Monument makers are essentially stonemason’s who create, install, and repair headstones, tombstones, monuments, and memorial benches made of granite, other stones, and bronze.
Memorial monuments are generally small but highly detailed works that require great technical capability and artistic sensibility. Creating a monument typically involves cutting stone to size, and then polishing, engraving, sculpting, and lettering in order to manufacture a monument to the customer’s exact specifications.
If you own a monument making business, you take great pride in adhering to your customers’ wishes during difficult times. In order to stay in business for the long term, it’s important to protect your business from the many risks you face.
Monument Making at a Glance
Monument makers generally manufacture and sell memorials, monuments, headstones, gravestones, and grave markers to individuals, companions, relatives, estate planners, funeral homes, cemetery owners, municipalities, and more.
Manufacturing a funeral monument is an exacting and complex process that is also dangerous at every step.
After large granite blocks—some weighing nearly 20,000 pounds—are delivered to the monument making facility, the monument maker uses a rotary diamond saw to cut the granite into smaller pieces.
The smaller slabs are polished in several steps using a variety of diamond grit polishing pads, as well as smoothing pads coated with aluminum or tin oxide power to create a smooth, glossy finish.
Monument designers then take a customer’s ideas and create a layout for the customer to approve. Engravers use the approved artwork to create a stencil and carve the lettering into the headstone surface.
While advanced computer software has enabled much greater accuracy in the design and carving process, ultimately the final product is reliant on the artist’s skill including his or her ability to work with the computer programs, complex machinery, and carving tools.
Traditionally, the engraving process involves using a variety of tools and chemicals, including high-pressure air hoses, cutting tools, and lithographic ink. It is also very common for a bronze plaque, or plate, to be decorated with a memorial design, and the plate is then inlaid onto a granite marker.
Regardless of the size or style of the monument and the materials and methods used, the monument making process involves numerous employees with different areas of expertise.
Monument makers may employ skilled stonemasons and engravers, graphic artists, machine operators, truck drivers, salespersons, managers, office personnel, and more. Many of these employees are exposed to numerous dangers each day from working with the heavy stones to using dangerous tools and chemicals.
Why Do I Need Monument Maker Insurance?
Monument makers face a variety of costly risks every day, from employee injuries to equipment breakdowns, product defects, fire, severe weather, and other unforeseen events or interruptions.
If you own or operate a monument making business, you should be concerned with:
- Employee safety (burns, cuts, crushed limbs or appendages, machinery dangers, slips and falls, chemical exposures)
- Equipment, inventory, and building damage due to accidents, fire, theft, weather, and other natural disasters
- Business interruption due to accidents, fire, natural disasters, machinery breakdown, utility interruption, and more
- Damage to products in transit
- Product mistakes and defects
- Customer safety (trips and falls in your showroom)
- Polluting or contaminating the ground or the area around your facility
Protect Your Facility And Business Property
Monument makers likely have materials, specialized tools and equipment, expensive computer systems, and completed inventory inside the manufacturing facility at all times. What’s more, your showroom houses completed product samples, fixtures, display boards, furniture, artwork, and other office equipment.
Your buildings, equipment, inventory, and anything else inside your facility and showroom are susceptible to fire, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters. You need commercial property insurance to protect your building and other business property in the event of a covered loss.
Commercial property insurance protects your business if a fire, vandalism, smoke, theft, or another unforeseen event damages your property.
It provides coverage for lost inventory, industrial equipment and machinery, warehouses and office space, office equipment, computers, and more. It may also provide coverage for neighboring facilities and completed products housed on your premises.
Business property insurance policies usually include business interruption coverage, which protects your earnings and helps pay ongoing expenses if your business is unable to operate because of damage caused by some type of covered disruption (e.g., a fire).
And you can add coverage for breakdowns in water or electrical utility services (utility interruption coverage) that force you to temporarily close your doors and lose income.
You may also need coverage for products and materials in transit. Inland marine insurance is designed to protect you from losses when your business property is not on-site, but rather is being moved from one place to another.
Any piece of property that is in transit can be covered with an inland marine policy. An independent agent who has experience working with businesses like yours can help you find the right inland marine coverage.
Damage or breakdown of equipment can be devastating to your monument making business, too. Without certain equipment, your business may be unable to operate, pay for expenses, and earn revenue.
Equipment breakdown insurance supplements your other business property coverage. It covers certain costs associated with accidental breakdown of machinery or equipment and the resulting property damage or loss of income.
It typically covers breakdowns due to power surges, motor burnout, boiler malfunction, and even operator error. Insurance companies offer coverage for mechanical and electrical equipment, computers and computer systems, boilers, and other types of pressure equipment.
