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Commercial insurance isn’t just essential for construction businesses, it is often required — either by the state or client — for contractors and developers.
Whether you’re a plumber, electrician, carpenter or general contractor, these five steps will help you figure out what type of you need, and give you the tools to compare your options.
Business insurance all comes down to risk. Risk of injury. Risk of damage. Risk of lawsuits.
Evaluate the hazards your business faces to better understand your coverage needs. That includes common risks, like injury or loss of income, as well as those specific to the construction industry, such as:
Consider how accidents, lawsuits and natural disasters could impact your business. The nature of your work, the size of your business, the city or state you work in and whether you have employees also play into an insurer's risk assessment.
The following types of coverage are common for construction businesses. Your exact coverage needs will vary depending on your trade and business size, among other factors.
There are three main ways to shop for business insurance: contact providers directly, use an insurance broker or try an online marketplace. Each has its pros and cons.
You can buy a construction business insurance policy directly from an insurance provider, either online or over the phone.
Some providers, like Progressive and Geico, use a third-party insurer for certain types of coverage. So while you may be able to purchase your policies from a single provider (and get a discount for bundling coverage), you may deal with two separate insurers for claims.
Brokers act as middlemen, doing the legwork for you by gathering quotes from multiple insurance agencies. They work to understand your business needs and can offer guidance on the types of coverage you need, which is especially helpful for new business owners.
Websites like Insureon, and Embroker are the online version of your traditional insurance broker. You answer questions about your business — like industry, trade, revenue and number of employees — and receive multiple quotes and coverage recommendations in a matter of minutes. The main difference: You don’t need to talk to an agent, though you can call to speak with one if you have questions.
Prices can vary widely from one insurer to the next, even for the same coverage. Get multiple quotes from a variety of business insurance providers to ensure you get the best value.
Consider the following factors when comparing policies:
When you purchase coverage, decide whether to pay your annual premium in a lump sum or in monthly installments. (You might get a discount for paying it all upfront.) Familiarize yourself with the claims process ahead of time, so you know what to expect should the need arise.
Most policies renew annually. When it comes time for renewal, make a point to review your coverage and get fresh quotes. As your business evolves, your insurance needs will, too.