Imagine embarking on that home remodeling project you and your spouse have been dreaming of for years. You’ve now got the money saved up to redo your kitchen, and the day finally comes where the workers show up. They lay out protective tarps, and begin sanding your cabinets. All of a sudden, a worker walks through the room, trips over the tarp, and takes a hard fall to the floor, breaking his shoulder and elbow from the fall.
Hopefully, this worker’s company has proper insurance coverage. At Pepper Johnstone & Company, we work with a wide range of businesses, tailoring their insurance coverage to meet the greatest potential risks in their respective industries. Our relationships with trusted insurance carriers allow us to match businesses with the right plan.
So in this blog, we’re going to chat about the difference between insurance for general business and coverage for home service contractors. We’re also going to discuss a cautionary tale for homeowners when hiring for work done around the house.
Home contractors range from plumbers, to electricians, and to builders making additions or renovations to your home. These workers and their businesses should carry specific insurance, which will cover a range of risks while working on a construction site.
The importance of home services and contractor insurance
On the business side, you do not want to be caught without the proper coverage. Sometimes, a piece of equipment just “walks” off the job site. One of your workers could accidentally ram into a homeowner’s garage door. In the event one of these scenarios happens, you’ll obviously be out of pocket for those expenses and potential damages if your company doesn’t carry the right coverage.
For homeowners seeking professional work done on your property, the key here is to seek professional help from a reputable company you’ve checked out in advance. Remember the above scenario where the worker tripped and broke bones? So while you might be considering hiring someone “on the cheap” for your household projects, just imagine if that worker’s company didn’t have liability insurance. You know what that means - you personally are liable to pay for damages, such as injury or even punitive damages.
It may be amusing to watch on YouTube, but when the person you hired to trim the branches for twenty bucks accidentally cuts one off onto your car, someone is going to have to foot the bill. It’s imperative that the contractors hired to work on your home are properly certified and, most importantly, insured.
The difference between home service and general business insurance
Now that we’ve instilled the importance of hiring home service workers that carry the proper insurance, let’s cover exactly what that insurance is so you can be prepared to ask the right questions when analyzing multiple quotes.
General business owners ought to carry commercial liability, business insurance, or professional liability. While this is also a necessity, along with workers’ compensation insurance, home service workers require further insurance.
General liability and worker’s comp cover many of the basic risks of doing business. Home service workers’ insurance, however, comes in several forms that are specific to the business’ specialization.
What binds all types of home services insurance coverage is that they’re designed to protect workers and homeowners from whatever happens on the property, whether to the home, to the tools and equipment, or to the people. So when clumsy Fred knocks out a pane in the glass of your living room, you know that his company’s insurance will cover it.
You don’t want to have saved your hard-earned bucks for years for a remodel, only to have an uninsured worker cost you thousands in correcting “mistakes.”
Types of home services and contractor insurance
All construction workers require builders risk insurance, which protects them from stolen, damaged tools, or equipment. Even roofers have roofers insurance, which similarly protects them from damage, as well as potential injury, as roofing can be a dangerous job.
All contractors that bring a vehicle on the premises require auto liability insurance. Contractors often bring large vans or work trucks whose beds are packed with tools and equipment. These lumbering vehicles are prone to accidents and mishaps. Auto liability covers these and is a must for many home service workers, especially those dealing in construction.
It may sound odd, but many home service workers are covered with contractors’ pollution insurance. This insurance protects businesses from any environmental violations, which can vary widely among different neighborhoods, counties, and states.
You should be asking questions of all the vendors you interview what types of insurance cover
These coverage options come in the form of uniquely tailored general liability insurance, and often need to be combined with other insurances mentioned above to ensure full coverage. This is why it’s so important to work with an experienced, dedicated insurance agency such as Pepper Johnstone & Company.
Pepper, Johnstone & Company is independently owned and locally operated to handle your insurance needs, including coverage for home service contractors. We focus on Athens and offer affordable and reliable insurance choices all across Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Our experts will help you address the risks specific to your location or industry. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.