Bleacher installers design and install bleachers and other seating systems at schools, sports facilities, parks, and a variety of other public spaces designed for mass seating.
Unfortunately, around 10,000 bleacher-related injuries occur each year, mostly related to inadequate guardrails or when bleachers collapse due to design flaws, installation issues, or poor maintenance. For bleacher installers, one major collapse related to your work can lead to a multi-million dollar payout and potential bankruptcy.
While you do everything you can to ensure the safety and proper installation of the bleachers you install, sometimes the worst situations just can't be avoided. What’s more, you face a lot of other business risks too.
You need a comprehensive business insurance program tailored for bleacher installers if you want to protect your business assets when you’re faced with a loss. A local independent insurance agent can help you find the coverage you need.
Why Do You Need Bleacher Installer Insurance?
Bleacher installers need business insurance to protect everything that’s important. You face serious risk s of lawsuits if you cause property damage or injuries on a job site. And your valuable property (tools, equipment, escalator parts, etc.) can be damaged, destroyed, or stolen from your warehouse or workshop, from job sites, or while they’re in transit.
Serious injuries involving bleachers often involve multiple injured parties and result in significant settlements or jury awards. If you were faced with such a situation, how would you pay for your legal fees and the financial payouts to the injured parties?
What’s more, your employees perform risky work and can be seriously injured at any time.
If you want to stay in business after a lawsuit or a significant property loss, you’ve got to have the funds to pay for medical expenses, attorney fees, and repairing or replacing damaged property.
And your risks don’t even end there. It’s not uncommon for bleacher installers to experience:
- Loss of income due to a catastrophic or unexpected event
- Employee theft of cash or inventory
- Employee lawsuits related to discrimination or other claims
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What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?
Bleacher installers need a tailored portfolio of insurance policies and coverage that protect against your unique exposures. The first major building block of bleacher installer insurance is commercial general liability (CGL) insurance. It is essential to protect you from the risk of negligence claims (claims that you’ve caused bodily injury or property damage to third parties) and related lawsuits.
Commercial general liability insurance provides coverage for many of the liability exposures you face as a bleacher installer. It pays for medical expenses and property damage for third-party injuries and property damage caused by you or your employees while performing bleacher installation, repair, or maintenance work.
CGL policies also usually include products-completed operations liability insurance that responds if you’re sued because a bleacher system or parts that you have installed are faulty and cause injuries to others. Completed operations insurance covers a contractor's liability for property damage or injuries to a third party once contracted operations cease (e.g., injuries related to poor or faulty installation, bleacher collapse, etc. after the construction period is over). Contractors and manufacturers typically purchase additional or separate policies in amounts that have higher limits than what is provided in the CGL policy.
Products-completed operations insurance helps bleacher installers settle claims while maintaining their financial stability. It can protect against breach of contract and negligence claims, and ensures reasonable compensation for damage or injuries resulting from your work or your products. It also pays for your legal fees and financial settlements to the injured parties. Completed operations insurance will not cover expenses related to product recalls.
You’ll probably need proof of CGL coverage in order to be licensed by your state, as well as in order to submit bids and be chosen for work on any projects.
If a general contractor hires you as a subcontractor, they are likely to require that you add them to your liability insurance policy as an additional insured for the duration of the particular job. And if you hire subcontractors to work for you, you’ll want to ask them to add you to their coverage. This ensures that adequate coverage is in place throughout the project regardless of who performs the work.
What Other Liability Policies Do Bleacher Installers Need?
You’ll also need some other types of liability insurance to protect your bleacher installation business.
- Commercial auto insurance: Your business probably owns a van, truck, or a fleet of vehicles used to transport tools, equipment, and supplies to and from installation sites. Heavy vehicles are even more capable of causing accidents and injuring others than other types of vehicles. Commercial auto insurance covers your owned vehicles and drivers in the event of an accident or other vehicle damage that occurs. It provides coverage for property damage and bodily injury liability claims, vehicle damage, and medical bills, as well as any costs related to lawsuits due to auto accidents involving your vehicles.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This is a special liability policy that shields your business from large financial losses if a current or former employee sues you for a perceived illegal business practice, such as breach of contract, discrimination, or wrongful termination.
