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Should Plumbers Review Their General Liability Insurance?

Should Plumbers Review Their General Liability Insurance?

Imagine hiring a plumber to do some repair work on pipes in a home, however, due to some negligence on the part of the plumber, the pipes were all damaged and the plumber was not willing to take responsibility.  The plumber claimed limited liability based on the contract that was signed, according to him legally he was not responsible for the damages. The homeowner goes to their insurance company to make a claim for the damages and was told that homeowners insurance does not cover damages caused by plumbers. The homeowner was stuck with a repair job that was poorly done, couldn’t file any claims for it and would have to pay someone else to do it.  While seeking other alternatives and trying to see what other options are available, someone recommended sueing the plumber that did the job since he damaged the pipes and didn’t disclose anything about it.

In the situation above, the homeowner mentioned was also advised when looking for a plumber to make sure it was a registered contractor with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, having adequate plumber’s insurance if anything should go wrong. If the client was to sue the plumber mentioned above however, this can damage his practice and his plumbing business depending on the outcome. Plumbers can avoid situations like these by ensuring they are protected from anything that can happen, they need to ensure they have general liability to avoid any claims for financial compensations that can be made against them.

Types of Plumbers

There are two different type of plumbing businesses that will require insurance coverage when doing business. Depending on which one you are, there are different requirements that are needed. This however, depends on your City or State and everyone should check their insurance company for advice

The two types of plumbing contractors are:

  1. Residential Plumbers, GL Class Code 98482.  Many plumbers do work on New Residential Construction projects, Tract Developments, and New Condo Construction Projects.   Ask your broker if your coverage excludes such types of projects if these are in your business plan.  Such plumbers would not install fire sprinklers, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), septic tank, excavation, swimming pools, process piping, public utilities, hospitals or industrial work, or steam/boiler work. They typically do Water softener installations, break concrete & repair to install pipes, lay sewer line/pipe drain and use ditch witch for underground lines (apartments allowed). Lawn sprinklers installation ok.
  2. Non-resident plumbers, GL Class Code 98483.  Many General Liability policies exclude Residential work, so be careful and ask your broker if your coverage has this exclusion if considering plumbing work such projects.   These plumbers also do Water softener installation, break concrete & repair to install pipes, lay sewer line/pipe drain and use ditch witch for underground lines. Lawn sprinklers installation ok.

Residential and non-residential plumbers generally have to provide certificate of insurance and a contractor license bond when obtaining their contractor license in States like Washington and Oregon.  The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries and the Oregon Construction Contractors Board have different contractor license bond requirements.  If the plumber wants to do work for clients in Washington State and Oregon, then they will need a separate license bond for each of the two States.  Consult your licensed Washington State and Oregon agent/broker for more information.

It is important to note that plumbers need different types of coverage depending on their business operation. Some plumbers may not need certain types of coverage while others may need all. Plumbing contractors need these type of coverage to protect themselves legally and it’s important to have legal liability protection at all cost. They will need:

  • General liability coverage or special plumbers coverage
  • Coverage if they have employees and some sort of workers compensation
  • Commercial auto coverage if they have vehicles in their business
  • Faulty Workmanship Coverage (not available in all States)
  • Umbrella or Excess Liability Insurance
  • Pollution Liability – Most policies exclude mold and fungus, yet most plumbers and their insurance agents overlook this very valuable coverage that can save the plumber’s business in the event of a mold related claim.

The cost of your insurance will depend on many different factors some of which include:

  1. The size of your business- this includes employee payroll
  2. The type of plumbing work performed, whether it be for new construction or repairs, homes, condos, apartments, tract developments, industrial, or commercial buildings
  3. The insurance carrier that the agent or broker quoted.  Is it an Occurrence Form or a Claims Made Form of General Liability Insurance?  Does it have a tract exclusion?  Does it have a water intrusion sublimit?  Does it have a Manifestation Clause or a Sunset Clause?   All of these affect the outcome of some claims made against your business and its future.  Choosing a broker that specializes in contractor’s general liability insurance can give a contractor a more thorough consultation and ask the subtle and often overlooked, yet important questions that can determine which plan makes best serves and protects the business.

