As an artisan contractor, you know how much the details matter. The work you do for your clients requires lots of attention to small details—and so does running your own business. Having insurance is one of those crucial elements that makes it possible for your business to thrive.
Whatever your field, your work requires expertise and precision, and you’re often working with materials that are valuable to your client. That means it’s especially important to ensure that if something goes wrong, your client will be able to recover any damage or loss, and you’ll be able to continue growing your business. That’s what insurance is for.
What Insurance Does the Law Require Artisan Contractors to Have?
Depending on your field, the structure of your business, and your location, there may be types of insurance that are legally required. For example, if your business owns a truck, van or other kind of vehicle, you’ll need to have vehicle insurance. If you have employees, you might be required to have workers’ compensation insurance. If you work in construction, there may be specific insurance requirements for a business like yours to run. You’ll need to check the laws and regulations of your state to find out exactly what the law obligates. In any case, even if the law doesn’t require you to have insurance, it’s always a good idea to make sure your business is protected.
What Kinds of Insurance Do Artisan Contractors Need?
There are a few different types of insurance for independent contractors, each addressing a different business need. The most important kinds are general liability insurance and professional liability insurance.
General Liability Insurance for Contractors
This is the most basic level of insurance. In many states, the law requires artisan building contractors who work in construction to have a general liability policy. It can offer protection when there’s an accident and someone might hold your business responsible for any damage. The specific cases it covers can vary by policy, but in general, they include three categories: bodily injury, personal injury and property damage.
Bodily injury includes situations where a third party (someone other than you or your employees) gets hurt and might blame you or your business for the injury. So, for example, if you’re a plumber working on a leaky pipe in someone’s home, and a member of the household trips over your toolbox and sprains an ankle—that counts as bodily injury, and general liability insurance can help pay the injured person’s medical expenses.
Personal injury includes cases where someone sustains damage that isn’t physical—such as damage to their reputation or livelihood. For example, if you accidentally forget to ask permission to use a copyrighted photograph when advertising your services as a tree surgeon, the photographer might sue—and general liability insurance can help cover your legal expenses.
Property damage includes situations where you accidentally break or harm property belonging to someone else. For example, if you’re a piano tuner working on a beautiful white Steinway and you accidentally spill your coffee on the piano, general liability insurance can help pay for the damage.
Professional Liability Insurance
We’re all human, right? Professional liability insurance is for situations where you make a professional mistake and someone believes they were harmed by it somehow. This is sometimes called E&O (errors & omissions) insurance; you may also have heard it called malpractice insurance for medical fields. Let’s say, for example, that you’re a carpenter. You build a custom display cabinet for a client’s collection of glass figurines. You are normally very meticulous about your work, but this one time, you’re really tired and forget to properly secure one of the shelves. After a few days it falls down, taking the figurines with it, and they smash on the floor! This counts as a professional oversight, so in this case, general liability insurance couldn’t help you with compensation—but professional liability insurance could.
Other Types of Insurance for Contractors
Other kinds of artisan insurance you may want to consider include:
- Property or floaters insurance, to make sure that if something happens to property or specialized equipment belonging to your business, you’ll be able to afford to fix or replace it.
- Commercial auto insurance: you may own a truck or van for your business, or you may use your personal vehicle for it. If the latter, your personal auto policy might include some business use, but even if it does, its limits may not be high enough to protect your business. Having business vehicle insurance will keep you covered.
- Workers compensation insurance: if you employ workers, this type of insurance protects your team and assures them that you care about them and take responsibility for their welfare. You might be legally required to have this type of insurance.
- Tools and equipment insurance: If your tools are stolen, lost or damaged and you don’t have the immediate funds to replace them, your coverage will help you get back to work as soon as possible. Tools and equipment insurance is available as an add-on to our general liability insurance for contractors
Why Next Insurance?
We know that choosing insurance can be a daunting task and that you have many options to choose from. At Next Insurance, our priority is releasing you from worry so you can focus on growing your business and thriving as an artisan contractor. Here are some of the things we offer to make your life easier:
- A combined insurance policy that saves you the headache of choosing which kinds of insurance to purchase: Not sure what kind of insurance your business really needs? No worries—we’ve already done the research for you. Our single, combined policy that includes exactly the coverage that is relevant to your business and leaves out the extras. This not only saves you time and effort, it means you get great coverage at a super affordable price.
- A digital insurance certificate you can share instantly: Our Live Certificate saves time and paperwork, and means that proving you’re insured is as easy as clicking a button.
- Straightforward and honest communication: We believe in communicating with our clients clearly and honestly, without small print or legal gobbledygook. You deserve to know exactly what you’re getting from us.
- A team that really cares about you and is invested in your success: We love small businesses and are passionate about helping them thrive. Don’t take our word for it; check out our testimonials to see how other artisan contractors just like you have benefited from our services.
Interested in finding out more? Check out our section on insurance for contractors.