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Framing contractors perform exterior carpentry work that is a key part of the building process, such as constructing the structural support frames for new buildings. This work exposes framing contractors to a number of significant hazards, from the possibility that frames could be damaged during construction to injuries suffered by members of the public or employees. Having the right business insurance in place can give your company the financial security it needs to continue operating in the event of unexpected disasters or accidents.
What insurance coverage do I need as a framing contractor?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but these policies are particularly relevant to framing contractors:
General liability insurance covers incidents of accidental third-party bodily injury and property damage. Framing contractors are often working on construction sites, where risk is high for accident or injury. Additionally, if you’re working with an existing structure, there is the possibility of damaging client property. If your business is sued by a third party due to injury or property damage, general liability insurance can provide funds to cover medical payments, legal fees, judgments, and settlements.
General liability insurance also includes coverage for your products and completed operations. This covers property damage or injuries that are caused by your work after it has been completed. Completed operations coverage is important for framing contractors because they create a frame on which other tradespeople work as construction continues. If an error in your work leads to another worker getting injured, your company may be held liable.
- Bodily injury: A passerby trips over equipment that one of your employees accidentally left on a public sidewalk. The passerby injures her elbow and needs medical attention. Your general liability policy would cover medical expenses, as well as any legal fees if the injured person sues.
- Property damage: While building an extension to a home, one of your employees accidentally drops a heavy saw and damages the client’s expensive flooring. Your general liability insurance would cover the damages.
- Products and completed operations: You complete the frame for a new building. It turns out that one of the joists was not installed correctly and it falls, injuring someone. Your general liability insurance would cover medical and legal expenses.
Framing carpentry work can present dangers, with common injuries resulting from saws, nails, hammers, trips and falls, and other issues. Although you can reduce the likelihood of injuries by making sure employees wear appropriate protective gear and follow safety measures, there’s still a possibility that an employee may be injured. If employees are injured or fall ill on the job, workers’ compensation insurance will provide funds for employees’ medical expenses and a portion of lost income if they are unable to work for a time. Workers’ comp also provides financial benefits to surviving dependents if an employee dies in a work-related accident.
- One of your employees is accidentally struck by a heavy piece of lumber and sustains a head injury. Workers’ comp would pay for her medical bills and a portion of lost income while she recovers and is unable to work.
Framing contractors generally own vehicles to transport lumber, equipment, tools, and workers to worksites. Commercial auto insurance is both a legal requirement and a crucial coverage for your company’s vehicles. 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 also covers 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 accidentally backs the company truck into a fence neighboring a worksite and knocks the fence down. Your commercial auto insurance would cover the damages.
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 coverage is particularly relevant for framing contractors that transport lumber and valuable tools or equipment to client sites.
Framing contractors frequently require a type of inland marine insurance called an installation floater. This type of policy is specifically designed to cover your business during building or renovations. It can be purchased for a specific project or to cover all projects for a specified period of time. An installation floater will cover your materials, supplies, and equipment while in transit or waiting to be installed as well as during the installation process.
- You have partially completed a new wood frame for a building when it is struck by lightning during a storm and burns down. Your installation floater would cover the damages.
Commercial property insurance will protect the value of your business property if it is destroyed or damaged by a covered peril such as a fire, windstorm, hail, vandalism, explosion, or water damage. Commercial property insurance can help provide funds to replace or repair damaged business property, including tools, supplies, signage, and more.
Commercial property insurance covers the following:
- Buildings belonging to or leased by your company
- Contents of the building, including equipment, tools, and supplies
- Property of others while it is under your care, custody, or control
- Someone vandalizes your company’s office with graffiti and breaks a few of your office windows. Your commercial property insurance would cover the damages.
- A business owner’s policy combines general liability, property, business income, and extra expense coverage into a single package. For qualifying small and midsize businesses, this type of insurance can help save money on premiums while obtaining a wide range of coverage.
- Business income coverage will reimburse you for lost income and operating expenses if your business is unable to operate due to a covered reason, such as fire, storm damage, or other property damage.
- Employment practices liability insurance protects your business against lawsuits by prospective, current, or former employees accusing your business of wrongful treatment such as discrimination, harassment, or other employment-related issues.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for framing 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 framing 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 framing contractors:
|Provider||General Liability||Professional Liability||Business Owner's Policy|
Working as a framing contractor can be risky, so it’s a good idea to prepare your company for the unexpected disasters that could arise, from auto accidents to fires or damage to a client’s property. Business insurance can provide financial assistance to help your company cope with unforeseen incidents, allowing you and your clients to feel confident in the knowledge that your company will be able to continue operating.