- Commercial umbrella insurance: Provides an extra layer of liability protection to any of several other liability policies you might have. Commercial umbrella insurance kicks in when the limits of your other applicable insurance policies have been exhausted, protecting you in the event that a claim exceeds the amount of coverage available from any other applicable policy. Adding an umbrella policy to your bleacher installer insurance portfolio helps you gain additional liability coverage for all of your policies, rather than spending more to increase the liability limits on several policies individually.
What Does Property Insurance Cover?
You are likely to have and use a lot of tools and equipment that can be very expensive to replace. You will therefore want to be sure that your bleacher installer insurance includes coverage against damage and theft of your commercial property.
Commercial property insurance covers things that are on your business premises, such as items in your office space, warehouse, or shop. It helps you pay to repair or replace buildings and other items that are damaged by things like fire, weather, smoke, theft, and vandalism.
You’ll also need business interruption coverage as part of your property insurance. It reimburses you for lost income and helps pay for certain ongoing expenses if you are temporarily unable to operate due to a covered loss (fire, storm, etc.).
What’s more, bleacher installers usually have most of their valuable property in transit and at job sites. You need inland marine insurance to cover tools and equipment that are in transit or located on a job site. If you’re working in new construction, the general contractor may also have builders risk insurance that may extend coverage to your tools, equipment, and materials that are on site.
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Why Do You Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Bleacher installers often work at dangerous construction sites, and may be exposed to heights and other dangers. Your employees must lift and carry heavy equipment, tools, and parts, and may be exposed to muscle strains, electrical shocks, crush injuries, and a variety of other work-related injuries. While workers are often required to wear hardhats, goggles, and other safety equipment, accidents and injuries still happen to bleacher installers.
That’s why you need workers’ compensation insurance. It provides coverage for medical expenses and lost wages for injured workers. Business owners are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees, but specific coverage requirements vary by state.
What Are Contractors Bonds and Do You Need them?
You might need a variety of contractors bonds, or surety bonds, depending on the size and scope of the projects that you work on. Bonds are very important for any contractors who work on commercial or municipal construction sites.
Contractors bonds can be essential for finding, securing, and performing work. They are typically used to guarantee some aspect of the bidding process or building project and reassure the project owner that you are fully licensed, insured, and prepared to complete the project as promised.
Every type of bond is unique and tailored to a specific project.
How Much Does Bleacher Installer Insurance Cost?
Insurance for bleacher installers can range from several hundreds of dollars per month to thousands. The costs to insure your individual business will depend on the size of your operation, as well as a variety of individual risk factors including:
- The size of your business
- The location of your shop and any other buildings that you own or operate out of (office space, warehouse space)
- The number of employees
- The types of tools, machines, and specialized equipment that you have
- How many trucks and drivers you have (if applicable)
- The size and scope of the projects you take on
- The value of the inventory and other property you keep on your premises
- The types of coverage and amount of coverage that you need
Ultimately the types and amounts of coverage you need to adequately cover your risks will dictate the cost of your coverage.
Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents simplify the search process for finding the right bleacher installer insurance. They’ll walk you through some handpicked policy options and explain the details.
Most importantly, they’ll be there for you when claim time comes. They know the ins and outs of the process and will make sure your claim is handled appropriately.
The Lowdown on Online Quotes
Online quotes can be tempting. They are fast and easy to get—but are they accurate? And are you getting quotes for the right coverage? For business owners, choosing speed over accuracy can cost you.
Online quotes can’t and don’t see the whole picture. They can leave out important coverage that will leave you devastated if something unexpected happens. And they can leave out cost-saving opportunities that an agent can help you take advantage of.
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent now, and get one-on-one consultation and affordable options for the best coverage for your unique needs.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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