Let’s face it: the construction business comes with unique risks that other industries just don’t have. If you are running your contracting business properly, then you no doubt have several types of insurance to protect against the financial damage that can result from an accident or other negative incident.
However, just because you have insurance doesn’t mean that you want to make a claim. In fact, your goal should be to never have to use it at all.
The safer you are, the lower your premiums will be. Your insurance provider will examine your claims history and provide you with discounts if you don’t make as many as others in your industry.
Not only that, but you should also try to avoid claims because it means that you and your employees are being safe. Here are some of the most common general contractor insurance claims and how you can avoid them.
Contracting involves going to properties of other people and fixing, building, or refurbishing things. With heavy tools being used and many people on a job site at once, there is always a chance that something could get broken or damaged.
A hammer could go through some drywall, or a window could get smashed, or a ladder could fall on a car. Whatever the damage is, the cost of fixing or replacing what is broken may end up being very high.
The best way to avoid this from happening is by having robust policies about using tools safely and moving through the job site safely. You should also make sure that all of your employees on a job site have had a detailed information session on where they are to work and what is to be done.
This will ensure that someone doesn’t start working on a part of the property that they aren’t supposed to. Of course, if something does happen, you have hopefully obtained fast and simple contractor insurance to make sure you are protected.
Injuries to Workers
Much like with property damage, there is always a risk of someone getting hurt on a job site. Workers could fall off ladders, hurt themselves using equipment, slip and fall, or suffer from any number of accidents.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to do whatever you can to keep everyone safe. Your staff should be cleaning up all of their tools at the end of each day to prevent trip and fall injuries. In addition, wearing protective gear like lincoln welding helmets for welders is essential to protect their heads and eyes. It can significantly prevent injuries that may cause severe harm or even fatalities.
If you have people working from heights, then make sure that they are properly trained. A comprehensive safety plan along with regular safety checks and training will make sure that you avoid insurance claims for injuries.
There is a lot of valuable equipment on job sites, and it’s often left relatively unprotected. Too often, all that’s in between a truck or tools is a thin, temporary fence, if there is anything at all. Thieves are also clever. They don’t just strike after hours, they will try to steal things on breaks or on lunches when workers least expect it.
If there are vehicles left on the job site, make sure that they are locked and alarmed whenever not in use. Tools and equipment can be locked inside these vehicles to keep them safe.
If you are working on a home property, check if you can be allowed to store equipment inside so that it’s even better protected. Many companies use GPS tracking technology to ensure that their most expensive pieces of equipment are always where they should be.
If there’s one thing to be said about contracting business, there is always a lot of movement. Equipment gets moved between job sites, management visits them to monitor progress, and even employees might be working on multiple jobs at once. If you have a fleet of vehicles, then there is a very good chance that you will need to make a vehicle accident claim at some point.
However, you need to have strong policies about the use of company vehicles to keep accidents to a minimum. Your staff should realize that driving in a company vehicle means that they are representing your brand.
The public will see your brand when they drive recklessly, which can harm your reputation. You can also use GPS tracking to monitor how fast your vehicles have traveled and even if they have broken traffic laws.
Professional Liability Claims
As a service industry, contractors need to have professional liability insurance to protect them against financial fallout from errors or the perception of not fulfilling a contract. For example, if you are contracted to renovate a large building, you could make a mistake in your planning, or one of your employees might use the wrong type of materials for one aspect of the job.
As a result, there are huge delays that start to cost the client money. Because of this, they could choose to bring a lawsuit against you to recover their perceived financial losses.
It’s very hard to avoid professional liability claims because by their very nature they are the result of honest errors. The best way to prevent these claims is by being as diligent as possible in everything you do. You may not want to spend too much time verifying things, but haste truly does make waste.
If you take the time to double-check your work and your planning, then it will save you time and money in the long run since you will not have to do the work to rectify the error and make an insurance claim.
As a business owner, no matter what industry you are in, it is your responsibility to make sure that your employees, your clients, and the general public are safe where you are working.
The best part of having the right insurance is that you can be confident that you are protected against the financial hardships that a negative incident or accident can cause. However, you should also be doing everything you can to avoid having to make a claim. It will protect everyone and keep your premiums as low as possible.