17.2% Decrease for North Carolina Workers Compensation Rates 2019

North Carolina Workers Compensation Rates will be declining in 2019

In 2019, businesses in the state of North Carolina will on average pay 17.2 percent less for workers compensation insurance.  This decrease is in addition to a 8.5 percent decrease in 2016 and a 12.5 percent decrease in 2017. This is great news for a state that was previously ranked 23 out of 50 states when it comes to what they pay for workers compensation premium. This decrease should lower the states ranking and considering North Carolina is the 10th most populous state, this is great news for the business community.

North Carolina Flag within the outline of the state border.

Why are North Carolina Workers Compensation Rates Declining in 2019

North Carolina Workers Compensation Rates 2019 are decreasing primarily as a result of insurance carriers processing fewer and paying out less for workers’ compensation claims. Because of these declines the carriers are able to pass on the savings to customers. Now not all industries are going to see the same amount of decrease.  Some industries may fair better than others. According to the North Carolina Rating Bureau (NCRB) proposed an average 15.8 percent rate decrease to manufacturing industry groups, an average 6.5 percent decrease to contracting industry groups, and an average 19.3 percent decrease to both office and clerical and goods and services industries.

Charlotte, North Carolina Skyline

How can Businesses Ensure Maximum Savings on North Carolina Workers Compensation Rates 2019

Partner with an Independent Agent

Partnering with an Independent Agent is one of the best ways to ensure your business is getting maximum coverage at rock-bottom rates. This is because an independent agent is not pressured to sell you the coverage of one insurance carrier. They can shop your policy out to multiple carriers in order to make those carriers compete for your business.

Control Your Experience Modification Rating

The experience modification rating of a business is crucial to limiting what you pay for workers compensation.  The first thing an underwriter looks at when determining if to offer your business coverage and what to charge you for that coverage, is the classification code of your business and the experience modification rating of that is business.

Prepare for Natural Disasters

In the state of North Carolina, Natural Disasters are a realistic risk to consider no matter what part of the state you are located. Hurricanes and flooding are especially important to speak with your insurance agent about. The amount of risk you are comfortable with may not be the same as other business owners. If this is the case, it is important to express this to your agent. Tell them what your business does, what the climate is like where you live, and the level of risk you are comfortable. With this knowledge, a good independent agent should be able to come up with a number of packages that will suit your needs.

Develop an In-depth Safety Program

Safety Programs are one of the most cost effective ways for a business to save money. Not only can an effective safety program help a business save on commercial insurance, it can also help save money in many other ways. Lowering damage to equipment, less missed days by injured employees, and a happier workforce are at the top of the list of ways a business can benefit from an effective safety program.

Include a Return-to-Work Program

A Return-to-Work Program is something that can be implemented in tandem with a safety program and save your business immensely when you do experience an injured worker. Statistics show, the quicker an employee gets back on the job, (in any capacity) the more likely they are to return to permanent work. This will save your business considerably by not damaging your experience modification rating, by not having to deal with a missing or injured employee, and by not having to retrain a new employee to do what the injured employee had experience with.

North Carolina Mountain Landscape

North Carolina businesses will be seeing improvements next year in the form of a lower bill for workers compensation premium. This good news resulted from insurance carriers processing fewer and paying out less for workers’ compensation claims. In light of these savings, business owners should consult with their insurance agent to make sure they are maximizing savings when it comes to workers compensation as well as all other forms of commercial insurance. Partnering with an independent agent is the most efficient way to ensure comprehensive coverage at the lowest rate possible.

Ocean Sunset along the North Carolina Coast

Indiana Workers Compensation 2019

Indiana Workers Compensation Rates are going down by an average of more than 7%. 

Indiana Workers Compensation Rates 2019 will be going down by an amount of 7.6 percent on average for businesses throughout the state. The Department of Insurance approved the decrease in the month of October and the benefits go in to effect the first of January 2019. This savings is estimated to amount to a savings of more than $60 million for Indiana Businesses.

