Sign makers design, fabricate, and install interior and exterior signs. Sign makers often complete every task associated with creating a sign, from providing full design services to custom sign manufacturing and installation.
Like most other business owners, sign makers need to understand their risks. Sign maker insurance can help you protect all aspects of your business, including your customers, your employees, and your property and equipment.
Why Do You Need Sign Maker Insurance?
Sign makers specialize in custom, branded exterior signs including address signs, storefront signs, sidewalk signs, dimensional letters, and more. Sign makers can also create unique and customized interior signs, wraps, and vinyl signs including custom banners, window graphics, lettering, floor graphics, vinyl clings, decals, or any other type of vinyl sign or graphic.
Sign makers use wood, plastics, vinyl, fabrics, lacquers, paint, electrical components, and more to fashion a variety of signs and displays. Your manufacturing facility may have a wide range of products and materials on hand—including many that are flammable or otherwise dangerous to individuals or property.
Your employees may at times engage in hazardous work using large, expensive, and dangerous equipment, while others may craft signs or displays with their hands, making them highly susceptible to repetitive motion and other work-related injuries.
Risks for employee injuries, equipment breakdowns, fire, weather, and other types of interruptions or unforeseen events are a daily concern for sign makers. You need a comprehensive business insurance program designed to address your unique needs.
What Does Property Insurance Cover for Sign Makers?
You likely will have flammable materials as well as valuable parts and inventory on your business premises. Your buildings and equipment are susceptible to fire, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters. Commercial property insurance protects your building and other property in the event of a covered loss.
If a fire, vandalism, smoke, theft, or another covered peril (cause of loss) damages your property, commercial property insurance provides coverage for lost inventory, industrial equipment and machinery, warehouses and office space, office equipment, computers, valuable papers, and more. It may also provide coverage for neighboring facilities and completed products housed on your premises.
Commercial property insurance policies usually include business interruption coverage, which protects your earnings and helps to pay expenses if your business is unable to operate because of damage caused by some type of covered disruption (fire, hail, wind, equipment breakdown). And you can expand your business interruption insurance to include coverage for breakdowns in utility services (water, electrical) that force you to temporarily close your doors.
You may also need equipment breakdown insurance, often referred to as boiler and machinery coverage, if you use certain types of machines or heavy equipment to manufacture signs or displays. Equipment breakdown insurance 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.
Work with an experienced independent insurance agent who can help you evaluate and calculate appropriate property coverage for your sign manufacturing business. An agent with experience working with sign makers and similar businesses can help you properly differentiate coverage for your building, heavy equipment, and other contents.
What Does Liability Insurance Cover for Sign Makers?
You can protect your operations, products, and customers with a variety of business liability policies designed for sign makers.
You need general liability insurance for occasions in which your business is negligent and causes bodily injury or property damage to a third party. Your commercial general liability (CGL) policy protects you in the event of third-party lawsuits, with coverage for attorney fees, court costs, settlements, and judgments up to the limits of your policy.
Like any company that manufacturers a product, you may 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 some type of 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. Some product liability coverage is usually included in standard commercial general liability (CGL) policies, but this coverage may not be sufficient. You need an experienced agent to help you determine how much product liability exposure you have, and how much and what type of coverage you need.
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 that occurs. Commercial auto insurance 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 vehicle fleet.
You may want to talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for commercial umbrella insurance. Commercial umbrella insurance provides an extra layer of liability protection to any of several other liability policies you might have. By purchasing one commercial umbrella policy, you essentially get higher limits on all of those policies, rather than having to raise the limits on each policy individually. 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.
Why Do Sign Makers Need Worker's Compensation Insurance?
The safety of your employees is of utmost importance. Employees who make and install signs are susceptible to on-the-job injuries, from slips and falls to other more serious incidents. Your workers may come into contact with heat and welding tools, cutting tools, heavy machinery, and numerous dangers to fingers, toes, eyes, and other appendages. Employees may work on ladders or lifts as they construct or install signs or displays high off the ground. Those who regularly work with hand tools are particularly vulnerable to repetitive motion injuries. And constant exposure to lacquers, paints, and other chemicals also can be potentially dangerous to workers.
Worker's compensation insurance provides insurance coverage when accidents happen at the workplace. It ensures that the injured worker gets medical care and income protection while unable to work.
Worker's compensation insurance provides benefits to injured workers regardless of who is at fault for their injury. And it will provide death benefits for a worker’s dependents if there is a fatality.
Worker's compensation insurance is not only complex, but is also essential to the long-term survival of your business. And purchasing worker's compensation insurance is not enough; implementing safety programs and insisting on worker compliance is the only way to keep your workers’ compensation claims and costs under control.
Insurance Coverage for Your Graphic Designers
Sign makers often employ graphic designers who help clients design signs from scratch. It’s important that if you offer graphic design services, you have the insurance to back you up when things go wrong.
Most of the sign maker insurance policies that you have will cover your graphic design services. But it’s important to discuss it with your independent insurance agent so you don’t have any gaps in your protection.
Commercial general liability insurance might cover a graphic designer in cases where the designer’s work causes you to be accused of:
- Damaging a client’s property
- Inadvertently using copyrighted material
- False advertising
- Libel or slander
Graphic designers professional liability insurance is also important. Your clients rely on your design services for skills and expertise. Your designers may provide advice on strategy and branding and create billboards that are part of the public face for your clients. If a designer that you employ makes a mistake or is somehow negligent, it could harm a client’s reputation and even cause financial harm.
Professional liability insurance protects you if a designer’s advice or services cause financial harm to a client. You can be sued for any number of reasons, including:
- Actual or alleged errors, omissions, or negligence
- Plagiarism, piracy, or copyright infringement
Your graphic designers professional liability policy will pay for your legal defense, including attorney fees, court costs, and any settlements or judgments that you must pay if you’re sued for this type of claim.
What Coverage Do Sign Installers Need?
Sign installation is an essential part of your business. Most of your sign maker insurance policies will cover your installation operations, but you need to make sure you have all of your bases covered.
Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance pays for claims of bodily injury and property damage to third parties due to your negligence. If an installer damages a vehicle near a 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.
In addition, the following policies will protect your sign installers:
- Commercial vehicle insurance
- Commercial umbrella insurance
- Worker's compensation insurance
You may need additional coverage for signs, tools, and other equipment as it is being transported from place to place. If you deliver or install signs or displays, or transport tools or parts to manufacture a sign on-site, you need additional coverage for your business property once it leaves your premises.
Inland marine insurance is designed to protect you from losses when cargo is damaged in transit. Any piece of property that is moved from one location to another can be covered with an inland marine policy. The best way to ensure that you find the right type of inland marine coverage for your needs is to work with an independent agent who has experience working with sign makers.
How Much Does Sign Maker Insurance Cost?
In general, sign maker insurance costs will vary depending on the size of your business, the number of employees you have, the amount and value of your commercial property, the location of your business, and a variety of other variables.
An independent insurance agent can guide you though your options so you get coverage that meets your needs and budget.
Benefits of an Independent Agent
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right sign 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 take into account the whole picture. They can omit important coverage that will leave you devastated if something unexpected happens. And they can leave out cost savings 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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