There are over 10 million workers in the construction sector in an industry that has contributed more than $650 billion to the US. Economy. That’s huge. What you, as a General Contractor or sub-contractor know only too well is that the construction industry may be huge and established, but it is a high risk industry.
If you have a business in this industry you should consider the probability of claims rather than the possibility of claims. A claim can be disastrous, and may exhaust the limits of your liability policies. What does this mean to a General Contractor business like yours?
Let’s take roofing as an example. According the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), the average cost a roofing company incurs when a worker falls from height is about $106,000. The average cost in other occupations is under $50,000 per injured worker.
WHEN EVERYTHING IS ON THE LINE
Without adequate General Contractor insurance, you could be putting everything at risk for the sake of saving a few hundred dollars a year. Yes, everything. Here’s a list of the things a General Contractor can lose:
- Your General Contractor business
- own home
- your marriage
- retirement and college funds and
- future earnings
GENERAL CONTRACTOR INSURANCE MISTAKES ARE (VERY) EXPENSIVE
The most common reasons small businesses fail include an inadequate management team, an inadequate infrastructure or business model, unsuccessful marketing initiatives; and a lack of funding or capital. But, where does your General Contractor General Liability Insurance come in?
Here are 3 everyday things that fall into these categories, and could be the ruin of your business and maybe even your lifestyle. You may not have thought of their real implications for your construction business.
1. Get It In Writing
Ensure all instructions are in writing. Why? General Contractors must protect themselves from all sorts of claims, including errors that arise from failing to understand or follow the architect’s instructions. To avoid a he-said-she-said scenario, ensure that any instructions from the architect are in written form and signed. These signed instructions may act as proof for change of scope on the contractor’s work and indemnify you from any costs related to reworks as a result of design changes.
2. Watch Out For Discrimination
Gender stereotypes, sexual harassment, wage gaps and access to opportunities are just a few of claims that you could find yourself defending.
Over the last 20 years, employee lawsuits have risen 400%. A claim brought against your General Contractor business could be more than $200 000. This amount does not include legal fees, which may not be covered by your General Liability Insurance.
Common discrimination in the construction industry includes those based on:
- blindness, deafness, blindness, cancer or other
- age, race and gender
The lesson here is that, even if you consider yourself a fair employer, you may still find yourself losing to a discrimination claim. The employee (even the employee of a sub-contractor) can hold you liable for perceived discrimination that you did not intend.
3. Get The Right Insurance
General Contractor Insurance with the wrong carrier through the wrong agents. You could already have insurance coverage in place. But is it enough to cover the things that could (and often do) go wrong on a construction project? Double-check that:
- Your insurer works with A-rated insurance companies
- Your insurance coverage is tailored to meet all your exact needs
For instance, your General Contractor General Liability Insurance excludes (amongst others) punitive damages. This means that General Liability Insurance policies normally do not pay for punitive damages resulting from a lawsuit. We recommend that you have a trusted insurer check your insurance program to see that you are properly and comprehensively covered.
THE VALUE OF GENERAL CONTRACTOR INSURANCE
The construction industry is the most dangerous. If you don’t have the right General Contractor Insurance bundled together with additional coverage that is relevant to the construction industry, you are putting your company in harm’s way.
As a contractor, you may work on large projects with large equipment, and therefore large risk. $1,000,000 is a standard General Liability limit. But this may not be enough to satisfy the many requirements as a small contractor.
Is it really worth taking a chance and putting your business (and whole life) at risk? Contact ContractorsLiability.Com at (866) 225-1950 for a General Contractor Insurance program that is specifically designed to protect you.