The elevator contractor industry is one that enjoys stability, even in the midst of economic downturns. While elevator contractors rely on the construction of high-rise buildings for installation jobs, the business of maintenance and repair in existing buildings keeps the industry afloat during times when the economy cannot support a lot of new building construction. If you own an elevator installation or service business, you will want to be sure to protect your investment with the right insurance coverage. An independent insurance agent can help you build your elevator installation insurance portfolio.
Elevator Installation & Repair Industry Statistics From IBISWorld, 2014
- There are currently 13,845 elevator contractor businesses operating in the U.S.
- These businesses employ approximately 96,000 people.
- The elevator installation and service industry generates about $20 billion in revenue each year.
Liability Insurance: A Crucial Part of Elevator Contractor Insurance
Unquestionably, the most important aspect of your elevator installation insurance portfolio is commercial liability insurance. Simply put, you cannot legally do installation work without it. In addition to being required for state licensure, anyone who hires you to do elevator installation work on their building project will mandate that you provide them with proof of general liability insurance before you can begin working.
When a general contractor hires you as a subcontractor, they will likely require that you add them to your liability insurance policy as an additional insured for the duration of the elevator installation job. Similarly, if you hire subcontractors to work under you, you will want to ask them to add you to their coverage. In this way, insurance coverage is complete throughout the entire line of responsibility.
Liability insurance covers the high costs of legal defense fees, court costs and financial damages if you are sued, but you have to be sure to have the right types of coverage in place. Liability insurance coverage you will want to discuss with your independent agent includes:
- Commercial general liability insurance: This provides coverage for many of the liability exposures you face as an elevator contractor. It provides restitution for third-party injuries and property damage caused by you or your employees while performing elevator installation, repair or maintenance work. It also provides product liability insurance in the event that elevators or parts that you install are faulty, causing injuries to others, and your business is named in a liability lawsuit.
- Commercial auto liability insurance: Your business likely owns a van, truck or fleet of vehicles used to transport tools and supplies to and from building sites. These vehicles are required by law to be covered by a commercial auto insurance policy. Because these vehicles can be large and heavy, particularly when fully loaded, they can cause significant damage during a collision. For this reason, it is a good idea to buy large amounts of auto liability coverage.
- Hired or non-owned vehicle insurance: If your employees are responsible for an accident while driving their personally owned vehicles to do work-related errands or while driving a vehicle rented to transport supplies to and from the work site, your business may be named in a liability lawsuit. You can protect your finances by adding a hired or non-owned vehicle insurance policy to your elevator contractor insurance portfolio.
- Employment practices liability coverage (EPLI): This insurance shields your business from large financial losses in the event that a current or former employee sues your firm for a perceived illegal business practice, such as breach of contract, discrimination or wrongful termination.
- Umbrella insurance coverage: The maximum amount of liability insurance offered by your insurance company or companies may not be high enough to fully protect your business; you may therefore be interested in acquiring extra liability insurance coverage. Adding umbrella insurance to your elevator contractor insurance portfolio is an affordable way to gain additional liability coverage for all of your policies that provide liability insurance.
Your Elevator Installation Insurance Must Include Workers' Compensation
Most states require business owners to cover their employees with workers' compensation insurance, which covers medical treatment for injuries sustained on the job, lost wages due to injuries, and even death benefits to surviving family in the tragic event that a work injury proves fatal. Regardless of whether or not your state requires this coverage, however, contractors who hire you to do installation work are likely to require you to show proof of this coverage.
Workers' compensation insurance is particularly important in the elevator installation industry because the work can be very dangerous and injuries can be severe. When building your elevator installation insurance portfolio, an independent insurance agent can help you find a workers' compensation insurance company that specializes in covering injuries at construction sites. These companies can often serve as a helpful resource for safety protocols.
Elevator Contactors Insurance Can Cover Your Business Property
You likely 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 elevator contractor insurance includes coverage against damage and theft. If you are working on elevator installation as part of a new building construction, the top contractor on the job most likely will have purchased a builders risk insurance policy. This insurance covers property used and stored on the job site for the duration of the project, which in most cases would include your business property.
If you are doing maintenance or service on elevators in an existing building or if you are adding an elevator to an existing building, you will want to get inland marine insurance to cover your tools and equipment. This insurance covers your business property and interests, both while they are kept on-site and while they are in transit to and from the job site, for the duration of the job contract.
While the majority of your business’s operations are conducted off-site, you will still likely have a central office where you handle administrative work, such as answering calls, storing records and setting up appointments. Your business insurance policy should include coverage for the property kept in this office, such as furniture, computers and filing cabinets. You and your insurance agent may also want to discuss adding extra expenses insurance coverage to your elevator installation insurance portfolio. This insurance covers the costs involved with renting and setting up a temporary central office while repairs are made to your existing location if it is damaged by a covered event.
Find Help Building a Strong Elevator Installation Insurance Portfolio
Building a commercial insurance portfolio for your elevator contractor business can be a complex process. You will want to ensure that you have all the coverage types you need in amounts that are sufficient to protect your elevator business from unmanageable financial losses. Working with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network can make this process easy. An agent who is experienced with commercial insurance can help you identify your exposures, recommend suitable coverage and shop around for competitively priced policies. Find a Trusted Choice agent near you to learn more and to start building a comprehensive elevator contractor insurance portfolio.