Concrete contractors do a number of different jobs including applying concrete on construction projects; finishing concrete slabs and footings; constructing foundations, sidewalks, concrete patios, concrete parking lots, curbs, culverts and guttering; pumping concrete; concreting grout; applying shotcrete; and installing and finishing precast concrete. They are an integral part of most construction projects. If you are an independent concrete contractor or if you own a business that subcontracts this sort of work, you will need to build a suitable concrete contractors insurance portfolio to protect your business interests. An independent insurance agent can help.
Concrete Contractors in the U.S.: Industry Facts From IBISWorld, 2014
- There are nearly 80,000 concrete contractor businesses operating in the United States.
- These concrete contractor firms employ approximately 244,000 people.
- The concrete contractor industry generates about $41 billion in revenue each year.
Liability Insurance: You Cannot Work Without It
Many states mandate that you carry liability insurance in order to be a licensed contractor. Furthermore, anyone who hires you to do concrete contracting work is likely to require you to show them proof of your general liability insurance coverage. It is therefore very important that you carry this insurance.
Liability insurance can shield your firm from overwhelming financial losses in the event of a lawsuit, but it is necessary that you have the right types of coverage. Your independent insurance agent will likely speak with you about:
- Commercial general liability insurance: This covers many of the liability exposures you face as a concrete contractor. It covers property damage and injuries you may cause to third-party interests while you are engaged in your concrete contracting work. Your client is likely to require that you carry at least a certain amount of liability coverage and that you name them as an additional insured on your policy for the duration of the job. Likewise, if you hire subcontractors, you will want to have them name you as an additional insured on their policies.
- Commercial auto liability insurance: As a concrete contractor, you likely have a company-owned vehicle or fleet of vehicles such as cement mixers and other heavy trucks. You are required by law to cover these vehicles with a commercial auto insurance policy. Because these large, heavy vehicles can cause a lot of damage or serious injuries if your drivers are responsible for an accident, it is a good idea to purchase high levels of liability insurance coverage with your policy.
- Employment practices liability coverage: This insurance protects your concrete contracting firm from financial losses if an employee or former employee sues your business for engaging in an illegal practice such as harassment, discrimination or wrongful termination.
- Umbrella insurance coverage: Sometimes, the coverage limits offered by your insurance company are not high enough. Umbrella insurance provides you with extra liability coverage at an affordable rate. Umbrella insurance can increase all of your various liability coverage types and will kick in when you reach your limits.
Concrete Contractors and Workers Compensation Insurance
There are a number of ways that concrete contractors can be injured on the job. They can be struck by construction equipment or falling objects, they can be injured while operating machinery such as excavators, they can suffer muscle strains or hernias from heavy lifting, or they can be injured in any number of other ways. Workers' compensation insurance protects your business from liability lawsuits by covering resultant medical expenses and lost wages, and in the case of fatal accidents, paying survivor benefits to the worker’s family.
Most states require employers to carry workers' compensation insurance, but even if your concrete contracting firm is located in a state that does not, those who hire you for work are very likely to require proof that you carry this coverage. If you are hired by a general contractor or directly by a building owner, they are likely to ask you to provide them with a waiver of subrogation. This comes from your workers' compensation insurance company and provides those named with a guarantee that the insurance company will not try to recoup losses by suing them for negligence on the work site.
Some workers' compensation insurance companies are better than others at dealing with construction site injuries. Your independent insurance agent can help you find a company that can serve as a useful resource for safety protocols and information.
Get Coverage To Adequately Insure Your Business Property
Concrete contractors rely on tools and machinery to complete their jobs. These tools and machinery can be extremely expensive, so you will want to be certain that they are covered while they are being used at a job site. Your business insurance policy will include coverage for this property while you are storing it at your central business location, but when you are on the job site, there are two ways you can secure coverage:
- Builders risk insurance: This is something that is typically purchased by the top contractor on new building construction projects. In most cases, it covers all business property on the site, including that owned by subcontractors. If you are working on a new building project, make sure you know the terms of the builders risk insurance policy for the job.
- Inland marine insurance: If you are doing work on an existing building, or if for some reason you are working on a new building but are not covered by a builders risk insurance policy, you can purchase inland marine insurance, which covers your business property on the job site as well as while it is in transit to and from the site.
Your independent agent may also talk to you about extra expense insurance. This coverage reimburses you for expenses incurred if your administrative or central office is damaged by a covered event and you have to rent temporary office space while repairs are made.
Let an Independent Agent Help You Build Your Concrete Contractors Insurance Portfolio
When you shop for insurance for your concrete contracting firm, you are likely to have a lot of questions about your numerous options and about how much coverage is enough. An independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network can provide the answers. These agents can help you build a suitable insurance portfolio designed to cover your business’s unique exposures. Find a Trusted Choice agent near you to start comparing quotes on various concrete contractors insurance policies.