California Masonry Contractor Insurance Policy Information
California Masonry Contractor Insurance. As a masonry contractor, your business is at risk of lawsuits as a result of an injury while working on a project. Therefore, if you want to keep your business protected from financial ruin, you must be sure to have the right insurance policies in place.
Masonry contractors install and repair brick, block, stone, veneer, and other masonry items onto and inside of buildings or structures. The end use may be structural (load-bearing) or decorative (veneer). Masonry projects may include fences, fireplaces, patios, retaining walls, siding, signs, and walkways. Masons clear and level job sites and prepare mortar (cement, sand and water mix that is placed between the bricks). The clay bricks, concrete blocks, or stone is then laid in rows to the engineers' and architects' specifications and design. Some types of structural masonry work have reinforcing rods such as rebar for additional support.
As a Mason, there'll be a number of different jobs you'll be required to do while working on a construction site. As a contractor, the safety while on the job is important. Following are some of the different insurance policies and how you can choose the right ones to secure your business. Get the California masonry contractor insurance coverage that will keep you and your business protected.
California masonry contractor insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Liability Insurance: The Most Important Coverage In Your Business
Before being licensed in some states as a masonry contractor, you are required to you have liability insurance. When a person is considering you for a job, the first thing they want to know is if you have a plan like this in place. To work legally, you will have to have some liability insurance plan in place. Having California masonry contractor insurance can protect your business from financial disaster in the case of a lawsuit against your company.
If you speak to an independent insurance agent they may discuss the following insurance types with you:
Commercial General Liability Insurance: This is the most important part of your California masonry contractor insurance policy. This policy covers any damages caused to third parties from the work you do as a Mason. A contractor may require you to add them as an additional insured on your policy for the period that you work for them. It would work the same way if you hired a subcontractor to work for you.
Employment Practices Liability Coverage: This type of insurance protects your business from lawsuits against from employees or past employees. If they try to sue your company for things such as harassment, wrongful dismissal or discrimination this policy keeps you covered.
CA Commercial Auto Liability Insurance: To transport tools and materials to and from the job site you may use a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles. To keep your vehicles covered commercial auto liability insurance must be in place. Having this type of policy protects your company as you move back and forth between job sites.
Umbrella Insurance Coverage: Sometimes your general liaiblity coverage limit may not be enough, and you want more coverage for your business. With an umbrella insurance policy, it is possible for you to purchase extra liability coverage for your business. This type of insurance will allow you to raise the limit on your current insurance policy meaning that you will be able to cover more of your business.
The Importance Of Worker Comp For Masons
There are lots of risks involved with the work of a mason, and some of these risks can cost your business a lot of money. The work may require scaffolding or lifting heavy material which puts a worker at a higher chance of being injured. Having a workers' compensation plan in place will help to mitigate the costs involved in such accidents.
CA Workers' compensation protects your business from different liability lawsuits. There may be times when the work required causes injury to an employee. Workers' compensation helps with the medical expenses that come as a result of this injury. If injury results in a fatality this insurance will pay survivor benefits to the surviving family of the deceased.
Having this type of policy in place is required in most states before you can begin working. And it is typically required for any non-owner employees. Usually the general contractor who is hiring you will need to see some proof of you having a workers' compensation insurance plan in place before you start the job.
It's important as a masonry contractor to you keep your business and your worker's safe while on the job. Knowing you have the right coverage may give someone more confidence to work with you. The last thing you want happening is your company gets sued, and you don't have the right coverage, which results in you losing everything in your business. To avoid this happening to you, it's a good idea to speak with an independent insurance agent so they can direct you to what you need to do to find the insurance policies that are right for you.
CA Masonry Contractor's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure at the contractor's office is generally limited due to the lack of visitor access. Equipment and materials stored in the open may present an attractive nuisance exposure. Jobsite exposures will vary based on whether work being done is new construction, repair, or renovation of existing masonry, whether work is underground or at heights, and whether it is inside or outside.
Protecting pedestrians and employees of other contractors from dropped objects and trip and fall hazards is important when working at heights. Masonry materials in the open may create an attractive nuisance hazard to children who enjoy climbing.
Completed operations liability exposures can be high due to the injury and property damage that can result from improper installation and support. If a wall, column, or foundation cannot support the required load, the entire structure may shift or collapse. Careful attention must be paid to the type and material of brick and to the mix of the mortar to ensure a solid foundation.
