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When you provide siding installation services, your clients rely on you to protect their homes and businesses with wood, vinyl, plastic, aluminum, metal, or other types of siding. Because you work at many locations and engage in activities that could unintentionally harm other people or their property, it’s important to purchase a wide range of business insurance to shield you from the risks you could face.
What insurance coverage do I need as a siding contractor?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but these policies are particularly relevant to siding contractors:
General liability insurance provides coverage for your company if it causes accidental property damage or bodily injury to third parties. Since siding contractors perform work at clients’ homes and businesses, no matter how careful your employees are, there’s a chance that someone could suffer unintentional harm as a result of their activities. Additionally, siding contractors are often working with existing structures, meaning there is the potential for damage to clients’ property. If this happens and your company is sued for damages, general liability insurance can provide funds to cover legal fees, judgments, settlements, and medical payments.
General liability insurance includes products and completed operations coverage, which is a key concern for siding contractors. Improperly installed siding could lead to water damage, wood rot, and other issues. Products and completed operations coverage applies to 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 poor workmanship leads to someone getting hurt, the damages could be substantial.
- Bodily injury: An employee is installing new aluminum siding at a client’s home. As he is carrying siding up the driveway, he accidentally hits the client with a piece of siding, causing a head injury. Your general liability insurance would pay for medical expenses and legal fees if the client sues.
- Property damage: One of your employees accidentally knocks over a ladder, which falls against the side of the client’s house and breaks their sliding glass door. Your general liability insurance would pay for the door to be replaced.
- Products and completed operations: One of your employees made a small mistake while installing vinyl siding at a client’s home. One of the soffits was not properly attached at one corner, causing rain to seep through and damage the underlying wood. Your general liability insurance would cover the damages.
Siding contractors regularly use vehicles to transport siding, tools, equipment, and employees from worksite to worksite. If your company owns vehicles titled under the business’s name, or if your employees use their own vehicles for work purposes, commercial auto insurance is a key coverage and is legally required in most states. This coverage can pay for any third-party bodily injury, property damage, or pollution cleanup that occurs if one of your employees causes an accident while driving a company vehicle. In addition, commercial auto insurance can cover the value of your vehicles if they’re damaged by perils such as collision, theft, or falling objects.
- While driving a company truck, your employee makes a left turn after the light turns red and collides with another vehicle. Your commercial auto insurance will cover damage to both vehicles and medical costs for the occupants of the other vehicle if they are injured.
Working as a siding contractor can be risky for employees—employees could fall from heights, be injured by lifting heavy items, or hurt themselves with hammers, nails, drills, and other equipment, among other dangers. It’s important to create a safe work environment for employees, but it’s impossible to prevent every potential incident—workers’ compensation insurance can provide protection against employee injuries.
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 if they are unable to earn their usual wages. In some cases, physical rehabilitation costs are covered as well. Workers’ comp also provides financial benefits to surviving dependents if an employee dies in a work-related accident.
Almost every state requires you to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for your employees. Since regulations vary by state, it’s important to check your local laws to ensure that your business is in compliance. Your company may be forced to pay heavy fines and penalties if you do not secure adequate coverage.
- One of your employees falls off a ladder while installing new vinyl siding, breaking several ribs and sustaining a concussion. Workers’ compensation insurance would provide coverage for the employee’s medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, and a portion of her lost income while she is unable to work.
Commercial property insurance will protect the value of your business’s property, including buildings, furniture, computers, tools, materials, equipment, and other items. This coverage can protect your office and storage space. If your business property is destroyed or damaged by a covered peril, commercial property insurance will provide funds to cover the loss. Common 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
- During a windstorm, a power line collapses onto your business property and starts a fire, damaging your office and siding materials in your storage area. 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. Siding contractors will likely need an installation floater, which is a common type of inland marine insurance that is specifically designed to cover materials and equipment for installation projects. You can purchase this coverage for a specific project or to cover multiple projects over a period of time. Your installation floater will cover materials, supplies, and equipment while work is in progress.
- You’re in the process of installing aluminum siding at a client’s business when thieves break into your worksite overnight and steal siding and other materials. Your installation floater would cover the loss.
- Siding contractors may rely on key equipment or machinery and could have difficulty completing contracted work if something happens to this equipment. 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.
- For smaller businesses, a business owner’s policy (BOP) could help provide a wide range of coverage in a convenient package. A business owner’s policy combines several common insurance types, including general liability, commercial property, business income, and extra expense coverage.
- 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 siding 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 siding installation business 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 siding contractors:
|Provider||General Liability||Professional Liability||Business Owner's Policy|
When you work as a siding contractor, you are exposed to many sources of liability and risk. If an incident occurs, whether it’s an injury or property damage caused by your work, an expensive auto accident, or a fire, recovering can be difficult. It’s a good idea to invest in insurance coverage to protect your company. Purchasing a broad range of business insurance policies can provide financial support that will enable your business to continue operating even after a costly disaster or lawsuit.