Insurance for any type of contractor has always been a mainstay for CIBI, encompassing a large portion of our clients in trades – home builders, plumbers, electricians, project managers, drywall, framers, and many other subcontractors.
As the housing and condo markets boom, so does the rate of new buildings going up. The trades that make up for a new single family home build can exceed 10 or more different trades and companies. Some contractors choose to operate without insurance and may ultimately have no issues. The growing sentiment is that all trades need to provide proof of liability insurance to protect the overall health of the project. If one trade or contractor cannot meet their obligations the whole build could be in jeopardy.
Let’s say a small drywall company is sub-contracted to come in and provide the finishing work for the walls, mudding and crown molding. An experienced builder would require this trade to provide a valid certificate of insurance, stating they have coverage for liability in case they cause damage to the home and need to rely on the policy. You might be thinking, “that seems very low risk, and not worth the $800 year for insurance.”
Well, what happens when a drywall worker causes a flood by putting a screw through a freshly laid pipe, or electrocutes himself or others by hitting a wire or electrical outlet? These scenarios are very likely to cause financial repercussions and who will pick up the bill? Lawsuits are becoming increasingly more popular as we see the ease of retaining and obtaining a no-fee lawyer for personal injury claims. WSIB will fight tooth and nail to avoid a payment, and the claimant will likely want to pursue further damages, well guess what? Personal injury lawyers out there are lining up to help this employee claim as much as possible, and they’re going to pursue legal action against the builder.
This is just another example of how a commercial general liability policy both protects the business owner, and gives confidence to you and your client that they’re hiring the right company for the project. As a broker, it’s my job to not only make sure you have the right coverage, but also help you understand how, and why, the policy is the right fit for you.
Call or send me an email, and together, we can review your current policy to highlight where you or your business may be exposed to liability.
James Inwood is a member of Canadian Insurance Brokers Inc. CIBI operates across Canada with more than 40 licensed brokers and is completely independent so our advice is always objective. Representing 14 insurance carriers on the personal side and over 20 insurance providers on the commercial side helps give my clients clear choice and competitive pricing.
Who pays for work related injuries?
Depending on the situation and facts, a work-related injury could be covered through workers’ compensation, or a claimant could seek payment from a negligent third party. The negligent third party could easily be you, if you did not properly document training, supervision or were just caught in the wrong. Having a comprehensive liability policy will help cover the settlement and defense costs including $1, $2, $5, and $10 million of liability depending on the solution that fits you.
We typically recommend packages with $2 million or more liability, coverage for tools, equipment, loss of income for covered claims and flood and sewer back-up. These comprehensive packages start at only $800/year. Not only does a policy like this effectively insure your business, but the peace of mind that comes with it will also help you boost the profile and comfortability of your business, with certificates of insurance allowing you to be potentially favored on more job sites.
We feel every business is unique and requires unique solutions. We have built a business quote solution that helps us get an overview of your risk and solutions. Follow “this link”, and submit a quote request online. From there, we can continue the conversation to develop a customized plan that suits you and your business needs.