What Carpenters Need To Know About Business Insurance
Carpenters in the Ontario area have many responsibilities that they have to deal with on a daily basis. At any given time a carpenter might find himself installing cabinets, molding or trim. Some carpenters even install counter tops and paneling. Whatever type of work you are doing doesn’t really matter. What’s most important is that you are going to be working in the customer’s home most of the time, which opens you and your crew up to a number of risks. And, this is not to even mention all the other risks and dangers that you will face on a daily basis. This is why it is important to acquire the right business insurance that can protect you from all these potential risks.
What Are The Risks That Carpenters Face?
As a carpenter in the Ontario area there really are a number of risks that you will face on a daily basis and they can include anything from property theft to vandalism, damaged tools, loss of income, vehicular accidents, a number of liability claims and workers compensation claims. With the right insurance package you can mitigate the losses that will be associated with these types of incidents. Another thing to keep in mind is that no two carpentry businesses are the same. Each business is unique and has very specific needs. Your specific insurance package will need to be based on the number of employees that you have, the type of work that you are doing and the specific risks you might face on a daily basis.
Protecting Yourself And Your Vehicles
It is true that most carpenters do their work inside their client’s homes or businesses, which means that you probably won’t have customers in your shop. You might not even need a shop if you aren’t building cabinets or other items on your own premises. However, this does not mean that you should skimp on general liability insurance. General liability insurance will protect you in the event that you cause bodily harm or property damage to a third party. For instance, if you or one of your employees damages a customer’s car while carrying in material, general liability insurance will cover the repair costs. However, this is not the only type of coverage that is available.
- Commercial General Liability Insurance also known as CGL – This type of insurance will protect you in the event that there is a lawsuit filed against your company. It will cover the cost of the attorney, deposition fees, court costs and the settlement. Even if you aren’t at fault and win the case a trial can tie up a lot of money and resources.
- Commercial Auto Insurance – Even if you are driving a personal truck with regular auto insurance this will not be enough to protect you. You might have employees that you have to worry about as well and this is where commercial auto insurance will come in handy. Commercial auto insurance will cover you or your employees when there is a vehicular accident. It will also cover any medical expenses or property damage claims that are related to the accident. This type of coverage will even protect against lawsuits as well in the event that the situation comes to that.
- Commercial Umbrella Insurance – Commercial umbrella insurance is a unique type of insurance as it adds another layer of protection that you might find yourself in need of. This type of insurance will kick in when you have exceeded your limit on other policies. For instance, if you only have a coverage limit of $30,000 on your auto insurance and you exceed that limit the additional costs will come out of pocket. However, if you have commercial umbrella insurance it will kick in after the $30,000 limit has been exceeded and provide the extra coverage that you need.
Protecting Your Property And Equipment
Ontario carpenters also need to make sure that they are always protecting their equipment and property as well. There are a number of plans available that can aid with this very task.
- Commercial Property Insurance – Commercial property insurance is going to be necessary if you own a shop. It will protect you in the event that there is a fire, a break in or any natural disaster. Property insurance also protects you in the event that your business is interrupted. It will pay for lost income and the damages that are done to the shop. For instance, if someone breaks in and steals your equipment the plan will not only pay for the lost equipment, but it will pay for the income that is lost when you don’t have the equipment.
- Inland Marine Insurance – Inland marine insurance is going to be especially important for the Ontario carpenter. It will protect your tools and equipment from loss, damage or theft. For instance, if you are working on a customer’s home and someone comes by and steal a saw out of your truck, the plan will pay to replace the saw.
Protect Your Employees
Your employees will be a big part of your business as well and you need to make sure that you are protecting them. It is your responsibility to ensure their safety and health while they are working under you. Not only will an employee injury or illness be devastating, but if it leads to death it could be catastrophic for your business.
- Workers Compensation Insurance – Workers compensation will provide coverage when there is an employee accident. It will pay their medical fees and compensate their lost wages for the time they are out of work.
How Important Is Professional Liability Insurance For The Carpenter?
As a carpenter it is your responsibility to design and construct a number of structures. One day you might find yourself designing and building a porch, while the next day you might be undertaking a new building. Whatever the situation is, there is always a chance that something could go wrong during the design process. Maybe you accidentally use the wrong type of material or maybe you forget to add extra support here and there. Both of these scenarios could result in the structure falling or not working as promised. While these might be mistakes the customer will not be happy with the result.
This is where professional liability, also known as errors and omissions insurance, will come in handy. It will cover you in the event that there is a lawsuit and it will also pay if the customer experiences any bodily harm or property damage due to the weakened structure.