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Flooring contractors and installers face many hazards in the course of doing business—no matter how careful you are, unintentional injuries, accidents, and property damage are all common. A broad range of insurance policies can help protect your business from the financial consequences of unexpected lawsuits or incidents.
What insurance coverage do I need as a flooring contractor?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but these policies are particularly relevant to flooring contractors:
General liability insurance covers accidental damage or injury to third parties and third-party property—an important concern for flooring installers and refinishers, who typically perform work at the homes and businesses of others. If one of your employees inadvertently damages someone else’s property or causes an injury, your company could be sued for damages. If that happens, general liability insurance can cover legal fees, judgments, and settlements, as well as any medical payments. General liability also includes a personal and advertising injury component, which provides coverage for a number of non-physical injuries, including libel, slander, and copyright infringement.
General liability insurance also features a products and completed operations component. This is an important coverage for flooring contractors as it covers property damage or injuries that take place away from your business’s premises and are caused by your work after it has been completed. If flooring collapses or fails, it could cause injury. However, it’s important to note that products and completed operations coverage does not cover damage to your product or completed work itself; it only applies if the completed work causes damage to a customer’s other property.
- Bodily injury: Your company is installing new flooring in a section of an office building. Someone who works in the building trips over an electric saw’s power cord. She falls and breaks her wrist. Your general liability insurance would cover medical costs and legal fees if the client sues.
- Property damage: While installing new hardwood flooring at a client’s home, one of your employees accidentally misfires his nail gun, which shatters a window. Your general liability policy would cover the damages.
- Products and completed operations: One of your employees made a mistake while installing a new floor. Several weeks after installation, the floor collapses under the weight of a heavy 3-D printer the customer had placed on it. The equipment is damaged. Your general liability insurance would cover the damages.
Commercial property insurance protects the value of your business’s property. If an unexpected disaster damages or destroys rented or owned space, tools, supplies, equipment, or other property, commercial property will cover the loss. Commercial property insurance can provide financial support to help you replace, repair, or rebuild business property that is damaged by common perils, including windstorms, hail, fire, vandalism, and water damage.
- An electrical spark starts a fire in your storage warehouse, damaging your building and destroying flooring inventory, varnish, and other supplies. Your commercial property insurance would cover the loss.
Since flooring contractors often use specialized equipment and tools in their work, inland marine insurance is an important coverage. Inland marine insurance provides financial protection for your business property that does not remain at a fixed location and is not covered by a standard commercial property insurance policy. This could include equipment, tools, supplies, and other items that a company may need to transport from location to location or store at client sites.
For contractors and subcontractors, installation floaters are a common type of inland marine insurance used to cover materials and equipment for installation projects. These policies are specifically designed to cover your business while building or renovations are in progress. Installation floaters cover materials, supplies, and equipment while in transit, waiting to be installed, and during the installation process. Coverage plans can cover a specific project or projects over a period of time.
- While transporting hardwood flooring to a worksite, one of your employees is involved in an auto accident. Much of the flooring is destroyed, as well as equipment and tools. Inland marine insurance would reimburse you for the loss.
In the event of a work-related injury or illness, workers’ compensation insurance will provide funds for employees’ medical expenses and a portion of lost income if they are unable to earn their usual wages while recovering. Workers’ comp also provides financial benefits to surviving dependents if an employee dies in a work-related accident. This coverage is legally required in almost all states, and it’s a key consideration for flooring installation companies. No matter how safely and carefully your employees work, flooring installation is a physically demanding job, and employees could suffer common issues such as back strain, knee injuries, or injury from tools such as saws, nails, or hammers.
- One of your employees suffers a back injury after lifting heavy flooring. Your workers’ compensation insurance would pay for his medical expenses and a portion of his lost income if he is unable to work for a time.
Many flooring contractors rely on company-owned vehicles to transport flooring and other materials to work sites, making commercial auto insurance a crucial coverage to secure. If one of your employees is driving a company vehicle and causes an accident, your commercial auto insurance will pay for any resulting third-party bodily injury, property damage, or pollution cleanup. Commercial auto insurance can also cover the value of the vehicle itself if it’s damaged by a collision or another peril, like a falling object or theft.
If your employees drive their own vehicles to clients’ locations, you may need to add hired and non-owned auto insurance. This coverage will protect your company if an employee is at fault in an accident while driving a personal vehicle for work purposes.
- Your employee is driving a company van to a client’s home when he hydroplanes on a wet road and rearends a car in front of him. Your commercial auto insurance would cover the damages to both vehicles.
- Business income coverage will reimburse you for lost income and operating expenses if your business is forced to temporarily close due to a covered peril, such as fire, storm damage, or other property damage.
- A business owner’s policy (BOP) could help qualifying small or midsize flooring companies to obtain a wide range of coverage in one convenient package. A BOP combines general liability, property, business income, and extra expense coverage, typically resulting in less expensive premiums than the cost of buying each coverage separately.
- Commercial crime insurance provides funds to reimburse you for losses caused by theft, robbery, fraud, forgery, burglary, and other crimes committed by outside parties or your own employees.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for flooring contractor 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 flooring installer 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 flooring contractors:
|Provider||General Liability||Professional Liability||Business Owner's Policy|
Flooring contractors could be affected by any number of common risks, whether it’s a costly car accident, unintentional injury, or a disaster such as a fire. If your company must deal with an unexpected event, it can be difficult to recover. Insurance coverage can provide financial support that will give you, your employees, and your clients peace of mind and help your company continue to operate in these situations.