Finding the right insurance for your steel erection business is an important step in protecting and growing your business.
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As a steel erection contractor, you’re involved in potentially hazardous work. Whether it’s accidents, mishaps, or unpredictable disasters, your business could be hit with an unexpected financial burden and serious liability. Having the right business insurance coverage in place is critical to ensure that you and your employees are protected in the event of an accident.
What insurance coverage do I need as a steel erection contractor?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but these policies are particularly relevant to steel erection contractors:
General liability insurance protects your business if you physically injure another person or cause damage to someone else’s property. Steel erection contractors almost always are involved in working from heights, which presents the potential for accidents caused by falling objects. There’s also risk from work involving welding, cutting, and riveting, which may lead to unintentional fires or serious injuries. General liability insurance can provide coverage from third-party lawsuits due to injury or property damage, paying for legal fees, settlements, judgements, and even medical payments.
An important part of general liability insurance is coverage for completed operations. Steel erection contractors play a critical part in the structural integrity of buildings, and if a structure were to collapse at some later point after work had been completed, your business could be held liable for injuries or property damage. General liability insurance can step in and provide coverage for your company’s completed operations.
- Property damage: Your employee is using a crane to lift an I-beam onto the top floor of a building. While the I-beam is being lifted, a cable on the crane snaps, and the I-beam falls and damages a nearby vehicle. General liability insurance would cover the damages to the vehicle.
- Bodily injury: An employee of yours accidentally drops a rivet while he is working on the 25th floor of a building. The rivet ends up hitting a pedestrian in the head, causing severe injuries. The injured pedestrian sues your business for medical expenses and lost wages from being unable to work. General liability insurance would provide coverage.
- Products and completed operations: A building your company completed work on partially collapses, and an occupant is injured. Although the cause is unclear, your company is sued because you worked on the building. General liability insurance can provide coverage from the lawsuit.
Workers’ compensation insurance is a critical coverage for steel erection contractors, as this type of insurance provides financial and medical benefits for employees who are injured or fall ill on the job. Workers’ comp also provides benefits to an employee’s dependents in the case of a work-related death.
Steel erection can be a hazardous line of work, and employee injuries are common. There are many risks for your employees, including falling objects, falling from heights, lifting and back injuries, and collapsing structures. Having workers’ compensation insurance in place can give your employees the protection they deserve. Moreover, in almost every state, this type of coverage is required by law. Failing to provide coverage can result in hefty fines and civil and criminal charges.
- While working on scaffolding at a job site, one of your employees loses his balance when a sudden gust of wind shakes the structure. He falls off the scaffolding from a heigh of 50 feet, causing severe injuries
Inland marine insurance is a broad category of insurance covering movable property not typically included in commercial property coverage. For steel erection contractors, this coverage can provide protection for tools, equipment, and machinery that you may be transporting and storing at various job sites. If your property is damaged by a covered peril while in transit or at a job site, inland marine insurance can pay for repairs or replacement.
An installation floater, a type of inland marine insurance that covers property while it is being installed, can be particularly helpful for steel erection contractors. Installation floaters can provide coverage for your supplies, materials, and equipment while they are being transported to a job site, while in the process of being installed, and while the installation is complete but has yet to be accepted by the client.
- Your company has been contracted to build the steel framing for a new commercial office building. You’ve ordered materials, including I-beams and girders, to be drop-shipped to the job site. After the materials are delivered, a strong storm hits the area, and your construction materials are damaged. Inland marine insurance would provide coverage for your property and pay for repair or replacement.
Commercial auto insurance protects your business if you or one of your employees causes injury or damage to someone else while driving a business vehicle or while driving for business purposes. It also protects vehicles owned by your business from damage or theft.
Steel erection contractors may face higher auto risk due to the transport of heavy-duty equipment and materials, including steel beams, girders, and machinery. Employees must be well-trained in transporting these items, as well as in the process of loading and unloading materials. Any accidents may create greater damage or injury due to the nature of the equipment and supplies. Transport of oversized equipment may also pose greater risks.
- One of your employees is transporting a truckload of steel beams to a construction site. On the way to the site, your employee becomes distracted on the road and rear-ends another vehicle. The damaged vehicle is a total loss, and the driver is severely injured. Your commercial auto insurance would provide coverage for damages and any necessary legal expenditures.
Commercial umbrella insurance helps to protect your business from the financial risk of large lawsuits against your company. Umbrella insurance covers your business when your general liability, auto liability, or other coverages are not sufficient to pay for damages.
In the construction industry, you may face a greater risk of large lawsuits or multiple claims in a given year. Steel erection is one of the most hazardous occupations according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, meaning a higher likelihood of injury and property damage. Commercial umbrella insurance can be a cost-effective way to supplement your primary insurance coverage, as premiums on umbrella insurance are usually lower per additional dollar of coverage than the premiums on your primary policies.
- A third party is suing your business for an injury they suffered on your construction site. The settlement ends up being $2 million, but your general liability insurance has a limit of $1 million. Commercial umbrella insurance would cover the additional $1 million needed.
- Commercial property insurance provides coverage for your physical business property, including office space, furniture, equipment, and supplies. If an unforeseen accident or natural disaster hits your business, having property insurance can help your business recover.
- Business income insurance provides coverage for loss of income and operating expenses if your business must temporarily close due to property damage. Business income insurance can provide funds to address your lost income or revenue while your business is recovering from the damage that was directly caused by a covered peril.
- Professional liability insurance is critical coverage if your business is involved in design work. Professional liability insurance can protect your company from the costs of lawsuits claiming negligence or failures in your professional services, which can include any designing or altering of construction plans.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for business 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 steel erection 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 steel erection 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|
Steel erection can be an extremely hazardous occupation, with high risk of injury and property damage. While workers in this industry face increased risk exposures, as a business owner, you may face lawsuits and claims from clients, partners, and other third parties. It’s important to make sure your business is covered with a broad range of insurance. From risk of employee injury to damage from natural disasters, the right coverage can protect you, your business, and your employees if the unexpected should occur.