Indiana Workers Compensation

Why are Indiana Workers Compensation Rates 2019 Declining

Many things go in to what a business pays for workers compensation insurance. The experience modification rate of the business and the strength of the assigned risk provider in the particular state equate an enormous amount towards what a carrier decides to charge a business for coverage.  Indiana Workers Compensation are decreasing because of lowering frequency of worker injuries. The department of insurance also credited a robust job market as a reason for lower rates because as the economy grows people open more businesses which create a larger base for insurers to collect premiums.

Indiana Farm In Winter

How can Business Owners Maximize saving on Indiana Workers Compensation Rates 2019?

Shop Around Your Indiana Workers Compensation Policy

It is never a good idea to switch carriers at the drop of a hat because of a small drop in premium. At the same time it is equally important to shop your policy around periodically to ensure your carrier is offering a competitive price. An efficient way to do this is to partner with an independent agent.

Use an Independent Agent

Partnering with an independent agent is always a great way to ensure maximum savings on the most comprehensive coverage available. An independent agent is a good partner because they can shop your policy around to multiple carriers in an attempt to get better coverage at lower rates by forcing the carriers to compete for your coverage. An independent agent will allow you to focus on running your business while your agent shops around your insurance policy.

Ensure Your Business is Classified Properly

Far too many businesses have employees that are not classified properly. If you have different types of employees than it is important to discuss this with your insurance agent at renewal. This can be an issue if you have some employees who are in office/clerical positions yet other employees who may be in other positions that are more physical in nature. When employees are classified improperly, it is typically cleared up during the post term audit.  Even when t his mistake gets cleared up during the end of term audit, it still causes the business to either over pay throughout the year or have an unexpected additional payment at the end of the term. In order to not over or underpay your insurance premium, make sure you are placed in the proper classification code.

 

Landscaping: Pay as You Go Workers Compensation

4 ways Small Businesses can save when purchasing Pay as You Go Workers Compensation for Landscaping Businesses

The Landscaping Industry can be seasonal in nature depending upon the climate where a business is located. The industry is also dependent, to some extent, upon the weather. Because of this seasonal nature and the dependency on the weather, it can be difficult to forecast man hours throughout the entire year. This can make a traditional workers compensation policy costly and in accurate. For this reason it is wise for most companies to go with Pay as you Go Workers Compensation for Landscaping Businesses

Pay as You Go Workers Compensation for Landscaping Businesses | My Insurance Question

Low Up-front Costs

With a traditional workers’ compensation policy the insurance carrier requires a down payment of around 1/4 to 1/3 of the total premium up-front just to get a policy in place. This amount is estimated depending upon the previous year or the previous three years payroll. In the landscaping business this can be a problem because the amount of man hours is dependent on a number of factors that are out of the businesses control. In most cases, with Pay as You Go Workers Compensation for Landscaping Businesses, a business owner can get a policy in place for little more than a few hundred dollars. This allows the business to free up additional cash that can be better spent on more immediate business needs.

Pay Premium in Real-time

As previously stated, a traditional workers compensation insurance plan is based off of an estimate from a previous years payroll. This can be extremely different than the current years staffing levels. This can cause a landscaping business to severely over or under pay for premium throughout the year. When you have over paid this might be a pleasant surprise after an end of term audit determines you get a refund. On the contrary if you under pay premium it can cause you to take on an unexpected cost. When a business goes with a Pay as you Go Workers Compensation for Landscaping Businesses, they pay the premium in real-time based upon the previous months actual payroll levels. This dramatically improves accuracy and frees up cash for other expenditures.

Less risk of being audited

Pay as You Go Workers’ Compensation allows business owners to pay their premium in real-time each month based upon the previous months payroll. They do this through a three way partnership between a payroll company, the insurance agency, and the landscaping business. This benefits all three parties involved because the payroll company keeps an accurate count of man hours worked each month, the insurance agency bills the landscaping company based upon an accurate payroll from the previous month, and the landscaping company is at less risk of being audited mid term for their payroll and insurance premium payments.

