Jobs in the masonry industry include masonry contracting using bricks, block or concrete; pointing, cleaning and caulking; stucco contracting; stone contracting; and working with other materials such as slate, marble and granite. As an independent contractor or a business owner in this field, it is important that you protect your business assets by investing in a comprehensive masonry insurance portfolio. Working with an independent insurance agent can ensure that you do not have any significant gaps in your coverage.
The Masonry Industry in the U.S.: IBISWorld Statistics 2014
- There are more than 41,000 masonry businesses operating in the United States.
- These businesses employ approximately 147,500 people.
- The masonry industry generates about $23 billion in revenue each year.
Liability Insurance: The Most Crucial Part of Your Masonry Insurance Portfolio
Liability insurance is required in some states before you can receive state licensure. Without it, you will not be able to work legally. Also, you can expect that anyone who hires you to do masonry contracting work will ask you to provide them with proof that you carry general liability insurance coverage.
Liability insurance can shield your masonry business from overwhelming financial losses in the event of a lawsuit by covering legal defense fees, court costs and financial damages. However, it is necessary that you have the right types of coverage. Your independent insurance agent will likely talk to you about the following:
- Commercial general liability insurance: This is a main component of your business insurance policy. It covers property damage and injuries you may cause to third-party interests while you are engaged in your masonry work. If you have been hired as a subcontractor, the contractor who hired you is likely to require 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 masonry contractor, you likely have a company-owned vehicle or fleet of vehicles that you use for transporting tools and materials to and from the job sites. You are required by law to cover these vehicles with a commercial auto insurance policy. Because a large liability lawsuit stemming from an accident can significantly damage your business finances, you are advised to carry high amounts of liability insurance in your commercial auto policy.
- Employment practices liability coverage: This insurance can protect your masonry contracting firm from financial losses if your business is sued for engaging in an illegal practice such as discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination.
- Umbrella insurance coverage: If you feel that the coverage limits offered by your liability insurance policies are not high enough, you can purchase additional liability coverage through an umbrella insurance policy. Through this type of insurance, you can significantly increase the coverage limits on all of your masonry business’s liability insurance policies.
Masonry Contractors Need Workers' Compensation Coverage
Masonry work has a high risk for job-related injuries. Masons can suffer musculoskeletal strain from heavy lifting; they can be injured in slip-and-fall accidents on the job site, sometimes from dangerous heights; they can suffer puncture wounds and cuts that require medical attention; or they can succumb to a host of other work-related hazards. This is why workers compensation insurance is so important. It protects your business from liability lawsuits by paying for necessary medical expenses and covering lost wages. In the case of fatal injuries, this insurance can also pay survivor benefits to the worker’s family.
Most states mandate that employers carry workers' compensation insurance; but even if your masonry contracting firm is located in a state that does not, those who hire you will probably require that you provide proof of coverage. The general contractor or building owner who hires you may ask you have your insurance company provide them with a waiver of subrogation. This guarantees that the insurance company will not try to recoup losses stemming from workplace injuries by suing them.
Of course, your workers’ safety is your top concern. Independent insurance agents who are experienced with construction-type business policies can recommend workers' compensation insurance companies that can serve as wonderful resources for safety protocols and information.
Masonry Insurance Can Cover Your Business Property
If you keep a storefront or a central location where you display sample materials and handle administrative paperwork, you can protect the property kept there through a standard business personal property policy. However, you will need different kinds of insurance to protect your property, including building materials, tools and machinery, while you are out on the job site. You can get this coverage in one of two ways:
- Builders risk insurance: This insurance can provide coverage if you are doing contracting work on a new building construction. It is typically purchased by the top contractor on the project. In most cases, builders risk insurance provides coverage for all business property kept on the site, including that which is owned by subcontractors, for the duration of the job. If you are working on a new building project, make sure you know what is covered by the builders risk insurance policy. An independent insurance agent can help you review the policy.
- Inland marine insurance: This covers your business property as well as the materials you are installing in the building and may be necessary if you are working on an existing building or if the builders risk insurance policy on a new building construction leaves you with too many coverage gaps. Some aspects of inland marine insurance include an installation floater, which covers the materials being installed in the building, and contractors equipment insurance, which covers your tools and equipment both at the job site and while in transit.
You may also want to speak with your independent agent about extra expense insurance. This type of policy can provide compensation for expenses incurred if your storefront or central office is damaged by a covered event and you need to rent temporary office space while repairs are made.
An Independent Agent Can Help You Find the Right Masonry Insurance
When you are ready to shop for masonry insurance, you can contact an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network. These agents are available to answer your insurance-related questions and can help you determine which coverage types are right for your business. They can also help you save money by shopping around for suitable coverage at a competitive rate. Find a Trusted Choice agent with an office near you, and schedule an obligation-free appointment to learn more about masonry insurance and the many ways working with an independent insurance agent can benefit you and your business.