1st person liability –  First person liability is for damage that is done to you or your business. A good example of this would be a commercial property insurance policy. This policy covers the damages to you and your property. It does not cover the damage to another persons’ property or if they are hurt on your property.

3rd person liability –  Third person liability is liability that you or your business has to other third parties. Third parties can include customers, vendors, other businesses or anyone who may be harm by the actions of you or your business.

 Claims-made policy –  A policy written on a claims-made basis means that if the insurance is in place when the claim is made, but not when the occurrence took place than the insurer responsible for the claim is the insurer when the claim is made. This is common for professionals like a lawyer or an engineer. In these professions a claim is frequently filed months if not years after the occurrence takes place. At that time the insured may have coverage with a different company and there may be some discrepancy between who is responsible for the claim.

Occurrence based Policy –  A policy written on an occurrence basis means that the insurer responsible for the claim is the insurer who was in place when the occurrence took place. If an engineer works on a house and there is a problem with the house years later than the insurer responsible for the occurrence is the insurer that was in place when the occurrence took place.

 Endorsement –  an endorsement is a document attached to an insurance policy that amends the policy in some way. An endorsement may add, remove or alter the scope of coverage under the policy.

Negligence –  Negligence in relation to insurance means a person or business did not demonstrate appropriate amounts of care or responsibility for a particular situation. The failure to take appropriate precautions can cause you to be considered liable for the damage.  This can also be referred to as the failure to use a degree of care considered reasonable under a given set of circumstances. Liability policies are designed to cover claims of negligence.

Named Insured –  Any person, business or organization who is specifically named as an insured on an insurance policy. This is different from entities who although unnamed may fall within the policy definition of an insured.

Ordinance or Law Coverage –  Coverage for loss caused by the enforcement of an ordinance or law regulating construction and repair of a damaged property. Older structures that are damaged may need to be upgraded in regards to electrical, plumbing, venting, etc. A typical commercial property insurance policy does not pay for these additional cost. This policy is an endorsement on top of your commercial insurance policy and will cover the additional costs needed to bring the new building up to date.

A 'Hammer Clause' is a provision within an insurance policy that gives the insurer the right to settle for an undisclosed amount and if the insured does not agree to the settlement than they take on some or all of the risk. Hammer Clause –  A ‘Hammer Clause‘ is a provision within an insurance policy that gives the insurer the right to settle for an undisclosed amount and if the insured does not agree to the settlement than they take on some or all of the risk. In some cases, the insured takes on all of the risk, but in many cases it is 70/30 or 50/50.

The Assigned Risk Provider (Also known as the pool or the state fund) –  The assigned risk provider applies to workers’ compensation coverage. It is the provider of last resort within each state for businesses who cannot obtain coverage on the open market. The business may not be able to obtain coverage for a number of reasons. Typically, it is because of the small size of the company or because of their loss history. The Assigned Risk Provider offers coverage at a higher rate and typically once you are in the pool you must stay in the pool for 2-3 years.

Business Owners’ Package (BOP) –  A business owner’s policy, commonly referred to as a BOP, combines several lines of coverage built into one policy. They are often better suited for small business owners because they offer targeted coverage options designed for specific types of businesses within certain industries. They are usually less expensive then purchasing coverage separately because the business is purchasing multiple policies for liability, property, commercial auto, etc. 

Find out if you as an Artisan Contractors need workers compensation insurance coverage at myinsurancequestion.comArtisan Contractor –   This term refers to businesses in several different industries. It includes many occupations that involve skilled work with tools at the customer’s premises. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, roofers and tree surgeons are some professions that would be included in this group of businesses. Also included are diverse other skilled service providers, such as interior decorators, piano tuners and exterminators.

Loss History –  Loss history is a documented history of damages or losses connected with a given asset. It is a way for the insurance carrier to determine the amount of claims your business has against an insurance policy.  They use it to determine how much premium to charge or if they are willing to take on the risk altogether. 

Inland Marine Insurance – Inland Marine Insurance is property insurance for property that is likely to be in transit over land.  Many inland marine coverage forms provide coverage without regard to the location of the covered property; these are sometimes called “floater” policies. As a group, inland marine coverage forms are generally broader than property coverage forms.

Find out if your business truly needs commercial umbrella coverage at myinsurancequestion.comUmbrella Coverage –  The umbrella policy serves three purposes: it provides excess limits when the limits of underlying liability policies are exhausted by the payment of claims; it drops down and picks up where the underlying policy leaves off when the aggregate limit of the underlying policy in question is exhausted by the payment of claims; and it provides protection against some claims not covered by the underlying policies, subject to the assumption by the named insured of a self-insured retention (SIR).

First Party vs. Third Party Liability

The difference between first party and third party liability is essential to protecting a business properly. This is one thing that many business owners frequently neglect. Many business owners see insurance as a fixed cost. Others see it as some sort of tax. Considering some of the coverages are required by law in most states it is easy to understand why some business owners look at them this way. They are also part of your overall plan to protect the long term viability of your business. At least they should be. Protecting your business from both first party and third party liability is essential to properly protecting your business.

