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Whether your operation is big or small, contractor’s insurance can protect your business from the financial implications of theft, property damage and legal action. If on occasion you hire subcontractors, you are responsible for their work and well-being too so having general contractor’s insurance in place is a wise choice to safeguard your business and good reputation.
As a contractor, you work in and around people’s homes and businesses, and even if you apply the strictest quality and safety standards, customers and/or third parties could sue you if they think that your work has led to injuries or damage to their property. Without liability insurance, one claim could cost in the millions of dollars and put you out of business. Without insurance on your vehicles, tools and supplies, a fire or theft could also cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
There are many trades and a wide variety of contractors, so that’s why there are numerous options available to customize a contractor’s insurance policy to your exact requirements according to the risks you and your business face. When shopping for contractor’s insurance, consider the following:
All of the above can be insured. Whether you’re a general contractor, subcontractor or construction tradesperson in Ontario, Mitchell Whale Insurance has policies to help protect you, your employees, your building materials and your equipment – on the job, in the shop and anywhere in between.
If your business uses subcontractors, you may think that your business insurance is sufficient to cover any damage or injuries caused by your subcontractors. This is not true. Most business insurance policies assume that subcontractors are properly insured.
If you have to make a claim based on the actions of an uninsured subcontractor, this could cause your premiums to increase, or worse. Your insurer could refuse to renew your policy, and if the loss exceeds the limits of your policy, your business could be out of pocket for the loss.
Contractors insurance is actually a number of different coverages that are bundled together to meet the needs of your business. The following examples relate to the most common coverages:
Depending on the nature of your contracting business and the types of risks involved, you may want other coverage, including equipment breakdown insurance, product liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, business interruption insurance and pollution liability insurance.
The cost of contractors insurance in Ontario starts under $1,000 a year, and depends on a number of factors, including:
As with most insurance, you can usually reduce your premiums by choosing lower policy limits and higher deductibles.Learn more
In Ontario, contractors are not required by law to have insurance, but may be required to have insurance for the following reasons:
Contractors insurance is sometimes called contractors combined insurance because it combines a number of different coverages to meet the specific needs of your contracting business. A contractors combined package can include any or all of the following:
Contractors protective insurance is another way to describe a general liability policy that covers your contracting business in the event that your work or that of your employees leads to injuries, illnesses, damage to property or other losses for a customer or third party.
Pollution insurance is a type of liability insurance that covers your business in the event that someone falls ill or suffers a financial loss as a result of pollution or contamination caused by your work or that of your employees. Even if your business doesn’t handle highly toxic materials, pollution insurance may be a good idea. Examples of pollution claims:
Contractors equipment insurance, also known as tools insurance, will pay to repair or replace the tools you use in your business if they are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed. Tools covered can include simple tools like hammers and drills, but also larger, more complex tools like bobcats and bulldozers.
No. If you are a general contractor, you need to insist that all your subcontractors carry their own insurance. If they don’t and you have to make a claim, it could affect your premium.
If you are a subcontractor who is working under a general contractor, you need to have your own contractors insurance in place to ensure that your business and your customers are protected. If your work or that of your employees leads to an injury, damage to property or other loss, you are liable. If you don’t have insurance, the general contractor’s insurer may pay for a customer’s damages, then sue you personally to recover their losses.