As you know, contractors and excavators face more risks than most businesses. Big jobs call for heavy equipment, large crews, and comes with plenty of hazards. Your equipment is expensive and the chance for accidents is high.

How can you protect yourself, your employees, and your company from the dangers you face every day just doing your job?

One important tool you can use to manage risks is the right insurance coverage. The right package of policies can ensure you are covered in case there is an accident. There are always conditions that are beyond your control – weather events, pedestrians wandering onto the job site, a client didn’t disclose important information, and many others. Insurance will help you deal with the obvious concerns as well as the hidden ones.

Insurance can be complicated with a long list of coverage options.

Let’s review some of the important coverages you should consider.

Commercial General Liability 

This type of insurance policy covers you from a number of claims including but not limited to:

  • Damage to a third party caused by your employee, ie. an employee breaks a water line while digging
  • Bodily injury, ie. an unauthorized person enters your job site and gets injured
  • Damage to your reputation, ie. a disgruntled employee makes unsubstantiated claims on social media

Builders Risk Coverage

This covers you from accidents while construction is being completed. Covered items include supplies, materials, and equipment used during construction for incidents like theft, vandalism, and fire. Builders risk can also cover materials and equipment while in transit.

In-transit is where builders risk can overlap with inland marine coverage. Both policies can cover equipment and materials while being transported but for different reasons. If you are a subcontractor or small contracting business and don’t spend a great deal of time on one job site, inland marine coverage might be right for you. If you are a general contractor or spend long periods at one site, builders risk is a good option. Your independent insurance agent can help determine which coverage is best for you.

Business Personal Property

As with all things insurance, this can vary but typically Business Personal Property covers items owned by your business, typically at your office – computers, furniture, supplies, and sometimes inventory.

Commercial Auto

Commercial auto insurance covers the cost of accidents involving your company-owned vehicles as well as theft, vandalism, and other damage. Commercial auto does not cover the equipment you may be transporting. Since your team may be transporting heavy equipment accidents involving your vehicles could be catastrophic, this coverage is very important.

Equipment Insurance

Equipment loss could bring your operation to a halt. As mentioned, heavy equipment is not covered by your commercial auto policy. To ensure it’s covered you’ll need a Business Owners Policy (BOP) or separate equipment policy – listing each of your machines. It’s important to keep your list up to date, purchasing a new piece of equipment doesn’t automatically add it to the list.

Worker’ Compensation

Workers’ comp is a federally mandated, state-regulated program that protects your business if an employee gets injured or becomes ill as a result of work-related activities. When you’re covered correctly, workers’ comp will cover medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, retraining, legal costs, and more. A construction site can be a dangerous place, making sure you have a comprehensive workers’ comp program in place can be critical.

Other important coverage options

There are many other important coverages you should consider – this isn’t a complete list – here are a few other policies that can help provide peace of mind.

Cyber insurance – we are more dependent on computer systems and the internet than ever before and no business is too big or too small to get hacked. If you store personal data for employees or customer information or rely on your systems for accounts receivable or payroll (and others), your business is susceptible to an attack.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance – EPLI coverage will cover defense costs and damages related to various employment-related claims including charges of discrimination, workplace harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation, and others.

Surety bonds – surety bonds are sometimes required by a client (the obligee) to ensure they are covered in the event a job cannot be finished or is not finished to the customers’ specifications.

Completed operations coverage – this coverage can be included in your commercial general liability policy and covers damages caused by your work that occurs after you completed a job.

The right insurance program will help make sure you covered in the event of an accident and that your operations can resume as quickly as possible.

Your business is excavating and building, you shouldn’t have to be an insurance expert, that’s why we’re here. At Gannon Associates Insurance, we’re insurance professionals with years of experience insuring businesses like yours. We understand how complicated insurance can be, we’ll get to know your operation, work with our insurance company partners – some of the most trusted names in the industry – and develop a comprehensive coverage package that fits your needs and your budget.