Frees up Cash

When a small business decides to go Pay as You Go Workers Compensation for Landscaping Businesses they are able to free up cash for two main reasons. First, because of the accuracy of your insurance payments there are less surprises at the end of the term due to over or under paying. Also, there is a lower up-front cost due to not having to pay up to a third of the premium just to get coverage in place. This is great for start ups and cash strapped businesses alike.

Tips for Home Health Care Agencies

Owning and operating a home health care agency can be complex. The clients you deal with can have a wide range of health issues you and your employees need to be familiar with. Some clients may be small and frail, but very mobile; while another client may be large and immobile. Some may have mental problems like dementia while other clients may have mobility issues like the aftermath of a stroke. With each of these clients comes a unique set of risks. These risks all determine what type of insurance you need and how much that insurance will cost. Here are three tips to help you the next time you shop for home health care workers comp.

Make sure you are classified accurately

For purposes of workers compensation insurance, governance of these programs is left up to the individual states. Most of the states partner with the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) to determine a classification code for each business and the rate of premium for each code. There are currently more than 700 different codes a business can be classified as. Each industry has multiple classification codes depending upon the scope and scale of the business. Depending upon the actions of your employees while on the job, the amount of premium is reflected through your businesses classification code.

Hire carefully

Unfortunately the home health care industry tends to have a high turnover rate. The two main reasons for this is the stress of the job and the amount of pay for most employees. In order to turn a profit, there is only so much a business owner can pay their employees in order to stay profitable. Because of this fact, it is difficult to keep the best employees around. This is a reason to hire carefully and for the long-term. Sometimes the candidate with the best resume is not as good for your business as the candidate who is the best fit for your business. Finding the best fit is different from business to business based upon the scope of the business and the market that business operates in. Taking additional time to hire the right person will almost always pay off in the long run.

Implement safety protocols

Safety programs are immensely important in the home health care industry. This industry has both a high volume of insurance claims and the claims can be high in severity. The reason for this is because many employees drive their own vehicle to a remote location and many drive to multiple locations throughout the day. The time that your employees drives from location to location makes the liability for accidents that occur the responsibility of the business. This is regardless of whether the employee is on the clock or not. It is important to consider implementing a driver safety program for your home healthcare business.

It is also important to implement safety programs  for the time your employees are in the homes with clients. Depending upon the limitations of each client, your employees should be prepared to keep themselves safe first and keep the client safe second. Let them know that they cannot help the client if they do not take care of themselves first. Because of the remote nature of this work, it is important to have weekly face to face meetings with all employees and to discuss safety protocols with 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.

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.

 

Pest Control Insurance Needs

Pest Control Companies Face Unique Risks

Pest control companies provide services to commercial and residential customers who have problems with insects, rodents and other nuisances on their property. The fumigator or exterminator determines the type of pest and the most effective method of extermination. These methods should always be the method that will cause the least amount of disruption to the customer, regardless if the customer is an individual or a business. Because these businesses are constantly interacting with customers off-premise and the nature of the chemicals they are using, risks in this industry are high.

In order to manage risks properly, pest control companies need to have thorough training procedures for all employees.  Those training programs should include safety programs to keep the employees and the clients safe at all times. In addition to adequate safety programs, pest control companies need to acquire adequate insurance coverage to protect the business from the unique risks each business faces. Here are six types of insurance coverage every pest control company should have.

Pest Control by Fumigation

Minimum recommended coverage:

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

General Liability Insurance

General Liability risks arise for pest control companies when employees travel off-premises in order to applying chemicals. Customers should be given proper instructions on controls regarding anyone or anything that could be exposed to hazardous materials while the application is going on. This is especially important for clients who have children, pets, sick and elderly individuals. In some instances, temporary evacuation is required during application. This may be  followed by a waiting period and re-ventilation to replace the fumigant with fresh air.

Commercial Property Coverage

Commercial  property risks depend on the type of property you own and operate as well as the types of chemicals being stored on the property.  It also depends on the amount of these chemicals you keep on the property and whether or not those chemicals are flammable. Hazards increase if the contractor fails to store the chemicals properly in approved containers, cabinets and rooms, with accurate labeling and separation. Speaking long and honestly with your independent insurance agent is always the best way to properly protect your business. This conversation should include exactly what the employees of your business do on a daily basis, what is the condition of the property you operate, and exactly what chemicals you are storing on the property.

