framing Contractors – Know Your Protection Needs
Is there a difference between general contractor insurance and framing contractor insurance? There is no clear distinction between the two, but most consumers understand that there is a difference between the two types of insurance coverage. Many framing companies opt out of general contractor insurance in favor of a specialized commercial general contractor’s policy. For framers, choosing to purchase insurance directly from the provider is a wise decision. Here are several framing contractor insurance questions to ask and answers to common questions about this type of insurance coverage.
What is a limit on liability? Is there a limit on the coverage provided under a framing contractor policy? As a general rule, a limit to liability is defined as the maximum amount that a framing contractor will be responsible for in the court of law, if a customer or client suffers a loss while contracting with the provider. The limit is typically expressed as a percentage of the overall project cost, but it can also be set by contract. Be sure to discuss any limits that are in place with your provider before purchasing a policy.
What is the definition of “carpentry work?” Your particular area of expertise may be considered “carpentry work,” even if it is not the primary responsibility of your company. Professional framers and woodturners who perform other forms of construction, such as concrete work, sheet rock, rebar installation and others, are frequently included in discussions of “carpentry” and “work.” However, these other craftsmen are not trained specifically in the framing field. Therefore, they are not necessarily less skilled than your own skilled carpenters, unless they are contracted by a framer to perform specific tasks related to framing.
Are there any state or local regulations regarding these issues? Yes. In most states, framing contractors and subcontractors are required to obtain bonding, workers’ compensation and insurance coverage in addition to regular general business license requirements. If you are considering a certain framer or builder, check to see if he or she is licensed in your state. If not, find one that is licensed and make sure that his or her employees possess the proper state and local licensing documentation. You may want to retain the services of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, to protect yourself in the case of accidents on the job.
Is there enough coverage? As a small business owner, you are probably very concerned about protecting your investment and your finances. However, property damage coverage is particularly important when dealing with residential properties, which can be very expensive to repair. Many insurance providers offer a special commercial property damage package to protect your small business assets in this area.
Will my premiums go up if I change contractors? Yes, absolutely. Any time you hire a professional to do work on your property, you must have coverage. Contractor coverage can vary greatly, so it is important to shop around and receive an instant quote for your desired level of protection. In addition, when you are purchasing insurance coverage for your contractors, make sure that you are receiving a written quote from all of the appropriate vendors. If not, you could be charged unnecessarily for unnecessary coverage that you may never use.
How can I protect myself from unexpected liability or legal troubles down the road? One of the best things that you can do for your business is to always have sufficient insurance coverage. This includes both contractor liability and property damage coverage. Shop around, request free quotes and obtain an instant quote online. That way, you will know how much it is going to cost for you to get the type of legal protection that you need.