Formwork contractors create a temporary mold into which concrete is poured and formed during the construction process. Formwork is traditionally made of timber, but it can also be made of steel, glass, plastic, and other materials.
Formwork contractors face a unique set of business risks. While you do everything you can to ensure the safety and proper construction formwork, sometimes the worst situations just can be avoided. What’s more, you face a lot of other business risks as well.
You need a comprehensive business insurance program tailored for formwork contractors 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 from insurers who specialize in businesses like yours.
Why Do You Need Formwork Contractor Insurance?
Formwork contractors are constantly exposed to the possibility of serious accidents due to the very nature of their work. The use of heavy equipment, the potential for cave-ins, the exposure to the elements, and the labor intensive nature of work can all result in property damage, injuries, and serious financial losses. In the course of your work, you can cause damage to buried public utilities, encounter serious worker injuries, and damage third-party property or cause injuries to bystanders or other individuals on the jobsite.
Imagine that formwork that you’ve installed is faulty and a building’s foundation is unstable or collapses. These kinds of incidents can 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?
Formwork contractors need business insurance to protect everything that’s important. You face serious risk for 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 jobsites, or while they’re in transit.
General Liability Insurance for Formwork Contractors
Formwork contractors need a tailored portfolio of insurance policies and coverage that protect against your unique exposures. The first major building block of your business insurance program 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. It pays for medical expenses and property damage for third-party injuries and property damage caused by you or your employees.
CGL policies also usually include products-completed operations liability insurance that responds if you’re sued because formwork that you’ve constructed or installed causes injuries to others. Completed operations insurance covers your liability for property damage or injuries to a third party once contracted operations cease (e.g. injuries related to poor or faulty installation, collapse, etc.). 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 lets you 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 the your work or your products. It also pays for your legal fees and financial settlements to the injured parties.
You’ll likely 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 will likely 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 Formwork Contractors Need?
You’ll also need some other types of liability insurance to protect your business.
- Commercial auto insurance: Your business likely 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: This 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 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.
Property Insurance for Formwork Contractors
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 formwork contractor insurance includes coverage against damage and theft to your commercial property.
Commercial property insurance: This covers things that are on your business premises, such as items at 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.
Business interruption coverage: This is a policy you’ll also need 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, formwork contractors usually have most of their valuable property in transit and at jobsites. You’ll need coverage for those items when they’re in transit or at a jobsite.
- Inland marine insurance protects your equipment, tools, forms, shores, props, and other supplies from theft, loss, or damage while they are in transit to and from worksites, such as in your work trucks. It is especially important if you store your tools and equipment in your truck or another vehicle.
- Consider adding an installation floater to your inland marine coverage, which protects materials left at a job site to be installed, but are damaged before you can do it. If, for example, you drop form components off at a jobsite to be used at a later time, but find them vandalized and broken the next morning, an installation floater will likely cover your losses.
- A tools and equipment floater can normally be added to your inland marine coverage as well. It covers any leased or owned specialized tools and equipment while they’re stored on the construction site.
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Why Do You Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Formwork can be a dangerous business for your employees. They may be exposed to falls, crushed limbs, eye or lung irritation, lacerations, back injuries, and more. While your workers wear wear hardhats, goggles, and other safety equipment, accidents and injuries can still happen on the job at any time.
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 ensure 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. While you may not need them for every job, you should know what they are and be prepared to obtain them if required.
How Much Does Formwork Contractor Insurance Cost?
Insurance for formwork contractors 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 Agent
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right formwork contractor insurance. They’ll walk you through the 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 omit 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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