As mentioned before, you may think that your General Liability policy protects your business from all potential claims made for the work you’re doing, but getting your coverage reviewed by an agent/broker who specializes in protecting contractors can make the difference between you continuing your business and being successful and having to shut down operation due to a lawsuit.

In conclusion, having the right plumbers insurance and protecting yourself legally and otherwise should not be one of those business decisions that plumbers and contractors neglect to make because they do not think it is necessary. This a rather important aspect of your business success and continued growth. While insurance may not be the only way to protect your business from any unforeseen risk that may occur, it is one of those things that can really save you in the long run. There are many different companies offering these types of coverage and helping plumbers and other contractors cover whatever liabilities that may occur. It is important to see what these people are offering and choose the one that can meet your needs fully.  Marc Perez of All Contractors Insurance and Bonds specializes in listening to the needs and plans of contractors in Washington State and Oregon, including plumbers, and will match the plans that make most sense.  Call Marc Perez at 253-252-2533 for a consultation and quote today.

Why Your Business May Need Commercial Auto Coverage

Does your business need commercial auto coverage? Like many small business owners, you may assume that your personal auto policy affords all the coverage you need. You may also assume that your policy will protect you if you are involved in an accident while driving a vehicle you use for business. Neither assumption may be true.

For one thing, most personal auto policies exclude certain business-related risks.

Business Exclusions

Here are some business-related exclusionsthat are commonly found in personal auto policies:

  • Commercial Auto Exclusion Many policies exclude the use of a vehicle by someone employed or engaged in a business other than farming or ranching. This exclusion doesn’t apply to a private passenger vehicle or to a small pickup or van not used for delivering or transporting goods and materials. Generally, a truck or van is “small” if it has a gross vehicle weight under 10,000 pounds.  The “commercial auto” exclusion is open to interpretation. However, if you use a small truck or van for making deliveries to customers or for hauling tools to a job site you should seriously consider purchasing a commercial policy.
  • Auto Business Exclusion This exclusion applies to autos used in a business that involves selling, repairing, parking, storing or servicing autos. Examples are a dealership and a repair shop.
  • Livery Exclusion Virtually all personal policies exclude the use of an auto (truck or private passenger type) for transporting people or property for a charge. Examples are taxis and vehicles used to deliver pizza or packages.

Inadequate Limits

Most personal auto policies do not provide a liability limit that is adequate for a business. The maximum limit available from a personal auto insurer is typically $500,000. Commercial auto insurers, on the other hand, readily provide a $1,000,000 auto liability limits. Don’t skimp on liability insurance! It is money well spent. A single accident involving a serious bodily injury could result in a huge liability claim against you. If you don’t have adequate liability insurance, one claim could put your firm out of business.

Sole Proprietorship

Suppose your business is a sole proprietorship and you need to purchase a commercial auto policy.   Note that most personal auto insurers will not issue a policy covering autos registered to a business (other than a sole proprietorship).   If your vehicles are registered in the name of a corporation, partnership or other type of business entity you will need to purchase commercial auto coverage.  Can your family members be insured under your business policy? The answer is yes, they can be insured under a commercial policy via the Named Individual Insured Endorsement.

Commercial (Business) Auto Insurance rates are lower than most may think.   Marc Perez at All Contractors Insurance and Bonds has decades of experience in providing affordable commercial auto insurance to businesses in Washington State, Oregon, and Utah.  Call Marc Perez at 253-252-2533 for a quote today.

Insurance requirements of home-based businesses

Are you among the increasing numbers that are finding opportunities running a business from home? The benefits are attractive: you can be your own boss, set your own hours and don’t have to worry about getting laid off … but you need to make sure you and your valuable property are protected. So, if you’ve recently become an entrepreneur running a home-based business or sell home products like makeup or candle arrangements for extra income, getting to know the gaps that may be hiding in your insurance coverage is very important.

Home Business insurance policies and eliminating coverage gaps
Most homeowners policies limit the amount of coverage available for property on the insured premises used primarily for business purposes. However, a Home Business insurance policy may help protect you, your income and give you security and peace of mind while you grow your business.