Business Personal Property Insurance

Business Personal Property Insurance provides coverage to small businesses for furniture, fixtures, merchandise, materials and all other personal property owned by you personally and used in your business. The best part about this coverage is that it is generally at replacement cost. Many business owners think this type of loss is covered by their commercial property insurance, but it is not. This coverage can and should be added to most BOP or CPP Packages if there is a need for this coverage.

Commercial Auto Coverage

Automobile exposure in the pest control industry is extremely high due to the amount of time employees spend in their vehicles travelling to clients locations. In addition, there is the fact that the employees are also transporting chemicals throughout their workday. Drivers in some states may need a hazardous materials (“hazmat”) endorsement to transport some chemicals used. Risks increase if the insured lacks spill control procedures and equipment.

Inland Marine Insurance

Inland marine exposures in the pest control industry come primarily from the contractor’s equipment and the transporting of that equipment, chemicals and supplies to the customers’ premises. Equipment is not highly susceptible to damage, but it can be hazardous to both your employees and clients.  This equipment may include tarps, drills, measuring devices and other hand tools. The tarps and plastics used to enclose the areas to be fumigated may be bulky and require attention to folding and tying down. The chemical containers may be vulnerable to overturn or damage that causes leaking, which impacts the auto and premises liability exposures.

Workers Compensation Coverage

Workers compensation exposure can be high for the Pest Control industry. Common hazards include slips and falls during application; minor injuries while using hand tools; lifting injury and back injuries, hernia, sprain and strain. Employees can experience lung, eye, or skin irritations due to the chemicals. The impact of these chemicals can be immediate or long term.  In some Pest Control companies seasonal employees may make safety a challenge. Loss potential becomes severe if the contractor fails to train and supervise employees properly. This is especially important when it comes to the proper use of protective gear by the employees.

 

Business Liability Category: Artisan Contractors

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 7342: Disinfecting and Pest Control Services
  • 2879: Pesticides and Chemicals—Not Classified Elsewhere

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 561710: Exterminating and Pest Control Services
  • 325320: Pesticide and Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 43860: Fumigators
  • 43470: Pest Control Services

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 9014: Janitorial Services by Contractors (Florida—Exterminators)
  • 4828: Chemical Blending and Pest Control Fumigation
  • 9031: California Code—Pest Control—All Operations
  • 0046: Massachusetts Code—Pesticide Application

Auto Repair

5 Insurance Coverages every Auto Repair Business Should Have

Auto Repair Shops offer a wide variety of mechanical services. These services may include from engine repair and tune-ups. Some businesses specialize in a specific type of sales and repair, like tires, transmissions or brakes. Normally, auto repair shops do not specialize in body work or painting operations. These services are typically performed by specialized professionals. Some operations include the retail sales of automobile parts and tools. Some repair shops are a part of a gasoline or diesel fuel sales operation, or part of an automobile dealership. Each type of operation has its own unique risks and its own unique insurance needs. Here are 5 coverages every auto repair shop owner should strongly consider, in order to properly protect their business.

Auto Repair Shop

 

✓ General Liability Insurance
✓ Garage Keepers Liability
✓ Commercial Auto
✓ Hired and Non-Owned Auto
✓ Workers Compensation Insurance

General Liability

General Liability Exposure can come in many different forms. Like many industries the risk begins with slips, tips and falls by third parties on your premises. This risk starts primarily due to public access to the businesses facility. Risks also arise from having cars parked overnight in the parking lot of the facility.  These areas should be well lit and an ongoing relationship with local law enforcement is advisable.

Garage Keepers Liability

Garage Keepers Liability is usually worded as, “a form of bailee liability designed to cover damage to autos belonging to others while in the insured’s care”. In layman’s terms this is an insurance policy for the liability a business might face related to cars that are stored at their facility for multiple days.  These are other peoples cars that your business is performing a service on that is not able to be completed in one day.

