The installation of new siding on a home can significantly improve its curb appeal. Some types of siding even improve the home’s insulative properties, enabling homeowners to save money on heating and cooling costs. As the recession draws to an end and people have more disposable income available, the demand for home improvement jobs, such as new siding installation, is increasing. If you are a siding contractor, now is a great time to be working in the industry. However, it is important that you carry the right types of insurance coverage to protect your business from undue financial losses.
Siding Industry Fact From Fredonia Group
- Demand for siding is expected to increase annually by about 7.1%.
- Brick, concrete and stone siding will experience the fastest growth in demand because of their durability and low maintenance needs.
- Vinyl siding remains the top choice among consumers, but the demand for this type of siding is decreasing.
Siding Contractors Need Workers' Compensation Insurance
Siding installation is not without its risks. Workers face a variety of hazards, such as puncture wounds, cuts and being struck by falling objects, which can result in injuries that require medical attention. When installing siding on upper floors, workers may need to stand on scaffolding or ladders, and a fall from heights such as these can have significant consequences.
Most states require business owners who have employees to carry workers compensation insurance. Even if your business is not located in one of these states, it is a very good idea to have it. By covering medical expenses, lost wages, and even death benefit payments to family members in the event that an injury is fatal, this insurance shields your business from the risk of liability lawsuits related to workers’ injuries.
An experienced independent insurance agent can help you find a workers' compensation company that will understand the risks faced by your siding business and that can provide you with tips for worker safety.
Liability Insurance Protects Siding Contractors
Your business, like any other business, faces risks of liability lawsuits. Whether or not the courts find your business at fault, a liability lawsuit can be financially draining, as you pay for your legal defense and miscellaneous court fees. Liability insurance shields your siding business from these losses by covering these and any resultant financial damages so you can focus on your business and turning a profit. However, in order to be covered, you must have the right kinds of liability insurance. Your independent insurance agent is likely to discuss the following policy types with you:
- General liability insurance: This insurance, which is part of any standard business owners policy (BOP), covers third-party property damage and bodily injury to non-employees that may occur as a result of an accident at your central office or on job sites.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This insurance covers the cars, trucks, vans or other vehicles owned by your siding business. If your employees use their personally owned vehicles to carry tools and material to the job sites or drive for other job-related purposes, your siding company can be sued for liability if they are in an accident while running these work-related errands. To protect your business interests, you can purchase hired or non-owned vehicle insurance coverage for these instances.
- Umbrella insurance: Insurance companies impose limits on how much liability coverage they are willing to offer. If you feel that your limits are too low, you can supplement your portfolio with umbrella insurance, which provides you with extra liability insurance for all of your policies that include liability coverage. Talk to your independent insurance agent to discover just how affordable this extra coverage can be.
There may be other types of liability insurance that are right for your siding business. Your independent insurance agent can work with you to determine the exposures you face and ensure that you have the proper coverage against them.
Be Sure To Cover the Property Owned by Your Siding Business
As a siding installer, you likely have a number of tools and other equipment that you use to get the job done. This is particularly true if your siding business also does other home improvement work such as roofing, window installation and gutter repair. Your business property can be very expensive to replace, so it is important that you purchase the right insurance policies to get coverage against loss, damage or theft. Be sure to speak to your independent insurance agent about:
- Property insurance: Your business property will be covered as part of your business owners insurance policy. This insurance covers your business building or buildings and their contents against loss or damage caused by a covered event. Coverage typically includes rented or owned office buildings, warehouses, storage facilities, garages and other buildings as well as office equipment, computers, inventory and, in most cases, tools and equipment.
- Equipment breakdown insurance: If you rely on expensive power tools or equipment to get the job done, a malfunction can really affect your bottom line. This insurance provides coverage for repairs or replacements as well as the cost of renting temporary equipment until repairs can be completed.
- Inland marine insurance: This insures your tools and equipment while they are being transported to and from your job sites as well as while they are being used on-site. This coverage is particularly important if you store your tools and equipment in your truck or work van.
- Extra expenses insurance: If a disaster strikes and causes significant damage to your central office, you will, fortunately, still be able to continue operations, as siding jobs are done off-site. However, you may find that you need to rent temporary office space where you can handle administrative work until your main office is repaired. This insurance absorbs these extra costs so that your business does not suffer a financial hardship.
How To Find the Best Siding Contractors Insurance
Purchasing the right insurance for siding contractors can be a complex endeavor. It is therefore important that you seek the guidance of a knowledgeable independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network who can help you make the right choices for your business. These agents can answer your insurance-related questions and shop around to find you suitable coverage at a competitive rate. As a result, you will be able to build an affordable insurance portfolio that is tailored to meet your business’s specific coverage needs. Find a Trusted Choice agent near you to learn more about your options when it comes to buying siding contractors insurance.