First Party vs. Third Party Liability

The most basic example of the contrast between first and third party liability is in the four types of coverage most businesses purchase. Some of these policies are even required by law in nearly every state. These first two coverages are commercial property and commercial auto and they are examples of First party coverage. The legally required coverages are workers’ compensation and general liability and they are examples of Third party coverage. The first two represent first party coverage because they cover damages to you and your business. This would also include a coverage like inland marine coverage. The second two policies represent third party coverage because they protect your business from the third party liability to other people and organizations.  This is covers damages caused by you or your business to third parties. Third parties can include customers, vendor partners or anyone damaged by the actions of your business.

Find the answers to your questions about third party liability at myinsurancequestion.com

Workers’ Compensation and General Liability are required by law for most businesses in most states because they are liability to third parties. If businesses chose not to secure these coverages and then accidents were to occur, the only course of action for the victim would be to take the liable business to court. Because of these requirements they are frequently referred to as the ‘Exclusive Remedy’.

Other policies like those that cover a Data Breach are typically sold in tandem. Data Breach insurance is usually paired in combo as Cyber Security and Cyber LiabilityCyber Security,  also commonly known as Privacy Notification and Crisis Management Expense Coverage,  protects damage to you and your business that result from a data breach. These costs are commonly referred to as the ‘immediate response costs’.  They could include, notifying all customers damaged by the breach, hiring a forensic expert to find the source of the breach, providing credit monitoring for those victims for up to one year (required by law in most states) and hiring a public relations firm to restore your businesses tainted image.  Cyber Liability covers your liability to third parties. These third parties can include customers, vendors or anyone else damaged by your business as a result of the data breach.

 

What is Artisan Contractors Insurance? 

Inside the insurance industry Artisan Contractors Insurance is commonly referred to as insurance for Artisan Contractors. What is an Artisan Contractor? That is a question many new business owners ask when applying for insurance the first time. These business owners frequently find out this is what classification their business is in. Artisan Contractors are a wide range of businesses that operate in different parts of the construction industry. Electricians, Plumbers and Painters are all included in this category.

Artisan Contractors Insurance for Electricians

Some common (NCCI) industry classification codes include:

  • 5191 Electricians
  • 5183 Plumbers
  • 5537 HVAC Contractors
  • 5221 Concrete Construction
  • 5474 Painters
  • 5437 Finishing Carpenters

They each have a similar, but different role within the construction industry and each type of work carries unique risks. From an insurers perspective they each carry their own risk and that is why they are separated into several separate class codes. Working with your insurance agent to make sure you are in the proper classification code can go a long way towards removing any headaches down the road relating to your commercial insurance policy.

Below are some common types of insurance recommended for Artisan Contractors Insurance:

 

General Liability

General Liability (GL) is typically the first line of insurance purchased by a business. GL is required by law in most states; additionally, businesses are often required to purchase coverage with most contracts for leases, loans, and work performed for others. GL exposures are primarily at the contractor’s office or shop and are generally limited due to lack of public access to the premises. Retail sales increase the possibility of customers slipping, falling, or tripping if customers visit office to view products.  Job-site exposures include potential injury to the client or damage to the client’s property. Tools, power cords, building materials and scrap material, use of saws and other power or hand tools are all potential risks.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is a state mandated insurance coverage required by nearly every state in the country. The basic purpose of Workers’ Compensation Insurance is to assure that injured workers get medical care and compensation for a portion of the income they lose while they are unable to work.  Workers receive benefits regardless of who was at fault in the accident. Also, Workers’ Compensation Coverage prevents the employer from bearing the costs of injuries that occur during normal business operations.

Commercial Auto

Automobile exposures are generally limited to transporting workers, equipment and supplies to and from job sites. Hazards depend on the type and use of vehicles and radius of operation with the main hazards being upsets. Vehicles may have special modifications or built-in equipment such as lifts and hoists.  If employees utilize their own personal vehicles for work related tasks then Hired and Non-Owned Coverage should be purchased.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto 

Hired and non-owned auto insurance is commonly added (or endorsed) onto the commercial auto insurance policy. This endorsement adds additional coverages for the insured in the event there becomes a liability issue for their business for an automobile accident involving a vehicle they don’t directly insure. This coverage will pay for damages to a third party, on behalf of you the insured. This coverage kicks in if the business is held liable for an accident or injury caused by a vehicle they hired or a vehicle someone uses while performing work for a business. If you send an employee to run and errand on behalf of the business, your business is responsible for damages that occur.

Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance for business owners covers many types of losses and damages to a companies property. Property exposures are generally limited to those of an office, shop, and storage of materials, equipment, and vehicles.  Property insurance typically provides coverage for events like fire, smoke, wind, hail and vandalism. Policies often have included or excluded coverages. Some natural disasters like earthquake or hail, may have separate deductibles.

Inland Marine

Inland marine exposures include contractors’ tools and equipment, including ladders and scaffolding, hoists, and portable welders, the transport of materials, and installation floater. Goods in transit consists of tools and equipment as well as products purchased by the customer for installation at the job site.