Best Insurance For Contractors
Avoid disaster by making sure your business is properly insured. Which type of insurance do you need? Find out here.
A simple guide for protecting your business
Operating a business without insurance issimplynot an option.What happens if there is an accident on a jobsite? If youre operating as an independent contractor andyoudont have the proper insurance, you could lose everything you own. Buying insurance doesntevenhave to break the bankand it doesnt take a long time to do. In fact, buying insurance is so simple that it can be done during your coffee break, start to finish! Here is a simple guide to buying insurance.
What insurance do you need?
Before you buy business insurance, take a few minutes to figure out what type of insurance you need. This will save you time when youre filling out an applicationformandmightprevent an over-eagerinsurance agentfrom selling you a product you dont need. Here are some options:
- General liability insuranceis a must for everyone who worksfor a third party.You usually wont be able to get a business license without it. General liability insurance is what covers you in case you accidentally damage a clients property,like breaking a window orleavingscratches on the paintwork. It can also protect you from having to pay hefty medical fees if someonegets injured by a falling ladder or trips on your extension cord and takes a nasty fall.
- Professional liability insuranceis important forbusinesseslike landscapers, general contractors, roofers, and carpenters. It covers you in cases where a client accuses you of notdoingyour job properly, making professional mistakes, or claims that you were negligent.
- Product insuranceis foranyonewho sellsbuilding materials or tools. Itprotects you in case the items you sell cause damage or dont work properly.
- Equipment insurancecoversyour expensive tools and equipmentand is a good idea. If they are stolen or damaged, it could cover replacement costs.
- Workers compensationis non-negotiable if you have employees. This policy willcover you in case they get injured while at work.Also, many contractors require their sub-contractors to have a work-comp policy even if they work alone.
- Commercial auto insurancecoverage is critical if you use your vehicle for work,other than driving to and from a job site.If you get into an accident while running a work-related errand, your private insurance may not cover you.
Who should you buy your insurance from?
You could stop in and visit your local insurance agent, oryou could save time and contact anonline brokerlikeNext Insurance.Either way, check that any insurance provider youre considering is trustworthy. You want a company with solid reviews from business owners like yourself. Look for online reviews;make sure theyre certified by the Better Business Bureauand ask other professionals you know about their experiences.
Try to getquotes from at least twodifferent companiesso you can make aknowledgeablecomparison(three is even better).When youve gathered theinformationyou need for one application, youll find that the other applicationswill besimilar and wont take long to complete. Three online applications shouldnt takelong.ANext Insurancepolicy can be purchased in just 10minutes.
No matter how short you are on time, you shouldneversign something that you didnt read.Insurance policies can be dense and full of jargon. Theseare theimportantquestions you need to ask:
- How much willit cost?For a comparison, mostNext Insurancegeneral contractors usually pay between $62-$83 per month for theirgeneral liabilitypolicies.
- DoIhave to pay for a whole year up-front, or canIpay monthly?
- What types of coverageisincluded? Look for the types listed above.
- How much is the deductible?
- Are there extra feesIshould be aware of?(Many online insurance companies have done away with extra fees, but you should check. In particular, if youll want certificates of insurance,make sure thatthey areincluded with your policy.)
How do insurance premiums work?
Once youve gotten a few quotes and decided which istherightonefor your business, its time to make your first premium payment. If youre required to pay annually, youll need to pay for a full years worth of coverage up front. If youre paying monthly, youll likely be asked to pay for your first and last months coverage.
Your payment secures the insurance contract. With most insurers, youll be covered from the moment you sign the policy. Others begin your insurance from the time that you make the firstpayment,orenable you to choose when your coverage will start.
Your insurance company should send you a certificate of insurance, which is the proof you need to show to clients that you are insured. Some companies charge a fee for every copy you need, but companies likeNext Insuranceallow you to download and share your certificate as often as you like without any extra fee. Share your certificate of insurance as an attachment in anemail, orprint it out andhand it to yourclient.
Get back to work
If youve bought your insurance online from a company like Next Insurance, your coffee will still be hot by the time youre done. Once youre covered, get back to work, knowing that your business has exactly the right insurance coverage, at the right price.