Protect Your Business From Lawsuits
Monument makers face numerous liability risks both on- and off-site. You must protect your operations, products, and customers with a variety of business liability policies designed for businesses like yours.
You need commercial general liability (CGL) insurance for occasions where your business is negligent and causes third-party bodily injury or property damage. This can be as simple as a customer tripping on an upturned rug in your showroom, or more serious incidents.
A CGL policy protects you if an injured party sues you. It provides coverage for attorney fees, court costs, settlements, and judgments up to the limits of your policy.
Like any company that manufactures a product, you also have product liability exposures. Claims for product-related damages are usually related to manufacturing or production flaws, design defects, or defective warnings or instructions.
If you are sued for product negligence, you may be required to pay for medical costs, compensatory damages, economic damages, attorney fees, court costs, and more.
Product liability insurance covers your financial responsibility for losses or injuries to a user, buyer, or bystander caused by a defect or malfunction of your product. Perhaps you tried to cut costs by using poor-quality granite, causing several headstones to quickly crack or begin to disintegrate.
If the damage is not caused by moving equipment, vandalism, unusual environmental conditions, or a natural disaster, you would likely be sued for damages.
Your CGL policy includes product liability coverage, but you may need more extensive protection. Work with your independent insurance agent to determine if you need additional coverage.
If you own trucks or other vehicles, commercial auto insurance covers your vehicle fleet and drivers in the event of an accident or other vehicle damage.
Commercial auto insurance provides coverage for property damage and bodily injury liability claims, vehicle damage, medical bills, as well as any costs related to lawsuits that follow an automobile accident involving one of your vehicles.
Protect Your Employees with Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Any kind of manufacturing environment can be dangerous for employees. No matter how many safety protocols you have in place, accidents happen.
Your employees may use heat and pressure tools, cutting tools, heavy machinery, and sharp instruments. Their fingers, toes, eyes, and limbs can be damaged, cut, or crushed. Even employees who work with simple hand tools can be vulnerable to repetitive motion injuries and other problems.
What’s more, the aluminum and tin oxide, granite dust, and other chemicals used in creating monuments can lead to breathing problems, eye injuries, and skin irritation.
Keeping your employees safe from work-related injuries is important for their health and satisfaction, as well as your long-term financial survival. Workers’ compensation insurance provides insurance coverage for employees when accidents happen at the workplace, regardless of who is at fault.
The injured worker receives medical care and income protection after a work-related injury, and it even provides death benefits if there is a fatality.
Each state has different workers’ compensation laws. Your independent insurance agent can help you navigate the rules for your state and can help you find appropriate workers’ compensation insurance.
Optional Monument Maker Insurance Policies
Your independent insurance agent may recommend additional insurance policies or coverage endorsements (add-ons to another policy) in order to ensure that you have comprehensive protection from all of your unique risks.
Talk to your agent about your need for:
- Environmental liability or pollution liability coverage protects companies from the costs associated with damage caused by improperly disposing hazardous waste or causing environmental harm.
- Cyber liability insurance is important for any business that uses, transmits, or stores electronic data. Selling monuments online is increasingly popular. If you engage in online sales, or you simply store confidential customer information on your computer system, you likely need some kind of cyber liability protection. It pays for any costs related to a cyber breach as well as any related legal costs if a customer or supplier who was harmed by the breach sues you.
- Professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions insurance, covers professionals, their partners, their employees, and the partnership or corporation for damages caused by providing or failing to provide professional services. You can be sued for providing erroneous advice or services, acts of negligence, or even omissions. If you need professional liability insurance, it will cover your defense costs as well as any settlements or judgments that you must pay if you are sued.
- Commercial umbrella insurance provides extra liability protection beyond the limits of several other liability policies you might have. It kicks in when the limits of the other applicable policies have been exhausted, protecting you in the event that a claim exceeds the amount of coverage available in another policy.
It’s best to discuss your unique risk exposures with an independent insurance agent. Your local agent can help you uncover your vulnerabilities and will help you determine the coverage you need and the coverage that you can do without.
How Much Does Monument Maker Insurance Cost?
The size of your business and the types of policies you need to cover your unique risks determine the cost of your monument maker insurance. A variety of other variables, including the following, also impact the cost of your business insurance:
- Number of employees
- Types of equipment used
- Size and location of your building
- Amount and value of business property housed at your manufacturing facility or showroom
- Number and type of trucks or other vehicles that you own
- The types and amounts of coverage that you need
Find And Compare Quotes
An independent agent can work with you one-on-one to determine the types and amounts of coverage you need. Your agent can get quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can evaluate the cost and coverage options and make the best choice.
Benefits of an Independent Agent
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right monument maker 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 leave out 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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