If you’re running a business installing floors and various coverings in Ontario, at a minimum, you need liability insurance to protect your business and your customers in the event that mishaps happen on the job site and someone gets hurt or you damage property. Whether you do subcontract work or deal directly with homeowners and businesses, your customers will want to see proof of insurance before you start a job.
There are also a number of other coverages that flooring businesses find essential:
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General liability insurance protects your flooring business from costs related to injuries or property damage related to your work or that of your employees. Even if you take the greatest safety precautions, mishaps will happen on a job site. And a customer could come after you for damages even you did everything right. Some common claims related to flooring include:
If you have company vehicles, you need auto insurance just like everyone else in Ontario, except you need a commercial auto policy. It’s a little more expensive, but also has higher limits. If you use your own van, pickup or truck to get to and from work sites, or to transport materials, you need to let your broker know. He/she will probably recommend commercial auto insurance, which will also cover your personal use.
If you drive your personal vehicle for business purposes and your insurance company doesn’t know, you’re taking a big chance. If you crash while transporting flooring materials and work tools, your claim could be denied and you could be on the hook for the cost of car repairs and any damage to materials and tools. Even if you don’t have work stuff in the vehicle, if you have your business logo or phone number on the outside, that alone could void your coverage. You really want to risk it?
Flooring businesses with a physical office, showroom or warehouse location need commercial property insurance to protect against common hazards like fire, wind, water, theft and vandalism. You also need to make sure your liability insurance covers anything that could happen to customers who come to visit.
Running a home-based business? Cool. You don’t need separate commercial property insurance… Wait, did you just read the words “you don’t need insurance” on an insurance website? Yeah. Talk to your broker though, because if you keep tools and materials related to the business in your home, or carry out any operations from there, your home insurance won’t cover those things. (So yeah, you do need insurance. Sorry.)
Installing floors requires a number of different tools and equipment, like hammers, mallets, nail guns, saws, cutters, pry bars, scrapers, spacers, sanders, trowels, moisture metres, levels, t-squares and possibly a number of Star Wars-looking laser tools. How much would it cost to replace all your tools if they were stolen or lost in a fire? It adds up. Tools and equipment coverage will pay to repair or replace your tools, and will even pay for rental tools so you and your crew don’t have to miss a day of work.