Getting Specialized Insurance for Contractors

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Updated: 22 March 2024
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Insuranceopedia Staff
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Contractors need specialized insurance because each project they undertake has unique insurance requirements. Without adequate insurance, contractors risk facing significant financial losses if something goes wrong during a project, especially considering the high costs associated with construction work.

Contractors face various risks, including injuries to themselves or their staff, which can lead to lawsuits and hefty fines if they lack insurance coverage. Specialized insurance can help mitigate the financial impact of accidents on the job site, and it’s often a legal requirement for contractors.

Clients also prefer to work with insured contractors because it demonstrates a commitment to legal compliance and financial responsibility.

Additionally, contractors often own expensive equipment used on job sites, which increases the likelihood of accidents and equipment damage over time. Having insurance for these tools helps prevent unexpected costs that could make a project unprofitable.

Types of insurance contractors typically need

General Liability Insurance

Protects against third-party claims for property damage, injuries, or defamation resulting from the contractor’s services.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance is essential for contractors to safeguard against any financial losses resulting from job-related incidents or illnesses. This insurance also ensures that employees receive compensation for lost wages if they are injured on the job.

The majority of states mandate workers’ compensation insurance due to the frequent occurrence of accidents on job sites. This requirement aims to protect employees from injuries that could leave them without income. In some states, contractors can obtain coverage through an insurance fund, streamlining the process of acquiring workers’ comp insurance.

However, it’s important to note that state-operated funds typically entail higher costs compared to commercial insurance providers. For comprehensive guidance on workers’ compensation insurance and other essential types of insurance for contractors, offers a valuable resource.

Builders Risk Insurance

Covers buildings under construction against unforeseen accidents or damages.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Covers contractor-owned vehicles and equipment from theft, accidents, or damages.

Pollution Liability Insurance

Necessary if contractors work with hazardous materials to prevent liability issues.

Inland Marine Insurance

Protects tools and equipment during shipping, which may not be fully insured by the shipping company.

The cost of contractor insurance varies based on factors like the number of employees and revenue. For example, a business with three employees and $500,000 in revenue might pay around $24,900 annually, while a business with ten employees and $2.5 million in revenue might pay around $98,500.

Ultimately, the specific insurance needs and costs depend on the nature of each contracting project, so it’s advisable to consult with an insurance advisor to determine the appropriate coverage for a contracting business.

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