Coverage for your home business
The coverage under most Home Business insurance policies is similar to that of most Small Business insurance policies:

  • Property Coverage — Includes coverage for losses to your building and premises, business personal property and contents.
  • Liability — Covers damages to your business for losses to third parties from:
    • Bodily Injury — People injured on your premises or by a product you manufacture or sell.
    • Personal Injury — Violations of privacy, false imprisonment, wrongful eviction, etc.
    • Advertising Injury — For losses due to alleged slander, libel, or copyright infringement by you or your employees.

Telecommuters
If you telecommute or work remotely for an employer, the insurance issues for a home office may be even more complicated. For example, you may be covered under your homeowners policy for property you own, such as your desk and filing cabinets, but your employer may be covered for loss to company-owned property such as your computer or smartphone. If a delivery person slips on wet steps at your home while making a business-related delivery, your employer’s policy might cover, your homeowners policy might cover, or you could find yourself in the middle between the two carriers, both of which may initially deny the claim. Bottom line: If you work remotely, be sure to check your homeowners policy and ask your employer to confirm what the terms and conditions of its policies are, to avoid finding that neither policy covers a loss after it’s too late.

A new opportunity
Many of us are re-evaluating our lifestyles and for some of us, operating a home-based business provides a new opportunity. Let’s get together — I can help make sure you have the information you need to select coverage you feel is appropriate for your situation. Call me today at 253-252-2533 to set up an appointment.  http://www.farmersagent.com/mperez2

Not All Commercial General Liability Insurance Policies Were Created Equal

Most business owners are unaware of the type of General Liability Insurance form that their commercial general liability insurance policy is written on, as well as any added limitations or exclusions.  Generally, most buying decisions are based primarily on price and payment plan.  However, not knowing what your Commercial General Liability insurance policy is made of can be deadly to your business in the event of a loss.

Occurrence-Made Policies

  • Liability insurance is traditionally written in occurrence-made form. This means that as long as the incident occurred when the policy was in force, the insurer will still handle the resulting claim, even if the policy is no longer in force when the claim is filed. Automobile and most commercial liability policies are still written this way, as of April 2011. However, occurrence-made policies leave insurers vulnerable to long-term exposure, forcing them to handle expensive malpractice claims even if the policy in question expired a decade before the claim arose.

Claims-Made Policies

  • The insurance industry’s answer to the problem of long-term malpractice exposure was the claims-made policy form. This limits insurers’ exposure by requiring that a malpractice incident and the resulting claim both occur while the insurance policy is active. This means that if you make a bad professional judgment in May, switch insurers in August and get sued in December for the May incident, your initial insurer won’t cover the claim. Your new insurer won’t, either, because the incident occurred before your new policy was effective. Claims-made policies limit clients’ ability to switch insurers because it exposes them to uncovered liability claims.

CONTINUOUS AND PROGRESSIVE INJURY OR DAMAGE EXCLUSION

This insurance does not apply to bodily injury or property damage which first occurs before the inception date of this policy regardless of whether such bodily injury or property damage continues or becomes progressively worse during the policy period.  Which CGL policy (or policies) will apply in a property damage claim involving continuing, progressive or recurring damages?

Claims involving damages which extend over multiple policy periods present unique and complex coverage issues for policyholders, insurers and courts.   Such claims raise a variety of issues, such as: what “trigger theory” should a court apply to determine which policies may apply; how should a court determine the number of “occurrences” under the policies; what method of allocation, if any, between successive insurers is most appropriate; and how should a court deal with periods, if any, during which the policyholder was self-insured?  The stakes in such claims are often high.

Sunset Clause

This type of clause is a provision in a general liability policy which states that the insurer will respond only to losses reported before some predetermined future date (sunset), usually a set period after the expiration of the policy.

So let’s say your GL policy was effective 4/1/07 and expires 4/1/08, and has a 2-year “sunset clause”.

Any claim made against the policy has to have “occurred” during the policy period and must be “made” no later than 4/1/2010. So if a “latent” defect on work performed some time within the year: 4/1/07 to 4/1/08 is not discovered until April 2, 2010 (2 years and 1 day after expiration) or later, there will be NO coverage under the policy.

