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Debris removal contractors provide a vital service, removing debris and unwanted materials from construction sites, disaster areas, and more. When you run a debris removal company, it’s crucial that you invest in a broad range of insurance coverage to protect you from the risks that could impact your business. If an expensive lawsuit or accident occurs, your business insurance can help you bear the financial burden and continue to thrive.
What insurance coverage do I need for my debris removal company?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but these policies are particularly relevant for debris removal contractors:
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is a key coverage that covers accidental damage or injury to third parties and third-party property. Debris removal companies regularly visit client locations, leading to an elevated risk that a member of the public could be injured due to your work or third-party property could be damaged. Many clients will likely require you to have general liability coverage before they will hire you.
In addition, if your business has a storage yard or lot, there could be a risk of visitors getting injured on your property. It’s important to make sure any areas where potentially dangerous materials are stored are properly fenced and gated to prevent unauthorized access.
- Bodily injury: While clearing out construction waste from a multi-level building, one of your employees accidentally drops some debris onto the adjacent sidewalk. The debris ends up falling on a pedestrian, who suffers a head injury. Your general liability policy would cover the injured person’s medical costs and any damages if he sues.
- Property damage: You drop a cabinet while cleaning out an office building, and it damages the building’s expensive tilework. Your general liability policy would cover the damages.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Debris removal companies depend heavily on trucks and other vehicles to transport debris away from worksites and deliver it to recycling centers, landfills, or other facilities. If your company owns vehicles titled under the business’s name, commercial auto insurance is both a key coverage and a legal requirement in almost every state, and it’s particularly important for debris removal companies since they have a higher exposure to auto claims.
If the driver of a company vehicle is at fault in a crash, your commercial auto insurance will pay for any resulting third-party bodily injury, property damage, or pollution cleanup. Commercial auto insurance also covers the value of the vehicle itself if it’s damaged by a collision or another peril.
- The driver of one of your trucks loses control of the vehicle on an icy bridge and collides with another car. Commercial auto insurance would provide funds to cover the damages to both vehicles.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance covers your business property if it is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril. This coverage will protect your company’s office space, storage yard, or warehouse, including any valuable equipment, furniture, computers, or tools. Commonly covered hazards include fire, storm, explosion, vandalism, theft, and water damage.
Commercial property insurance covers the following:
- Buildings belonging to or leased by your company
- Contents of the building, including furniture, equipment, and tools
- Property of others while it is under your care, custody, or control
- A propane tank explodes in your storage lot, causing a fire that spreads to your office building. Your office building is severely damaged, and your work computers and furniture are destroyed. Your commercial property insurance policy would cover the loss.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Since debris removal requires manual labor, there’s a high chance that employees may injure themselves in the course of their work. Common injuries include back strain from lifting heavy objects, cuts or lacerations to hands, and injuries from dropping items. You can reduce the risk of injuries by requiring employees to wear safety gear and encouraging good working practices, but employees may still suffer injuries.
Almost every state requires workers’ compensation insurance for companies that employ people, and there may be significant fines and penalties for companies that do not comply with these regulations. Make sure to check with your state laws to ensure you have sufficient workers’ comp coverage.
If employees are injured in the course of their work, workers’ compensation insurance will provide financial and medical benefits, covering medical costs, a portion of lost income, and in some cases, physical rehabilitation expenses. If employees die as a result of their work, workers’ comp also provides death benefits for dependents.
- One of your employees drops an old sofa while moving it and breaks her foot. Workers’ compensation insurance would cover her medical bills and lost wages while she recovers.
Pollution Liability Insurance
Pollution liability insurance covers bodily injury, property damage, and cleanup costs caused by pollutants that are released in the course of your company’s work. Debris removal companies may collect hazardous waste that could pollute the environment. You could be required to pay expensive fines and cleanup costs if your company is held liable for causing pollution-related damage. Pollution liability insurance will provide funds to handle the costs if your company causes environmental damage.
- Your debris removal company is collecting containers of solvent waste. One of the containers is accidentally knocked over and the solvents spill into a neighboring property’s yard. Your pollution liability insurance would cover fines and cleanup costs.
- A business owner’s policy could be beneficial for small or midsize companies. This type of policy combines general liability, property, business income, and extra expense coverage into a single package. Premiums for a business owner’s policy are typically cheaper than the cost of buying each coverage separately.
- Inland marine insurance is a type of coverage that provides financial protection for property that does not remain at a fixed location and is not covered by a standard commercial property policy. If your business uses high-value tools or equipment that is transported from site to site, you may need this coverage.
- Commercial crime insurance provides protection from financial losses related to crimes such as theft, burglary, robbery, forgery, and fraud. This coverage applies to both third-party crime and employee dishonesty.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for debris removal contractors insurance will vary based on the type of insurance coverage and the risk profile of your business. Insurers consider factors such as:
- Business size
- Number of employees
- Claims history
Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those deemed lower risk. For example, a debris removal company with a history of frequent claims will face higher premiums. Premiums also rise as you increase the limits of insurance. Different insurance companies have different models for rating risks, so it is worth comparing pricing across different insurers.
In order to get an accurate estimate on pricing, it’s best to get a quote from a reputable insurance company. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer coverage for debris removal contractors:
|Provider||General Liability||Professional Liability||Business Owner's Policy|
As you build your debris removal business, it’s essential to be ready for the hazards that could affect your company’s success. Although you work hard to avoid incidents from occurring, it’s impossible to remove every risk. With a broad range of insurance coverage to provide financial support, you’ll be able to cope with unfortunate events such as auto accidents or unintentional injuries.