3 common risks every contractor should know about

Contractor

Running your own contracting business is an impressive feat. When you’re building dream homes and outdoor paradises for your customers, you’re getting your hands dirty and running the show. But while you’re busy running the show, there are risks you may not notice that could cause trouble in paradise.

Certain risks can cause your business to fall apart like loose screws, impacting your bottom line. Having proper safety training and loss prevention programs can help, but noticing these risks before they occur is a strong first step towards protecting your business. Don’t worry; we’re here to help you keep your business from crumbling. Here are just a few common contracting risks that you need to be aware of, and how insurance can help you combat them.

These contracting risks could really screw up your business

Liability risk

You’re a contractor, so like Austin Powers, Danger is probably your middle name. You’re used to working in environments that aren’t always the safest. Whether you’re doing electrical work, tiling floors, or breaking down walls like the Kool-Aid man, you may be vulnerable to a number of liability risks. You might injure your customers. You may even damage their property. An honest mistake or oversight, no matter how small, could have a big impact on your customers’ property or cause an injury to someone on your jobsite.

Whether you’re hired directly by a customer or working as a subcontractor for a larger company, you could be held responsible if something goes wrong, which may lead to a costly lawsuit. Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance can help protect you and your business from financial consequences caused by liability risks. If you work with independent contractors on occasion, it’s important to remember that your CGL coverage may not cover their work. As a small business owner, you should always ask the independent contractors you work with to provide proof of CGL insurance to ensure they’re also properly protected.

Property risk

Like Batman’s utility belt, your tools help you get the job done. We have no doubt that they’re safely stored away when you’re not busy working on a job site, or travelling in between jobs. But what happens if a flood or a fire occurs? Your tools could be damaged in a number of unexpected ways. Any number of things could happen that may damage them. It’s important to make sure that both your property and your equipment are properly insured to help keep your repair and replacement costs down.

For contractors like you, commercial property insurance and business interruption insurance are two very important types of coverages to consider. Commercial property insurance will help protect your workshop, contents, and supplies if they get damaged by an insured peril. This would cover Batman’s equipment if the Bat-Cave had a fire, and it will protect your tools and supplies as well. Business interruption insurance can offer protection against loss of income due to an insured claim, and help cover expenses if your business is unable to run normally due to an insured loss. If the Bat-Cave catches fire, this coverage would relieve some of Batman’s lost income while he repairs his cave and replaces his equipment. This coverage will also help you relieve some of your lost income while you repair or replace your own workshop and equipment. If you need to temporarily relocate, business interruption insurance can help with those costs as well.

Theft

Construction site theft is an ongoing issue in Canada. News storiesarrests, and warnings on this topic pop up regularly. Like taking candy from a baby, stealing equipment from construction sites may be easier than you think. And while we’re sure you take every precaution to ensure your tools are safely secured and meticulously marked, some things are out of your control. Like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone demonstrates, contractor tools are popular targets for theft because they’re often left unattended. These tools can be easily resold on the black market. Other frequent targets for thieves include appliances, supplies, and copper wiring. Your commercial property insurance policy can help you replace stolen tools and supplies, cover some of the costs associated with theft, and may even reimburse you for the cost of renting tools in the meantime.

Protect your bottom line

Liability risks, property risks, and theft are all areas that can cause trouble in paradise for your business. Knowing how to identify and prevent these risks can help you avoid loose screws and costly losses. So, remember to keep your eagle eyes open while you’re getting your hands dirty and running the show.

Looking for more ways to protect your business? Contractor’s insurance may be the solution for you.

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This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply to coverage, see policy for details.