Sign installers are a type of specialized trade. Sign installers place new signs as well as remove, maintain, and repair existing signs on building interiors or exteriors or other outdoor or commercial locations.
If you operate a sign installation business, your most important responsibility is to protect your livelihood from the unique risks that threaten it.
Sign installer insurance tailored to your unique risks can help you recover if you cause property damage or injure someone else, and can even help you recover if you face a serious property loss.
Why Do You Need Sign Installer Insurance?
Sign installers 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, signs, etc.) can be damaged, destroyed, or stolen from your warehouse or workshop, from jobsites, or while they’re in transit.
What’s more, your employees perform risky work and can be seriously injured at any time.
If you want to stay in business after a lawsuit or a significant property loss, you’ve got to have the funds to pay for medical expenses, attorney fees, and repairing or replacing damaged property.
And your risks don’t even end there. It’s not uncommon for sign installers to experience:
- Loss of income due to a catastrophic or unexpected event
- Employee theft of cash or inventory
- Employee lawsuits related to discrimination or other claims
What Does Sign Installer Insurance Cover?
Your sign installer insurance should be tailored to the unique risks that you face. But like most businesses, sign installers need some basic policies to cover broad property and liability risks.
One major risk is physical damage to your building or property caused by unexpected events like fires, lightning, tornadoes, wind, hail, theft, or vandalism.
You also have a significant liability risk, which means that you are responsible for compensating any customer or member of the public who is injured on your premises or as a result of your work at an installation site.
You can purchase several basic insurance policies to cover these risks:
- Commercial property insurance: This covers your building and its contents, including computers, completed signs and inventory, equipment, furniture, fixtures, and more. It helps you rebuild or make repairs when unexpected events, like a fire or severe weather, destroy your physical space (your office, warehouse, showroom, or shop).
After a property loss at your business premises, you’ll likely need some time to make repairs, replace damaged or destroyed sign parts and completed signs, and rebuild your space. Business interruption coverage compensates you for lost business income and pays for certain operating expenses if you must temporarily close after a covered loss.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance: This pays for claims of bodily injury and property damage to third parties due to your negligence. If you damage a vehicle near the jobsite or cause an injury to a bystander, you can expect to pay for the resulting property repairs or medical bills, at least. If you are sued because of the incident, you’ll have to defend yourself and potentially pay out a financial settlement. A CGL policy protects you in these kinds of circumstances.
What Other Insurance Policies Do Sign Installers Need?
You might also want to consider endorsements (coverage add-ons) to your basic business insurance policies, or you might need some additional standalone policies that provide the following types of coverage:
- Commercial umbrella insurance: This provides excess liability protection to any of several other policies you might have. If you cause an injury that leads to a lawsuit that exceeds the limits of your commercial general liability policy, your commercial umbrella policy kicks in with higher coverage limits.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: This is typically required for any business that has employees. It pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees who are injured on the job. Sign installation is dangerous, and you need this coverage to protect your employees and your business from the costs of workplace injuries.
You also likely have a variety of important machines and equipment that you need to protect from damage and breakdown. If one of your important pieces of equipment breaks down, could you continue to work?
Equipment breakdown insurance: This is often referred to as boiler and machinery coverage, and it supplements your business property insurance. It covers certain costs associated with accidental breakdown of machinery or equipment and the resulting property damage or loss.
Equipment breakdown coverage typically covers breakdowns due to power surges, motor burnout, boiler malfunction, and even operator error. You can obtain coverage for mechanical and electrical equipment, computers and computer systems, boilers, and other types of pressure equipment.
Boiler and machinery insurance covers repair and replacement costs as well as business interruption costs related to a breakdown of covered machinery or equipment.
Special Coverage for Sign Installers
Sign installers have a variety of elevated risk exposures because most of your work takes place away from your official business premises. Installing signs can be dangerous to the general public and to your employees. And you risk losing valuable property (tools, equipment, flagpole parts, etc.) at any time while you’re out on a job.
- What if an employee damages a client’s property?
- What if an employee falls from a ladder, lift, or scaffolding at a client location (business, municipality, etc.) and is seriously injured?
- What if your tools, equipment, and materials are lost, stolen, or damaged while at a client location or en route to or from a job?
- What if a sign that you’ve installed collapses after installation, falling on and damaging a nearby vehicle? What if it falls on a person and causes a serious injury or a death?
In many of these situations that you may encounter while out in the field, you’ll be covered by one of your existing policies, such as your general liability policy or your workers’ compensation policy. For example:
- If an employee damages a someone’s vehicle or a customer’s property or is responsible for an injury of a client or a passerby, your commercial general liability policy would respond.
- If an employee were injured while on a jobsite, your workers’ compensation insurance would cover the injuries and reimburse the employee for any time away from work.
You’ll also need some additional policies or endorsements (coverage add-ons to existing policies) to be sure you have coverage in certain other situations.
- Commercial auto insurance: This covers your vehicles and drivers in the event of an accident or other types of vehicle damage.
- Commercial umbrella insurance: This can cover you for claims that exceed the limits of your other liability policies, including your commercial auto policy.
- Inland marine insurance: This protects your equipment, tools, portable computer equipment, and other supplies from theft, loss, or damage while they are in transit to and from worksites.
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Why Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Important?
Keeping your employees safe from work-related injuries and illnesses is important for your employees’ long-term health and satisfaction, as well as your company’s financial viability. Excessive employee injuries and illnesses can be financially devastating for your business.
You need workers’ compensation insurance to help employees who are injured on the job. Sign installation is very dangerous. Your workers are exposed to falling from heights, heavy lifting, working with hand tools and heavy equipment, and other unsafe and potentially dangerous conditions. At any time they can suffer cuts, puncture wounds, back injuries, slips and falls, and eye injuries.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage for medical expenses and lost wages for injured workers. Business owners are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees. 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 contractors who work on commercial building 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 Sign Installer Insurance Cost?
Insurance for sign installers 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.
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 sign installer 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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