Commercial Auto

Commercial Auto Insurance is needed if your business owns its own vehicles and employees use the vehicle for business purposes. If you own and operate vehicles at your business, it is important to properly train all people who are going to be operating the vehicles. Collecting and documenting these employees motor vehicle records is recommended. Both the training program you have in place and the vehicle records you collect need to be well documented for when you quote new coverage and when a claim arises.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Risks mainly arrive from employees running errands for the business.  If you have employees partaking in these types of activities, all drivers should have valid licenses and their motor vehicle registrations regularly checked. Have these records documented can help you independent insurance agent save you when quoting coverage.

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation Insurance risks can be significant for auto repair shops. Employees are at risk when performing brake tuning, welding or other repair work. These activities should take place only with appropriate safety equipment. Lifting of a vehicle by hoists, jacks, and other mechanical means can result in injury should the equipment malfunction. Lifting by non-mechanical means can result in back injury, sprains, strains or hernias. Having a documented policy in place for how employees are supposed to do these activities is crucial to prevent injured employees.

Auto Repair Shop Insurance Information at My Insurance Question.

Here are the most common commercial insurance classification codes for auto repair shops.  

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 7533: Automotive Exhaust Repair Shops
  • 7538: General Automotive Repair Shops
  • 7532: Body, Paint and Upholstery Repair

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 811111: General Automotive Repair
  • 811112: Automotive Exhaust System Repair
  • 811113: Automotive Transmission Repair
  • 811118: Other Automotive Mechanical and Electrical Repair and Maintenance
  • 811121: Automotive Body, Paint and Interior Repair and Maintenance
  • 811122: Automotive Glass Replacement Shops
  • 811198: All Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 10072: Automotive—Quick Lube
  • 10073: Auto Sales, Repair and Service
  • 10075: Automotive Repair Shop—Self Service

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 8380: Auto Repair
  • 8393: Auto Body Repair or Paint Shop
  • 9516: Auto Shop—Radio and Equipment

Here is a great video about Auto Repair Shops and Workers Compensation Insurance  from our partners at Employers.

 

5 facts about insurance

5 little known facts about insurance, every small business owner should know.

General Liability covers my employees if they are injured at work

This is false. General Liability Insurance covers your businesses liability to third parties injured by the actions of your business. This goes for both property damage and bodily injuries.  One thing a general liability policy does not cover is the injuries that occur to your employees.  For these injuries you need a separate workers compensation insurance policy.  Workers comp will cover your employees for medical care and some lost wages when they are hurt on the job and not able to work.

The only thing that determines your rate for insurance is your loss ratio.  

There are many things that go in to how a carrier determines what you pay in premium for coverage.  First is your classification code.  It is pretty easy to understand that an accounting firm is taking on a lot less risk compared to a roofing company.  The level of risk is going to be represented in the amount those businesses pay for premium.

Your personal auto insurance will cover your car when you are using it for business purposes.  

You may need Hired and Non-owned Auto Insurance.This statement is not true.  If you are using your car for business purposes, it is not completely covered under your personal insurance policy.  The personal insurance policy will pay to cover the damages to your car, but it will not cover your liability to third parties. That liability falls on the shoulders of the business.  For that reason, you will need to secure either a commercial auto policy or a hired and non owned auto policy.

You must pay your insurance premium in full up-front.

This is not true.  Most commercial policies require 25% or more of the premium in order to get coverage in place than you pay 9 monthly payments over the last 9 months of the policy period.  There are also options the insurance industry has developed to help cash strapped companies. This is the Pay as You Go option.  Pay as you go can get coverage in place for only a few hundred dollars and then you pay premium each month based upon the monthly payroll.  This is an excellent option for seasonal or cash straped businesses.

There is no need for Business Insurance if you work out of your home.

This is absolutely not correct.  The liability needs you face are different if you work from home, but there are still risks you need to cover.  If you drive to clients houses you need some form of commercial auto.  If you have specialized equipment you may need inland marine coverage and if you offer professional advice you more than likely need professional liability.  These are just a few coverages you may need for a home office and an experienced insurance professional can help you make sure your business is protected with just a short conversation.  It is important to be thorough and honest during these conversations.

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.