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Residential Contractor Insurance 101: How to Choose the Best Insurance for Your Business

Residential Contractor Insurance 101: How to Choose the Best Insurance for Your Business

Next Insurance Staff
By Next Insurance Staff
Mar 26, 2019
5 min read

You’ve got the skills, you’ve signed up for a contractor license, and even worked out a financial plan – you’re just missing business insurance. Residential contractor insurance is a must for private contractors but many business owners start out not knowing much more than that. Residential construction insurance is a make-or-break issue for your business. It provides the safety net that enables you to focus on providing the best quality work and moving your business forward. That’s why it’s so important to understand the details of your private contractor insurance so that you can be sure you’re getting the policy that will be there when you need it.

Why You Need It

Most businesses need insurance. But residential contractors work in situations where a lot of small things can go wrong. The combination of sharp tools, electrical wires, and other people’s homes can result in sticky situations. Accidents happen even to the most conscientious professionals, especially when you’re surrounded by someone else’s property and can’t control who comes in and out while you work. The chances of harming someone else’s house or of outsiders getting hurt is relatively high.

What Insurance Can Do For Your Business

Accidents and mistakes happen. But if you have an insurance policy you trust, you don’t have to wrap yourself in bubble wrap to prevent them. Obviously, you should try to avoid accidents but your insurance gives you the peace of mind to think about other things. You can make doing a good job your top priority instead of just trying to minimize risk.

What Insurance Does for your Customers

Having insurance proves to your customers that you’re a reliable professional. It shows that you have taken precautions and aren’t taking risks with their property. This gives them peace of mind and can help you close the deal.

Insurance for Self-Employed Contractors

But what does private contractors’ insurance actually look like? Different types of policies offer different advantages and protect you in different situations:

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is the most basic policy type, and every business owner needs it. It covers you in case of accidents that damage property or injure your customer or a third party. So if your assistant drops a hammer on a glass coffee table or your customer trips over the wire plugging in your equipment, you’ll be covered. Your general liability contractors' insurance should cover the cost to replace the furniture or pay the medical bills so that a small accident doesn’t put you out of business.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance for self-employed contractors is less fundamental than general liability but can make a big difference in how you run your business. It will cover you if a customer claims that you did your job badly or misrepresented your credentials. If your customer believes that you’re highly qualified but your hand slipped and you should pay for the damage, that would fall under general liability insurance. But if your customer claimed that you didn’t know what you were doing in the first place, that would be covered by professional liability.

Other Types of Insurance

There is a range of other policy types. Which ones you need depends on your particular business. For example, if you rely heavily on a truck or other vehicle you may want to consider commercial auto insurance and if you have even one employee you are probably required to have workers compensation insurance.

Why the Insurance Company Matters

Which policy you get is important and dependent on the insurance company, but other things that the insurance company provides are worth checking out. Make sure that you understand the fees and terms of payment. Small print can make a big difference here. Also, find out how easy it is to get a certificate of insurance when you need it. You may need these pretty frequently and you won’t be able to wait around for it. Also check other conditions, like how easy it is to cancel if you want to and whether you can easily get the information you need about the policy.

How Next Insurance Works

The average cost of general liability insurance for contractors can vary widely. It depends on your location, your needs, and your insurance provider. Different providers package insurance policies differently. In some cases, the only way to get the insurance coverage that you need is to get a lot of coverage that you don’t need, which of course drives up the price. To avoid this, Next Insurance breaks down policies for specific professions. Each general liability insurance policy is tailored to meet the specific needs of a particular niche. That way, we keep costs down and still provide every type of business owner with reliable, high-quality insurance policies. Our policies are also simple - they're easy to read, are available online. You can even get a Live Certificate of Insurance whenever you need it, and as many as you need.

Next Insurance Staff
By Next Insurance Staff

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