You might wonder why this claim wouldn’t be covered by the 4/1/10 to 4/1/11 policy? Because a “defective construction” claim is deemed to have “occurred” when the work is done; thus the policy that should respond is the 4/1/07 to 4/1/08 one.
When there is no sunset clause (like the standard CGL policy), the claim can be ‘made’ any time in the future and you could expect to have coverage.

Guess when most construction defect claims are ‘made’??

Therefore, not all Commercial General Liability Insurance policies were created equal, nor are they equally priced.  That being said, if a policy is cheaper than another, then it is most likely that it contains one or more of these potentially costly exclusions or limitations.

It is in the business owner’s best interest to have a commercial insurance agent that will take the time to get to know their business and educate them as to what their General Liability and other insurance plans will cover, as well as any limitations or exclusions, in order to make more informed decisions that will result in better protection for the business.

Call Marc Perez at All Contractors Insurance and Bonds at 253-252-2533 for a free, friendly review of your business insurance package to see if there are any coverage gaps that need to be filled.

4 tips to help you get smarter about remodeling your home

Researchers at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies think there will be a fresh crop of homeowners finally going forward with postponed remodeling plans in 2014.1 Instead of selling their homes, many people are staying put and choosing instead to do some renovations. Here are some tips to help you get smarter about remodeling your home and to help keep your renovations easy and stress free.

  • Forget fads. Although some design fads may stand the test of time, why chance it? Instead, try to incorporate emerging trends in home design, decor and style in moderation, and focus on classic      elements as part of the overall design theme. Classic designs have a      longer life span than trends or fads.
  • Hire a reputable contractor. Unless you have  the required expertise for the renovation project you are considering, seek a professional contractor. Try to hire someone whose work you are familiar with. Ask friends, relatives and co-workers for      recommendations. Always check with your local chapter of the Better Business Bureau to make sure there isn’t a history of consumer complaints against the pro you plan to hire.
  • Get several bids. handymancontractor

Before you decide on a contractor, try to secure at least four bids for the work you want done. Some experts suggest that you discard the highest and lowest bids and let the remaining two professionals compete for the work. Caveat: Always put your agreement and any subsequent changes in writing.

  • Insurance considerations. You’ve done your homework, hired your contractor and you’re ready to add that room, remodel that kitchen or renovate that bathroom. Your materials are even purchased. You think you are ready to begin, right? Not just yet… There is one more important step many homeowners forget — to notify their insurance agent or company about their renovations. You should do this before you start the project but at the very least, make sure that you adjust your insurance coverage as soon as renovations are complete.

The sooner we have a conversation, the better.   If you do decide to remodel, your insurance needs may change. I can give you information that may help you decide if your coverage meets your needs, and check to see if you are taking advantage of all available discounts. All you’ll need to do is enjoy your improvements, knowing you did things the “smart” way.  Please call Marc Perez, your contractor insurance, builders risk insurance, and homeowners insurance expert, at 253-252-2533 for a Free Friendly Review.

1http://www.marketwatch.com/story/money-tips-for-home-remodeling-2014-01-27

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‘Capitalize’ on your tax situation

April 2014 is right around the corner. Here are some smart tips that may help you capitalize on your individual situation and listen to that little voice in your head telling you to save, save, save:

  1. Are you under- or over-withheld? If you came up short and had to pony up money when you filed your taxes, consider increasing your withholding. More money will be taken out of your paycheck throughout the year, but you won’t have to come up with a lump sum to cover a shortfall when you file. On the other hand, if you received a refund, you may want to decrease your withholding. Every pay period, you can save that extra money in an IRA instead of allowing the IRS free use of your funds. Use IRS Form W-4 to make changes to your withholding.
  2. Match up gains and losses. Although it’s too late to use this strategy for tax year 2013, you may want to consider this for 2014. If you sustain capital losses during this year, they can generally be used to offset capital gains. At the end of the year, look at your portfolio and determine if you can match one transaction against the other to reduce your tax burden. Keep in mind however, that you need to match long-term against long-term and short-term against short-term. If you’re facing a significant capital gain, you might consider selling some losers before year’s end. Don’t wait until the last minute to get help from your tax professional.1
  3. File electronically. Regardless of your income, you can file your tax returns online for free through the IRS website at www.irs.gov. If you’re eligible for a tax refund, filing electronically will help you get it more quickly than mailing in your returns.
  4. The voice in your head. When filing your tax returns electronically, the IRS allows you to designate to which account(s) it should transfer your refund. You can opt to have part or all of your refund transferred to your IRA and/or any other account you select. Remember, if you don’t see it, you won’t spend it. Listen to the smart little voice in your head telling you to save, save, save.

