Being a contractor isn’t simple. As the highest of expectations are usually on your shoulders, stressful days are almost guaranteed. Along with budgets, fees, and scheduling of subcontractors, contractors insurance might be the last thing on your mind.
Insurance for all types of contractors is necessary to protect you and your business. A contractor, no matter what type, carries numerous liability risks. And whether your work for a large city like Chicago, or any other city or suburb, contractors insurance will be a requirement by various municipalities, county, state or city ordinances and laws.
Contractor Insurance Coverage Types
A variety of coverage options exist when looking for contractors insurance to meet city of Chicago, Aurora, Joliet, etc. or Illinois state requirements. Some of the most common include:
General Liability: If a third-party is injured or has any property damaged as a result of your actions, which may include actions of your subcontractors. More often, you, as a contractor, will be held liable. A general liability insurance policy, or gl insurance, offers a large selection of protection from these types of liabilities.
Workers compensation (Workers Comp): Generally speaking, contractors are not responsible for providing workers compensation benefits to the subcontractors they may hire. However, if you or your business has any real employees – assistant, receptionist, etc. – then you should have workers comp coverage. In Illinois, contractors are required to carry workers compensation insurance.
Property or Equipment: If you leave property, equipment or even tools, anywhere that it is exposed to damage, you could have a hard time finding the money to replace it. Equipment that is left on the jobsite is susceptible for theft and/or damage. Commercial property and equipment coverage is an important coverage to ensure your valuable property is covered.
Autos or Trucks: Most contractors own and operate a work car or work truck. Typically, autos used for business are not covered under a standard personal automobile insurance policy. Contractors, as well as other classes of business, utilize their cars and trucks more often than those used for personal use. The extra milage exposes a contractor to a higher risk that commercial car insurance can help protect.
Protection by Industry, Location and Profession
Another point for consideration in contractors insurance is whether to choose industry, profession or location-specific coverages.
Industry-Specific: Contractors work in many different industries. Some get down and dirty with building jobs while others work in an office with a computer as their primary power tool. Depending on your field, you may want to choose contractors insurance that is specific to your work—like construction or roofing contractors insurance. Another consideration you should make is the potential for environmentally hazardous waste within your business. If you deal with waste, either the creation or removal of it, then you may also consider environmental insurance.
Location-Specific: Some contractors keep all their business close to home and take on only domestic clients. Others might work with clients all over the world. If you do any work internationally, you need to expand your liability coverage beyond the domestic policy you might have and get international insurance.
Professional: As a respected professional, you are responsible for being thorough and bringing an expert knowledge into every job that you do. While general liability covers damages that stem from physical and environmental issues with your work, professional liability deals with errors and omissions that you might make.
As a contractor, you have the freedom to operate within your own set of hours, at your own pace and the location of your choice. But this freedom does not limit the risk that exists for you and your business. Insured ASAP helps contractors of all types to build a comprehensive, yet affordable, insurance policy for their specific industry.