Every business needs insurance, but your bricklaying and masonry business has unique coverage needs based on the kind of claims you are most likely to make. There are some things that can happen to any contracting business, like stolen tools and liability claims arising from injuries or damage that occurs on the work site. But what kinds of claims are most common for brick and masonry businesses like yours?
By far the most common claims for bricklayers are all related to injuries and property damage that occur when brick facing separates from the rest of the structure and collapses. Every bricklayer should go through extensive training on the proper use and positioning of brick ties (or wall ties), but it’s clear from the claims experience of our partner insurers that some still cut corners.
Collapses often happen years after the work is carried out. Some result from brick ties that are too far apart or improperly attached (shorter roofing nails etc.), and others are as the result of rust and corrosion related to moisture. Anti-corrosion standards for brick ties have improved in recent years, but improper installation continues to be a problem.
Your firm is contracted to install a brick veneer on a wood-framed house. A junior employee finds himself short on brick ties, but wants to finish the job. He decides to space out the ties more than he was taught, to make sure he doesn’t run out. He’s sure nobody will notice, and he’s right. The wall he’s working on is completed and nobody is the wiser. 12 years later, that wall collapses during a windstorm, causing substantial damage to the building, and also to the homeowner’s sports car, which happens to be parked in the driveway at the time.
Given that wall ties are the primary cause of claims, the best way that you can protect your business from claims, and the premium increases that surely follow, is to:
Homes built today are expected to last for a minimum of 50 years, and so you need to install veneers that are made to last at least that long.
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments below! Mitchell & Whale is a fast-growing insurance brokerage in Ontario, striving to make insurance _not suck_ one customer at a time. Give us a call today to discuss any of your insurance needs at 1.800.731.2228.