A bit about fraud
Check with the IRS before you subscribe to any scheme that offers exemption from your obligation to pay taxes. Buying into a tax evasion scheme can be very costly. Takeaway: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

The IRS issues news releases on some of the common scams, including the annual Dirty Dozen list of tax scams.

If you haven’t yet filed your tax return and you have questions or run into a problem, visit www.irs.gov or call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040.

Best tip: Stay informed and of course, stay smart and save, save, save.

1http://www.investopedia.com/articles/01/112801.asp

For informational purposes only. Neither Farmers New World Life Insurance Company, its employees nor its Agents provide legal or tax advice. Always consult your own attorney, accountant or tax adviser as to the legal, financial or tax consequences and advice on any particular transaction.

General Liability Insurance Does Not Mean Total Liability Protection

More than half of the private companies interviewed for the new Private Company Risk Survey by Chubb Corp. said that they chose to forego certain types of liability insurance because they felt they were already covered through their Commercial General Liability Insurance policy.   Click on the link below to view the video:

General Liability Insurance Does Not Mean Total Liability Protection

While it is true that General Liability Insurance covers a lot of business liability exposures, it does not and cannot cover all forms of liability. For example, a typical Commercial General Liability policy does not cover…

  • Contractors pollution liability (CPL) This is a contractor-based policy, offered on a claims-made or occurrence basis, that provides third-party coverage for bodily injury, property damage, defense, and cleanup as a result of pollution conditions (sudden/accidental and gradual) arising from contracting operations performed by or on behalf of the contractor.
  • Directors and Officers Liability. This would be a situation in which someone accuses one of your directors or officers of foul play that resulted in a financial injury. (This is most often a concern for nonprofit businesses.)
  • Employment Practices Liability. This includes harassment, discrimination, or retaliation related to employment.
  • “Expected or Intended” Incidents. Once example of this is workplace violence and the related expenses. Specialized coverage is usually available on its own or as an addition to an EPLI policy.
  • Fiduciary Liability. This includes breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Errors & Omissions Liability. Expenses related to professional errors or mistakes.
  • Employee Theft / Dishonesty Liability. Sometimes your employees take advantage of their position to commit crimes. This liability involves incidents related to employee fraud.
  • Cyber Risk Liability. The costs associated with data breaches – when private company information is compromised.

Here’s the really troubling thing about the report: 44 percent of the surveyed companies experienced at least one of the above loss events in the past three years, meaning that lots of business owners likely found out the hard way that their General Liability Insurance didn’t protect them as fully as they thought it did.

What Contractors and Small-Business Owners Need to Know About Their Liability Exposures

It’s not that business owners don’t understand the existence of their liability exposures – they just tend to think that their Commercial General Liability Insurance can do more than it can. Take a look at some of these numbers from the Chubb report. They represent the number of surveyed “non-buyer” business owners who mistakenly thought their liability exposures were remedied by CGL policies:

  • Contractor Pollution Liability:  Losses involving mold exposure, naturally occurring hazardous substances (NOHS) such as asbestos, mercury, arsenic, radon, and pyrite are not covered by general liability insurance.  For example, a general contractor in Connecticut who was building a “box store” hired a subcontractor to excavate and remove fill material from the job site. The subcontractor subsequently used the material as fill at three other project sites. The material they removed was soil containing remnants of an asbestos-containing mineral called Actinolite. They exposed third parties to asbestos, and they also exposed their own work force. It is important to note that the asbestos in naturally occurring minerals is much less concentrated than the asbestos utilized years ago as a fire retardant for insulation around piping and ceiling and floor tiles. It still poses unique exposures for intrusive type work.
  • Directors & Officers Liability: 65 percent. According to the report, the average lawsuit against a director or officer costs business owners nearly $700,000.
  • Errors & Omissions / Professional Liability: 52 percent. It’s important to realize that if your business provides a professional service, it can be sued for errors & omissions.
  • Fiduciary Liability: 51 percent. About 75 percent of private companies use third-party services for employee benefit plans – but only 25 percent carry fiduciary liability protection.
  • Employment Practices Liability: 60 percent. Every single business is at risk for an EPL lawsuit, but only about 30 percent but businesses carry the insurance that would cover related costs.
  • Cyber Liability: 39 percent. It’s estimated that only 5 percent of private companies carry Cyber Risk Liability Insurance, despite the uptick in data breaches across the country.

