Massachusetts Paving Contractors Insurance Policy Information
Massachusetts Paving Contractors Insurance. Paving contractors clear and level job sites, lay wooden forms, and pave driveways, parking lots, roads or highways, streets, and tennis or other athletic courts. For some projects, mesh or reinforcement bars (rebar) will be used to strengthen the finished pavement. Paving is the process of laying down the uppermost surface ("wearing surface") which must withstand the wear-and-tear from tire friction and from the elements. The surface may be made of asphalt or concrete.
A cold or hot mixture may be used for paving. Cold mixtures are often used for temporary repairs and patching as they can be used at lower temperatures, but they are not as strong or durable as a hot mix, which is a combination of asphalt and concrete. Larger operations will have their own portable hot mix plants ("batch plants") that are transported to jobsites. Smaller operations will purchase the hot mix and have it delivered to their jobsite.
Whether you are a local MA paving contractor that lays and seals asphalt driveways and walkways or you operate a large organization that is contracted to pave roadways, being properly insured is crucial for the success of your business. As with any business, there are certain risks associated with owning a paving operation, and having the right Massachusetts paving contractors insurance is the key to protecting your livelihood.
Massachusetts paving contractors insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Paving Contractors Need Business Insurance?
As a paving contractor, your job duties vary and are dependent on the specifics of your business; however, no matter what type of services you provide, there are certain risks that you are exposed to. You work with heavy machinery, hot asphalt and tar, and you and your employees may be exposed to oncoming traffic, for example.
You are also responsible for fulfilling the duties you claim to offer and are working on other people's property. Despite your best efforts to ensure that you are delivering the best services possible and to make sure that your employees and clients are well protected, accidents can happen and oversights can occur.
In the event that something does go awry and you are liable for mishaps, you will be responsible for covering the cost of any injuries and/or damages. Should someone file a lawsuit against your business, you will also be responsible for any defense fees. Paying for these costs out of your own pocket can be financially devastating, which is why it's so important to make sure that you have the right type of insurance coverage.
If your properly insured, your insurance provider will help to cover the cost of any expenses that are related to accidents, injuries, damages, and legal fees; in other words, Massachusetts paving contractors insurance can safeguard your business from financial ruin.
What Type Of Insurance Should Paving Contractors Have?
The policies that you should invest in depend on a variety of factors, including the size of the operation, where the business is located, and the specific work that the contractor specializes in. The following Massachusetts paving contractors insurance coverage options are highly recommended for anyone who owns a business in this industry:
- Commercial General Liability - This form of coverage is an absolute must for business owners in all industries, including paving contractors. It helps to cover the costs that are related to third-party property damages or injuries, as well as legal fees. For instance, should you damage a client's landscaping while delivering installing a walkway and that client sues you, your commercial general liability insurance provider will assist with the litigation fees, as well as the cost of any damages you are responsible for.
- Inland Marine - While the name may suggest that this type of insurance coverage protects maritime vessels, it actually provides protection for any type of movable property - including property on land - that a standard commercial property insurance policy does not cover. For paving contractors, an inland marine insurance policy would cover any equipment that you use on different job sites; for instance, if paving machinery is damaged or stolen while you're on the job, the provider of this policy would help to cover the costs of repairing or replacing the machinery.
- Professional Liability - Also known as errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance protects your business from any claims that state you failed to deliver an expected service, or that the services you delivered were poor. For instance, if you failed to properly execute the paving of a driveway and it starts to crumble apart just weeks after installation, should the client take legal action, E&O insurance will help to pay for your legal fees, as well as any damages that may be awarded.
These are just some of the different Massachusetts paving contractors insurance policies that contractors should carry; other recommended coverage options include workers' compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance, and commercial property insurance.
MA Paving Contracting's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is low at the contractor's premises since visitor access is limited. Equipment and materials stored in the open may present an attractive nuisance to children. If a hot tar process is used at the contractor's premises, it poses a fire hazard as high winds may carry smoke and heat to adjacent properties. Contact with the tar or bitumen is a minor injury and property damage hazard. At job sites, the contractor is responsible for the safety aspects of the entire project even after hours when there is no construction activity.
Digging, the operation of heavy machinery and asphalt plants, and the weight of large mixers and mix-in-transit vehicles presents numerous hazards to the public and to employees of other contractors. Hazards increase significantly in the absences of job site control, including spotters, signage, and barriers where appropriate. While a new parking lot may be paved with little exposure to the public, most paving contractors must contend with vehicular, bicycle, and foot traffic.
The smoke, dust, and noise generated by paving operations are often nuisance hazards. The uneven ground, hot tar, and heavy machinery may result in serious injuries to passersby and motorists, as well as property damage to adjacent vehicles, buildings, and residences. Serious traffic accidents may occur in the absence of an appropriate barricading system and clear marking of streets and roads that are closed. The party responsible for warning signs, barricades, and other precautions for drivers must be spelled out in any contract.
Construction sites create an attractive nuisance hazard, especially if work is close to residential areas. Wet pavement, in particular, attracts children and vandals. Safety barriers such as perimeter fencing may be needed, especially if work is left uncompleted overnight.
