As a small business owner and roofer, you are steady on your feet. It’s a requirement for all roofing contractors in this line of work. What happens if a client blames you for damaging their property or getting hurt by your equipment?
Accidents happen, and you might have a lawsuit on your hands.
You’ve worked hard to build your roofing business. To protect yourself, you should also be cautious in your work and with your materials, but sometimes even the most careful roofing companies have accidents.
In the event of an accident or injury, having contractors’ insurance for your roofing company can save you from having to foot the entire bill yourself. You need to make sure you have the right type of coverage for your business, starting with the general liability coverage provided by roofing insurance.
What is Roofing Contractors’ Insurance?
General liability insurance covers your roofing business from claims of injury or damage. For example, if you knock roofing material off of the roof and someone is hit on the head on the ground below, they would have a claim against you. Roofing insurance would step in and cover the cost of the injury.
If you accidentally leave an uncovered patch on the roof and the homeowner experiences a leak because of the error, they would also have a claim against you. The liability claim may be covered by your roofer’s insurance depending on the cause of the error and how much damage was caused by the error.
Even though your roofing business has insurance coverage, you still need to be careful in your work. If the insurance company determines that you were negligent, the roofing insurance may not cover the claim. Additionally, if you have several claims, the insurance company might raise your rates or drop your insurance coverage entirely.
Roofing contractors’ insurance should be considered a backup plan, not a free pass for recklessness.
Who Needs General Liability Insurance?
All small businesses should have general liability insurance. No business is immune from injury or damage claims. Injuries or property damage are common in any construction field, but roofing is especially prone to accidents.
You also need insurance regardless of the type of roofing company structure. Small corporations are no more immune to claims than sole proprietorships. Having insurance coverage in place may protect your roofing business from claims against your other assets.
What Does Roofing Insurance Cover?
There are several types of claims that are covered by general liability insurance.
Property damage includes any harm done at the job site. This damage may happen during the job (if you drop a hammer and break a windshield on a car sitting below you) or after the job is complete (if there is poor workmanship and the roof leaks causing interior damage). Each of these types of property damage may be covered under a general liability insurance policy.
If you leave your materials on the ground outside the house and the homeowner steps on a tool, they may have a bodily injury claim against you. These types of third-party injuries are unfortunately common.
Though you may not feel you were at fault, it will be up to the insurance company to evaluate the situation and determine whether they will cover the injury and resulting medical bills.
If your business leaves a bad review of another business online in an attempt to drum up more work, you might be liable for slander. A roofing insurance policy may provide coverage for such claims.
General liability insurance will cover not only the direct cost of the claim but will also cover the court fees, lawyer fees, and settlements related to the claim.
Each policy will have extensive information about what is included under its insurance coverage options.
What is Not Covered by General Liability Insurance?
While general liability insurance is necessary and covers many potential claims, it does not cover all of your potential liabilities.
Your insurance agent can help you carefully review what is not covered under your roofing insurance policy and suggest additional coverages to supplement the general liability coverage.
General liability insurance does not cover auto accidents. Vehicles must be covered by a separate commercial auto insurance policy, and you must purchase commercial auto insurance separately. You should note that a personal auto insurance policy often excludes accidents that happen while working, so you can’t count on your policy to cover work-related damage.
All companies are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries to their workers. Workers’ compensation insurance will cover lost wages and medical bills for workers injured on the job if they are found to have a valid claim.
If you are not performing your work carefully, general liability insurance will not cover errors made due to negligence. You must always do your best work.
Roofing contractor’s insurance would not cover any injuries or damage caused by criminal acts.
How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost for Roofers?
Roofing insurance rates will vary based on the size of your business, the number of employees, and annual sales. Each of these items will be taken into account during the underwriting process.
When purchasing a policy, you’ll need to consider how much coverage you need, what other assets you are trying to protect, and how much risk you are willing to take on yourself. Higher deductibles will lead to lower premiums, but you’ll be responsible for paying the deductible amount before any insurance coverage kicks in.
Roofing insurance cost will also vary by location.
What Are the Risks of Not Having General Liability Insurance?
If you don’t have roofing contractors’ liability insurance, you won’t have any assistance in the event of an injury or damage claim against your company. You will be responsible for the entire expense from the incident.
You will also not have access to the roofing insurance company’s legal team and will have to hire a lawyer on your own in the case of a lawsuit.
Even if a suit or claim is dropped, you may have to spend a significant amount of money on legal fees and court fees. The legal fees for defending yourself can ruin a small roofing company.
Where Can I Find Additional Information on Roofers Insurance?
To find information on contractors’ insurance, you can visit the Contractors Liability website to get information on each of their products and make the comparison yourself. Unfortunately, there is no standard way of presenting coverage amounts and policy information for roofing businesses.
Each small business is unique and can benefit from working with an insurance advisor that understands its specific needs and goals. As a roofing contractor, it might feel a bit overwhelming to compare your options to purchase roofing insurance and find the right insurance program.
Ask us which type of insurance is best for your roofing company. Consult an experienced insurance agent at Contractors Liability. Moreover, we specialize in insurance for the construction industry. We will also give you a free quote in just 5-minutes.