In all cases, the number of businesses who thought they had coverage is close to half. But business owners need to add the corresponding (and specially designed!) insurance policy to their small business insurance plans if they want protection for the above exposures.

As a small-business owner, are you certain that all your liability exposures are covered by the appropriate insurance policies? According to the Chubb report, there are a few common situations that can leave businesses unwittingly at risk for liability claims, including…

  • Using a cloud provider. Whenever you enlist the help of a third-party technology company, your business is still ultimately responsible in the event of data loss or a privacy breach. So the data you store in the cloud is under your jurisdiction. And making sure electronic equipment like point-of-sale systems have proper firewall and privacy protection is also up to you.
  • Maintaining a hiring policy that excludes those with criminal backgrounds. An EEOC investigation or EPL suit could easily result from a broad policy that excludes people with criminal backgrounds from employment opportunities.
  • Increasing or decreasing your workforce. Whenever you make major changes to your staff, you increase your risk for an EPL lawsuit that alleges discrimination, wrongful termination, etc.

Take a good look at your General Liability Insurance policy and your liability exposures. You may find that it’s time to discuss your small business protection plan with your insurance agent, or call Marc Perez, licensed insurance agent and contractor insurance specialist for Washington State and Oregon, at 253-252-2533.  I will gladly listen to your concerns and learn about your business and find the right insurance solutions that will provide better protection and value to your business.

Money-smart, energy-saving tips

 

Farmers Friendly Voice
 

Along with the cost of other consumer goods and services, energy costs are on the rise.1        Are you looking for ways to be more energy efficient?   Here are seven money-smart moves to consider:

  • Anything “low flow.” Did you know that two faucets or shower heads can produce water streams that feel almost the same yet one uses up to three times more water than the other? Low-flow fixtures and aerators use high pressure and aeration to produce a comfortable flow without using nearly as much water.2 Inexpensive and easily installed, low-flow fixtures can reduce your home water consumption and your utility bill.
  • Insulation. Sealing air leaks around your home and adding insulation can help keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and help you capture meaningful savings on your energy bill. Some estimates run as high as 10 percent annual savings depending on where and how effectively you insulate.3
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb. Although they’re initially more expensive than their incandescent counterparts, they last 10 to 25 times longer and you’ll save about $6.00 per year on energy bills.4
  • A newer or cleaner dishwasher. Modern dishwashers use an average of 5.8 gallons of water per cycle — older models can use as much as 10 gallons per cycle. Either clean and repair your dishwasher or consider replacing it with a newer model.5
  • A programmable thermostat. These devices are ideal for people who work or are otherwise away from home for a set period of time throughout the week. According to ENERGY STAR a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 annually in energy costs.6
  • A tankless water heater. By heating water only when it’s needed, tankless water heaters cut water-heating expenses and provide continuous hot water delivery. They can save the typical family more than $80 per year, or $1,700 over the 20-year+ life expectancy of the water heater.7
  • Ceiling fans. A ceiling fan will help keep your home at a comfortable temperature year round and help to reduce your energy bill.
  • Energy efficiency audit
    There are many steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient. You can click here to take ENERY STAR’s room-by-room tour to learn what you can do to save in your own home. You can also have an energy professional inspect your home — he or she may be able to find more ways for you to save on energy costs. Check with your power company — they may perform a complimentary audit. Whether it’s installing solar panels or simply turning off the lights, when you cut back on how much energy you use you cut back on your energy costs. Get smarter about how you use energy.

If you are a contractor in the State of Washington or Oregon, then you can save money on your contractor insurance by calling Marc Perez at 253-252-2533.