Completed operations hazards vary with the type of operations. Private driveways are generally low hazard work, while trip and fall hazards in a retail parking lot may result in a serious bodily injury loss. Most hazardous of all are airport tarmac and runway projects due to the catastrophic potential of an accident involving a plane full of passengers. Quality control and full compliance with all construction, material, and design specifications is necessary. Hazards increase in the absence of proper record keeping of customer specifications, work orders, change orders, as well as inspection and written acceptance of finished work by the customer.
Environmental impairment liability exposures may arise from the waste generated in the fueling and cleaning of heavy equipment, including mix-in-transit containers, but especially from the asphalt plant. Allowing waste to accumulate either at the job site or in the contractor's yard could result in contamination of air, ground, or water supply. Collection, transportation, and disposal of waste must meet all federal and state requirements.
Workers compensation exposures can be very high. Working around the asphalt plants or with the hot mix can result in burns and inhalation of smoke or harsh chemicals. Other common hazards include back injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains from lifting, cuts and puncture wounds from working with hand tools, foreign objects in the eye, and hearing impairment from cumulative exposure to high-decibel operations. The use, misuse, maintenance, and transport of large, heavy machinery present unique hazards that need review. If the construction site is on or near existing roadways, vehicles on the existing road or street may strike workers, even when warnings and barricades are in place.
Property exposures at the contractor's own location are usually limited to an office and storage of material, equipment, and vehicles. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. The contractor's yard may include piles of gravel as well as large mixing or batch plants that combine the ingredients for mixing cement or concrete and load them into trucks. The exposure is greatly increased if there are large drum mix plants or batch plants involving heat and flammable bitumen or tar.
If repair work on vehicles and equipment is done in the building, fire hazards may be high due to the storage and use of flammable gasoline and other fuel sources. If equipment and supplies are stored in the yard, they may be damaged due to wind, vandalism, and theft. Appropriate security measures must be in place including lighting and physical barriers to prevent unauthorized access.
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 exposure is from accounts receivable if the contractor bills customers for services, contractors' equipment, especially the hot mix plants, goods in transit, installation floater, and valuable papers and records for project plans, clients' and suppliers' information. Construction equipment and concrete mixed in transit are heavy and difficult to transport. The training of drivers and haulers, especially with respect to the loading, tie-down, and unloading, is important to avoid damage from overturn or collision.
At the job site, hazards come from uneven terrain, from the abrasive or caustic nature of some of the materials, or from the sheer weight of the concrete as it may exceed the equipment's load capacity. Tools and equipment may be damaged by dropping and falling from heights or being struck by other vehicles. Materials and equipment left at job sites may be stolen or vandalized unless proper controls are in place. Copies of project plans should be kept at an offsite location for easier restoration.
Commercial auto exposures are very high if hot tar is transported or the contractor uses mix-in-transit unit, which are among the heaviest on the road. The bodily injury and property damage can be severe should a unit overturn or be involved in a collision. Only very experienced drivers should be involved in the transport. Equipment unloading and setup may take place on uneven ground, or in undeveloped areas, posing an upset, or overturn hazard. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained and the records kept in a central location.
MA Paving Contractor Insurance
To find out exactly what type of policies you should invest in and how much coverage you should carry, it's important to speak to a reputable agent that is has ample experience with Massachusetts paving contractors insurance to make sure that your business is properly protected.
Massachusetts Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
If you are thinking about starting a business in the Massachusetts, it's important that you have an understanding of the economic trends and commercial insurance requirements in the state before you set up shop.
Economic trends are important, as they indicate whether or not the area offers a strong economy that will be able to support your business. You also need to know what type of commercial insurance you'll need to carry so that you can plan accordingly and ensure that you are complaint with the law.
To help you determine if the Bay State is the right location for the business you are thinking about opening, below, you'll find an overview of MA's current economic trends, as well as the types of insurance policies you'll need to carry.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Massachusetts
Unemployment rate is a good indicator of a state's economy. The lower the rate, the more job opportunities there are, which is direct reflection of the health of businesses.
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts was 2.8% in December, 2019. That's 0.7% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% in December, 2019. This indicates that the state offers a strong workforce and that there are enough jobs to support the residents of the state.
While regions throughout the area are seeing business growth, there are certain areas in particular that are seeing more growth than others. This includes large metropolitan areas and the regions that surround them, including:
- New Bedford
Several industries are doing very well in the state of Massachusetts; however, there are particular sectors that are seeing more growth than others and are truly thriving in this part of the country. These industries include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Commercial fishing
- Financial services
- Hospitality tourism
- Information technology
- Medicine and life sciences
If you are thinking about starting a business in any of these industries, chances are good that you will find the success you are looking for in the state of Massachusetts.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Division of Insurance regulates insurance in MA. Massachusetts mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Massachusetts requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors, but employees in domestic service must be covered if they work at least 16 hours a week.
Massachusetts also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
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.
- Building Contractors
- Demolition Contractors
- Foundation Layers
- General Contractors
- Sewer Contractors
- Steel Erection Contractors
- 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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