Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business Insurance
California Flooring Contractor Insurance. Commercial insurance is an expense that is a necessary part of doing business. Floor installers and refinishers cut and lay subflooring in new structures and strip, sand, and paint, stain or varnish existing wood floors in residential or commercial buildings. This type of operation does not include the installation of floor coverings such as linoleum, tile or carpeting. For new structures, installers cut and lay subflooring over a structural frame, install hardwood flooring, and apply layers of paint and/or varnish.
Every business regardless of what it is that they do, needs insurance to protect them from liability due to accidents, lawsuits from employees or clients, and any other type of potentially crippling expense.
Insurance is all about protecting you against the unknown. When you pay your premium you are basically paying for protection from things that could have a major negative impact on your business and could potentially even cause your business to fail. Will you ever have to use your flooring contractor insurance? Maybe, maybe not, but if you need it and don't have it then you are going to be in a major financial bind. When looking at California flooring contractor insurance, you should consider the following things as necessary coverage that your business needs to have.
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Talk to a professional commercial insurance agent to find the best-fit policy for you unique situation.
Premises liability exposures at the contractor's shop or office are generally limited due to lack of public access. Fires or fumes from woodworking and/or lumber storage operations can spread to neighboring businesses or homes. Outdoor storage may create vandalism and attractive nuisance hazards.
Off-site exposures are moderate. Jobsite operations include the potential for bodily injury to the public and to other contractors' employees and damage to their property or completed work. Tools, power cords, building materials and scrap all pose trip hazards even when not in use. The use of saws and other power or hand tools is inherently hazardous due to sharp edges and moving parts. The area of operation should be restricted.
In enclosed structures, the buildup of dust and scraps can result in catastrophic fire and explosion. Disposal of waste materials (dust, scrap, varnishes or paints) could create an environmental hazard. There may be significant subcontractor and other contractual liability exposures.
Completed operations liability exposures are high if the flooring contractor builds the floors on which the customer's operations take place due to the potential for collapse. Quality control and full compliance with all construction, material, and design specifications are necessary. Inadequate monitoring of work orders and change orders may be a concern. Poor record-keeping may necessitate payment of otherwise questionable claims. Inspection and written acceptance of the work by the owner or general contractor is critical.
Workers compensation exposures vary based on the size and nature of the job. Work with hand tools and sharp objects such as saws and nails can result in cuts, piercings, and accidental amputation. Back injuries, hernias, strains, and sprains can result from lifting. Work at floor level for extended periods of time can result in injuries to knees. Minor injuries may be frequent even when the severity exposure is controlled.
Absence of basic safety equipment, such as properly installed guards, steel toed shoes, and eye protection may indicate a morale hazard. Employees must be carefully selected, trained and supervised. Occupational diseases can result from exposure to noise, dust, and chemicals used in the finishing process.
Property exposures are usually limited to an office and storage for supplies, tools and vehicles. The storage of lumber, paints, finishes, varnishes, and shellac combined with the dust from the cutting of the lumber or wood can create a high fire and explosion exposure. Labeling, separation, proper storage of flammables, and adequate aisle space reduce the exposure.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees providing services to customers or handling money. All ordering, billing and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the floorer offers credit to customers, contractors' tools, goods in transit, installation floater and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Equipment at a job site can be damaged by drops from heights, weather damage, or being struck by vehicles. Equipment and supplies left at job sites are subject to theft and vandalism.
Flooring in transit is vulnerable to damage from dropping, breakage, shifting and collision and overturn. Improper loading or inadequate tie down poses a serious loss potential. Oversized loads can be damaged by collision with stationary structures or other vehicles. The installation floater exposure varies depending on whether the contractor delivers the flooring or has them drop shipped to the jobsite. The contract with the client should state who is responsible for the flooring during transit and storage.
Business auto exposures are limited unless lumber and pre-made items are transported by the installer. MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location. Hazards of transport include failure to secure the load properly and equipment failure, especially tie-downs and hitches. If oversized items are transported, vehicles should be clearly marked.
If you are an entrepreneur and you considering having your operations located in California, it's essential that you have a full understanding about the economy of the state, as well as the regulations and limits that are in place for commercial insurance.
If you are considering opening up a business in the Golden State, you first want to make sure that it is a sound location for your operations. That means that you should understand some key information related to the state's economy, as well as the types of insurance coverages that businesses are legally required to carry.
In terms of job creation, the state of California exceeds rate of job growth in the United States; however, as the state's metropolitan areas are reaching employment capacity, job growth is starting to slow. In 2017, the rate of growth was 2.1 percent, which is the slowest rate of growth since 2011; but it is still expected to increase by 1.8 percent by the end of 2018, and 1.2 percent by the end of 2019.
In the month of April, the unemployment rate in California dropped to 4.2 percent, which is a record low. This unemployment rate is expected to remain consistent for the rest of the calendar year; however, it's forecasted that the rate will start to increase in 2019.
The strongest labor market in the state is in the Bay Area, where the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in 2017. Southern California follows, with an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent in 2017. In the Central Coast region, the rate was 5.4 percent and in the Central Valley, it was 6.6 percent. While the unemployment rate is considered high in these areas, they have decreased dramatically over the last 12 month period.
The industries that are expected to see the most growth in CA include:
The California Department of Insurance regulates insurance in the Golden State. In the state of CA, commercial liability insurance is not required; however, since the state does not cap rewards for liability law suits, business owners are wise to invest in this type of coverage. The amount of coverage recommended varies depending on the size of the business and in the industry.
Workers' compensation insurance is the only type of coverage that business owners are required to have. This applies to any organization that employs a salaried or hourly staff, even if that staff only consists of one employee. Furthermore, if an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of work, business owners must pay for CA workers' comp benefits.
Learn about small business contractor's insurance, including what it covers, how much it costs - and how commercial insurance can help protect your contracting business from lawsuits.
A contractor that wants to begin or stay in business, liability coverage must be obtained for the premises or operations, off-site locations and products/completed operations exposures. These coverages may be included as a part of a businessowners policy (BOP) or purchased in a commercial general liability (CGL) policy. Owners and contractors protective liability and railroad protective liability coverages may also be required in certain cases in order for a contractor to obtain a particular job.
Physical damage coverage for tools, supplies and equipment, both on and off the contractor's premises, is a concern. Liability exposures at the premises of the contractor, and at the premises of the contractor's customer, must be properly addressed along with completed operations. Business insurance is very important as is workers compensation insurance protection for employees.
Contractors may work under a general contractor as a subcontractor in larger construction projects - like a new commercial site or residential subdivision. They can work on smaller projects directly with a home owner, usually specializing in renovations or remodels.
In business insurance speak, often called 'artisan contractors' or 'casual contractors', they are involved in many aspects of construction and contracting work – and include various trades and skills. Carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, roofers, tree trimmers, landscaping are just a few examples. They may do roofing, fencing, drywall, tile work and many other trades that involve skilled work with tools at the customer's premises.
An artisan contractor performs a single trade or job, and each has its own specialized liability needs with its own exposures to risk and accidents. Contractors liability insurance can offer coverage for bodily injury, property damage, advertising injury and medical payments.
Most artisan contractors should have commercial general liability at the very least, but many need broader coverages - like an umbrella to increase their limits of liability, inland marine policy to protect their tools, workers compensation if they have employees, and even commercial auto if they use vehicles for business purposes.
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