When veneer is being applied, there must be adequate attachment points to prevent separation. Hazards increase in the absence of proper record keeping of work orders and change orders, as well as inspection and signed approval of finished work by the customer.
Workers compensation exposures can be high due to the heavy weight of masonry building materials. Lifting strains and crush injuries may arise at every phase of the operations. From the laying of the bricks, stone, or blocks, to bracing partially completed work, frequent and severe losses can occur. Work done above or below ground can result in injury or death from falls, the collapse of scaffolds or trenches, or being struck by falling objects.
Other common hazards include cuts and puncture wounds from working with hand tools, foreign objects in the eye, and exposure to dust from bricks, stone, and mortar.
Property exposures at the contractor's own location usually consist of an office and storage of material, equipment, and vehicles. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. The storage of bricks and stones is common, but these are not particularly subject to loss from either weather or fire. Pilfering by employees or others may be a problem since there are such a wide variety of uses. Some types of stone have relatively high value. Vandalism may be a problem. There should be adequate safeguards to prevent young people from trespassing.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. Background checks should be conducted prior to hiring any employee. All orders, billing, and disbursements must be handled as separate duties and annual external audits conducted.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the contractor bills customers for services, contractors' tools and equipment, goods in transit, installation floater, and valuable papers and records for custom project plans, clients' and suppliers' information. The contractors' equipment can be employees' tools only or can include specialized lifting equipment or scaffolding.
The training of drivers and haulers, especially with respect to the loading, tie-down, and unloading of heavy masonry materials, is important to avoid overturn or collision. A potentially severe installation/builders' risk exposure may arise from inadequate bracing of partially complete walls or other structures. Poor support, especially overnight between work times, may leave the structure vulnerable to collapse from wind or rain. Equipment and supplies may be damaged by dropping and falling from heights, especially when lifting masonry to the above ground stories of buildings.
Materials and equipment left at job sites may be subject to theft and vandalism loss unless proper controls are in place. Copies of building plans should be kept at an offsite location for easier restoration.
Commercial auto exposures can be high due to the transport of bulky material that can shift and result in overturn. Scaffolding must be tied down securely. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained and the records kept in a central location.
California Economic Data, Regulations & Limits On Commercial Insurance
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.
Economic Trends For Businesses In California
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 2020.
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 2020.
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:
- Information Technology
CA Commercial Insurance Regulations And Limits
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.
Additional Resources For Construction Contractors Insurance
Learn about construction contractors insurance, including how much the premium costs and what is covered - and how business insurance can help protect your construction business from lawsuits.
- Demolition Contractors
- Foundation Layers
- Surety Bonds
Construction contractors have substantial needs for many types of insurance coverage. Most would point to the importance of coverage for completed operations, premises liability coverage during construction operations at jobsites and professional or design errors and omissions insurance.
Such coverages can be provided only when the interests of the contractor and of the property owner are understood; particularly the contractual obligations assumed by the contractor. Next in significance is the workers compensation exposure followed by business automobile. Inland marine coverage for expensive mobile equipment, supplies, other tools of the trade and builders' risk can be vital.
Liability coverage is needed by a construction contractor in order to obtain most jobs. In addition, if a contractor wants to stay in business, it must be obtained to protect it from lawsuits due to its premises operations, off-site locations and products/completed operations exposures. Owners and contractors protective liability and railroad protective liability coverages may also be required in certain cases in order for a contractor to meets its obligations for particular jobs.
Many construction contractors do not have the usual location-specific buildings and business personal property exposures. Their business property is more mobile and, therefore, better covered with inland marine coverage forms. However, for those larger construction contractors that own buildings and/or maintain business inventory there are many coverage forms and choices available to them.
Construction contractors use their vehicles to get to and from their workplaces and jobsites. They also use vehicles to transport equipment and inventory to those locations. It is important to cover the liability of these vehicles for injury or damage they may cause, as well as to provide coverage for damage to the vehicles themselves.
Employers are required to provide coverage for injuries sustained by their employees while on the job. Construction contractors must comply with these requirements but some try to avoid them by hiring subcontractors. These subcontractors may actually operate and qualify as employees. The relationship between a contractor and its subcontractors must be carefully evaluated in order to determine if workers compensation coverage is still needed.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Surety Bonds, Accounts Receivable, Builders' Risk, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Nonowned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Contractors' Equipment, Goods in Transit, Installation Floater, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Environmental Impairment Liability, Stop Gap Liability, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Drones).
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