Any time hammers and bandsaws are on the table, there are risks to be concerned about. And if you’re a carpenter, that’s about every minute of your day. And risk like that needs the right protection.
Our independent insurance agents may not be master carpenters (though some might), but they do know how to help. They’ll explore the ins and outs of your operation and connect you with the coverage you need to keep it all protected. So let’s talk a bit about what you can expect for coverage in your business.
How Risky is the Carpentry Business?
Like we said, there’s hammers and saws involved, soooo…Finish carpenters face a number of property and liability risks that include:
- Property theft, vandalism, loss, or damage
- Income Loss
- Employee illness, injury, or death
- Liability claims
Having the right insurance helps you mitigate the costs related to employee injuries, equipment and materials damage, motor vehicle accidents, and more.
Every finish carpentry business is unique, as you can imagine, and your insurance needs need to be tailored to the size of your company, the number of employees you have, and the type of work that you do.
Carpenters Insurance Overview
In most cases, carpenters don’t have customers or the general public on their premises. But you still need liability insurance for occasions where your business causes any sort of third-party bodily injury or property damage off-site.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance protects you from third-party lawsuits, with coverage for attorney fees, court costs, settlements, and judgments up to your policy limits.
- Commercial auto insurance covers your drivers and owned vehicles in the event of an accident or other vehicle damage. It covers property damage and bodily injury liability claims, vehicle damage and medical bills, as well as any costs related to lawsuits from auto accidents involving your vehicles. You may also want to talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for excess liability, or commercial umbrella, insurance.
- Commercial umbrella insurance provides an extra layer of liability protection to a variety of other policies you might have. It kicks in when the limits of your other applicable insurance policies have been reached to protect you from a claim that exceeds the amount of coverage available from your other policy.
- Finish carpentry contractors also need to protect their valuable property and equipment.
- Commercial property insurance covers your office space, warehouse or other buildings, and their contents for losses due to fire, theft, vandalism, weather events and more.
- Property insurance can also include loss of income coverage, or business interruption 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.).
- Inland marine insurance is another form of property insurance that protects your equipment, tools, portable computer equipment, and other supplies from theft, loss, or damage while in transit to and from worksites.
- Builders risk insurance is another type of inland marine insurance. It provides coverage for damage, theft, or loss of tools and equipment at a worksite, as well as for structures that take on covered damages while under construction.
Protect Your Employees With Workers Compensation Insurance
Keeping your employees safe from work-related injuries and illnesses is important for both their long-term health and your company’s financial success. Excessive employee injuries and illnesses can be financially devastating for your business.
Workers compensation insurance provides coverage for lost wages and all medical treatment coming from employee injuries in the course and scope of their employment.
Workers compensation insurance provides benefits to injured workers regardless of who is at fault for their injury. And it provides death benefits for a worker’s dependents if there is a fatality.
A Note About Contractors Bonds
Finish carpenters, like most other types of contractors, may need a variety of contractors bonds, or surety bonds, for some project that they work on. Contractors bonds are often essential for finding, securing, and performing work for a number of construction projects.
They may be required by a project owner in order for your bid to be accepted, and they usually guarantee some aspect of the bidding process and the contract.
There’s all sorts of different surety bonds, including bid bonds, performance bonds, payment bonds, license and permit bonds, and maintenance bonds. Each one is unique and tailored to a specific project. Most insurance agents who help contractors can also help with their bond needs.
Do Carpenters Need Professional Liability Insurance?
New approaches to building and building projects have opened up a stronger need for all kinds of contractors — including finish carpenters — to get set up with the right professional liability coverage.
As carpenters and other contractors continue to play a stronger role in the design process, their exposure to professional liability claims increases as well. If you take on design responsibilities, or even subcontract to a design firm, the ultimate responsibility for advising clients during a project’s design phase may fall on you.
Professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions insurance, covers professionals, their partners, their employees, and the business itself for damage caused by their services. You can be sued for providing shoddy advice or services, acts of negligence, or even omissions.
Professional liability insurance covers your defense costs and any settlements or judgments that you must pay if you are sued. Most policies can be tailored specifically to the exposures faced by your business.
The best way to determine if you need carpenters professional liability insurance is to talk with an independent insurance agent. An independent insurance agent who has experience working with carpenters can help assess all of your unique needs and find the right policies to protect your assets.
The Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents are kind of like the Google of insurance quotes. You tell them what you’re looking for, and they bring in the results. And since they aren’t tied down to one carrier, they’re free to shop around and bring multiple policy options to the table.
And it gets better, you don’t have to review the policy options alone. They’ll walk you through everything you need to know about finding the right coverage, and price, for you. But it doesn’t end with your signature.
Along the way, if something bad ever happens, they’ll handle the entire claim process for you and deal with the carrier, so you can focus on your carpentering empire. How sweet is that?