1Source: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/report/electricity.cfm
2Source: http://sustainablechoices.stanford.edu/actions/in_the_home/lowflowfixtures.html
3Source: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_methodology
4Source: http://www.energystar.gov/certified-products/detail/light_bulbs
5Source: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/8-thrifty-home-improvements/5
6Source: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac&s=mega
7Source: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=gas_tankless.pr_savings_benefits

 

The Importance of Contractor Insurance

Contractor insurance holds great importance for both the client and the service provider.

When working on a jobsite, contractors should obtain workers’ compensation insurance and at least one type of liability coverage.  A contractor with insurance is also more likely to obtain the necessary permits and do professional work. To avoid the financial risks of hiring uninsured contractors, individuals and businesses can use contractor screening services, or at the very least, designate a member of your staff to ensure that all subcontractors have provided adequate certificates of liability insurance naming your company as an additional insured.

Take Precautions

Accidents happen. A contractor can accidentally damage a building, drop a hammer, rupture a pipe, or break a window.  An uninsured contractor could lose their business and future earnings in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, as we see in the construction industry, general liability coverage does not cover the cost of faulty workmanship.

Preventative action must be taken ahead of time to ensure that you are covered. Be prepared. Know the work that you need completed and the possible accidents that could occur as a result of something going wrong. Verifying that contractors are insured and requiring certificates of insurance with an additional insured endorsement in your favor will help to protect you against lawsuits in the event that an accident occurs. The millions you can save as a result, make the effort worth your time.

Make sure the job is done safely by your subcontractors. Contractor screening should be considered, in addition to insurance verification.  Designate a member of your staff to verify any potential subcontractors and vendors are compliant with project-specific requirements, guidelines and standards. Worker injuries are less likely to take place when you have a health and safety plan in place. More fatal injuries take place in the construction industry than in any other American industry[1].

Protect Your Company

When these injuries occur, it can translate to millions of dollars in hospital bills, particularly for contractors who work in high-risk fields. The issue is amplified when the injured lacks insurance. That lack of insurance, typically leads to a lawsuit against their clients – which could be your company.  Again, having a member of your staff designated to verify that your subcontractors and vendors are maintaining proper contractor liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage will reduce the financial risk of injuries.

Marc Perez of All Contractors Insurance and Bonds specializes in the contractor liability insurance needs of contractors throughout the States of Washington and Oregon, as well as contractor license bonds, business auto insurance, and inland marine insurance for mobile equipment and tools.  Call Marc Perez at 253-252-2533 for a friendly, no obligation review of your contractor insurance and bond needs.

References: [1] Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Workplace Safety & Health Topics. 2011.

How To Get The Best Price for a Bad Credit Contractor Bond

Sometimes things happen in life outside of our control. The Washington construction industry has suffered over the past several years and as a result it has impacted the credit of thousands of contractors throughout the state. The good news is that several of our bond companies have lowered their rates.   These simple tips will help you get the lowest price for your bad credit contractor bond. 

Credit problems occur for a number of reasons, but understanding why your credit has suffered is an essential element of improving it. Even if you think you know the reason, take advantage of the free credit reports that you can get yearly (courtesy of the federal government mandate).  Sit down and look at what you’re dealing with and look for a

Important credit rating factors:

  • Do you have a large number of outstanding loans?
  • Do you have too many credit accounts in your name?
  • Have you ever had to file bankruptcy?
  • Do you have a credit card that is over the balance or has not been paid in a while?

If you get your credit report and find mistakes, get them fixed as quickly as possible. Mistakes can cost you a lot, especially if you’re looking to become bonded. Be sure to look at each part of the credit report(s) in detail and see if anything odd stands out If it does, then you have the right to correct possible wrongs. It could be charges that were never made, or companies failing to report that you’ve paid off a debt.

Sitting down and figuring out your budget is important at this point in the process.  How much can you afford to pay for bonding? Are you prepared to pay a large amount if you just can’t find an agency that will give you a lower rate?   The good news is that several of our bond companies have lowered their rates.  Contact Marc Perez at 253-292-6822 for the lowest bad credit contractor bond rates in the industry!

allcontractorsinsurancenw.com specializes in providing contractors with bad credit the lowest prices in the industry.

Call us for a FREE quote at: 1-253-292-6822

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