Finding the right insurance for your roofing business is an important step in protecting your business and achieving long-term success.
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Roofing contractors are exposed to many hazards in the course of their work, from accidental injuries or property damage to auto accidents or fires. A costly lawsuit or accident could have a devastating effect on your company’s financial resources. This is why it’s a good idea to obtain a broad range of insurance policies to financially protect your company.
What insurance coverage do I need as a roofing contractor?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but these policies are particularly relevant to roofing businesses:
Roofing work can be dangerous, and this line of work consistently holds one of the highest fatal injury rates among professions in the United States. It’s crucial for roofing contractors to obtain sufficient workers’ compensation insurance as well as encourage safe working practices. In the event of a work-related injury or illness, workers’ comp will provide funds for employees’ medical expenses and a portion of lost income during recovery. Workers’ comp also provides financial benefits to surviving dependents if an employee dies in a work-related accident.
Workers’ compensation insurance is required in almost every state for businesses that employ others. This coverage, even if not required, is particularly important for roofing businesses and their employees. Make sure to consult your local state guidelines, as failure to secure adequate workers’ comp coverage can lead to civil and criminal fines and penalties.
- One of your employees loses his balance and falls off a client’s roof, suffering broken ribs and a broken shoulder. Workers’ comp would pay for his medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and a portion of lost income while he recovers and is unable to work.
General liability insurance covers accidental damage or injury to third parties and third-party property. Since roofing contractors work at a variety of locations and accidents are common no matter how careful you are, this is a crucial coverage. If your business is sued by a third party due to injury or property damage, general liability insurance can provide funds to cover legal fees, judgments, and settlements, in addition to medical payments.
General liability insurance also includes coverage for products and completed operations. This covers property damage or injuries that are caused by your work after it has been completed. It will cover your completed roofing work if it ends up causing injury to someone or damaging property. 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: A roofer accidentally knocks a hammer off a roof and it hits a homeowner below, causing a severe head injury. Your general liability policy would cover medical expenses, as well as any legal fees if the injured person sues.
- Property damage: While at a client’s home, your employees accidentally topple a ladder, which falls against a window, shattering it. Your general liability insurance would pay for the window to be replaced.
- Products and completed operations: A roof that your company installed begins to leak due to mistakes in installation, causing water damage to the customer’s attic. General liability insurance would cover the damages to the attic.
Commercial property insurance will protect the value of your business property if it is destroyed or damaged by a covered peril. If an unexpected disaster strikes your office building or damages your equipment, it can be time-consuming and costly to recover from the loss without insurance coverage. Commercial property insurance can help provide funds to replace or repair damaged business property, including tools, supplies, signage, and more. Commonly covered perils include windstorms, hail, fire, vandalism, explosion, and water damage.
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
- A fire starts in your offices and spreads to your storage area, damaging your building and destroying roofing materials and tools. Your commercial property insurance would cover the loss.
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 your roofing company may need to transport from location to location or store at client sites.
Installation floaters are a common type of inland marine insurance for roofing contractors. 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. This coverage can be purchased for a specific project or to cover all projects for a specified period of time.
- Your stored roofing materials, tools, and equipment at a client’s office complex overnight while a roof installation project is ongoing. A fire breaks out and destroys much of your equipment and materials. Inland marine insurance would cover the loss.
Roofing businesses rely on a variety of vehicles to transport materials, tools, equipment, and workers to work sites. If your business owns or leases vehicles titled under the business’s name, commercial auto insurance is a key 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 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 employees are headed to a client’s home to install a new roof. They drive two company trucks. On the way there, the trucks skid on ice on the highway, crashing into multiple other vehicles. Commercial auto insurance would provide coverage for the accident, including any damage to vehicles and injuries to third parties.
Commercial crime insurance provides funds to reimburse you for losses caused by theft, robbery, fraud, forgery, burglary, and other crimes. This coverage applies both to crimes committed by outside parties and crimes committed by your own employees. Roofing contractors face a variable level of crime exposure since they may own valuable equipment that is stored at worksites. Employees or others could target your company for theft or fraud. Commercial crime insurance can provide financial protection if your business suffers losses due to a variety of crimes.
- An employee steals a number of valuable pieces of equipment from your company’s storage warehouse. Commercial crime insurance would cover the loss.
- 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. Since roofing contractors use materials such as roofing tar, sealants, adhesives, and asphalt, there’s a possibility that contamination could occur.
- Equipment breakdown insurance covers repairs or replacement for equipment that breaks down as well as lost business income while the equipment is out of commission. Since roofers often rely on equipment to perform their work, this is a good coverage to consider. It’s important to note that commercial property insurance typically only covers damage from external hazards, rather than breakdowns caused by something internal, like a mechanical failure.
- A business owner’s policy (BOP) combines general liability, property, business interruption, and extra expense coverage into a single package. For small or midsize roofing businesses, this is a convenient insurance product that could help you obtain a wide range of coverage. Premiums for a business owner’s policy are typically cheaper than the cost of buying each coverage separately.
- Business income coverage will reimburse you for lost income and operating expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered peril, such as fire, storm damage, or other property damage.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for roofing 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 roofing contractor 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 roofing contractors:
|Provider||Business Interruption||Business Owner's Policy||Commercial Auto||Commercial Crime||Commercial Property||Cyber Liability||Employment Practices Liability||General Liability||Product Liability||Professional Liability||Workers' Compensation|
Working as a roofing contractor can be risky, and it’s important to be prepared for unexpected disasters. If an incident occurs, whether it’s an expensive auto accident, an injury caused by your work, or a fire, recovering can be difficult and costly. Purchasing business insurance can give you the financial protection you need to continue operating even if a catastrophe occurs.