What types of contractors need general liability insurance?
- General contractors, masonry contractors, concrete contractors, drywall contractors, excavation contractors, paving contractors and permanent yard contractors.
- Roofers, carpenters, plumbers, welders, electricians, painters, landscapers, appliance repair technicians, home inspectors and handypeople.
- Debris removal businesses, snow and ice removal businesses, tree service businesses, interior and exterior construction businesses
What does general liability insurance for contractors cover?
Add-ons for general liability policies
- Equipment coverage: An equipment add-on can help cover the cost to replace or repair your tools and equipment in the event that they break, are damaged or are stolen. This coverage bridges the gap between general liability and commercial property insurance.
- Data breach coverage: If a hacker breaks into your computer systems and steals customer information, data breach insurance can help cover the costs associated with notifying clients, offering credit monitoring and improving security.
Other types of business insurance for contractors and construction businesses
Type of insurance
What it covers
Business property that is damaged by certain accidents, weather events or other hazards.
A fire destroying your roofing inventory (shingles, tiles, other materials) would be covered under your commercial property insurance.
Claims against your business for mistakes or oversights in performing a service, breach of contract, professional negligence or failure to deliver a service on time.
If a client sues your general contracting company for missing the deadline on a construction project, your professional liability policy would cover legal and settlement costs.
Employees who are injured or get sick while at work. Most states require employers to have workers' comp for their employees. If your employee falls off a ladder while painting a house and breaks an arm, their medical expenses would be covered under workers’ compensation.
Vehicles that you use in the course of doing business. Protects you from expenses related to accidents, such as property damage and injuries.
If you’re backing up your electrician's van and collide with another driver, your commercial auto insurance will cover damage to the car and any injuries the driver receives.
Damage or loss to buildings during construction or renovation as a result of fire, weather events, vandalism or other hazards.
If the windows of a house that your company is building are broken during a windstorm, builder’s risk insurance can cover the cost to replace them.
Claims against your business for physical harm or damage caused as a result of the installation or repair of a certain product.
If you repair a bathroom pipe for a client and a few days later, the pipe bursts and causes flooding throughout their house, the client could sue you for a faulty repair. This type of policy would cover any associated legal costs and settlements.
Business property while it is being transported, or while it is being stored by a third party.
If you’re driving from one landscaping project to another and supplies are stolen from your truck while you’re stopped at a gas station, inland marine insurance will cover replacement costs.
How much does general liability insurance for contractors cost?
- Business location.
- Previous claims history.
- Business size.
- Policy limits.
How to get contractor liability insurance
- Evaluate your risks. Think about the common and industry-specific risks that your business faces. What types of lawsuits, disasters, accidents or hazards might impact your company?
- Determine your coverage needs. Your insurance coverage should protect you from the risks that you’ve already identified. Consider the different policies that will best suit your business needs.
- Choose how to shop. When you’re looking for contractors business insurance, you can contact providers directly, work with a broker or use an online marketplace. If you have more complex needs and want dedicated assistance, an insurance broker can help you get quotes and compare options. On the other hand, if you’d rather expedite the process and handle it on your own, you might prefer one of the other two methods.
- Compare providers. NerdWallet recommends getting quotes from multiple providers before making a decision. You’ll want to consider factors such as coverage, policy limits, cost and reviews to help you determine which provider is right for your business.
- Buy your policies. After purchasing policies, you’ll want to make sure that you know how to make payments, file a claim and manage your account.