Massachusetts Solar Panel Installers Insurance Policy Information
Massachusetts Solar Panel Installers Insurance. Renewable energy is becoming more accessible to businesses and homeowners. Solar panels are one of the easiest renewable designs to implement. Other than their green status, they contribute to significant monetary savings.
A growing demand for solar power has made it possible for many contractors to expand their businesses or start a new one. Business owners need to remain aware of the specific dangers of any installation activity. The solar power business model opens up some new Massachusetts solar panel installers insurance coverage necessities for contractor businesses to consider.
Massachusetts solar panel installers insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $97/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Massachusetts Becomes The First State to Make Solar Panels Mandatory
Starting January 1st, 2020, virtually all new homes built in Massachusetts will be equipped with solar panels due to a newly passed bill by The Massachusetts Energy Commission on May 9, 2018 - requiring new homes in MA to be built with solar panels.
This means solar power contractors will be getting a lot more business int the coming years, and havign the right insurance will be even more important as their businesses grow.
What Is Solar Panel Installers Insurance?
A solar power installation business leaves MA contractors with several different coverage aspects to consider. Equipment, transportation, and workers must be insured properly. Solar installations entail a wide range of responsibilities. Your workers need to be protected from injury costs. Equipment and function also need to be addressed by your insurance company. Solar panels in buildings can have some complications after installation. The panels and damage to the building should also be covered.
A thorough conversation with an insurance broker can help you make sure that every situation possible is covered under your new policy.
Transportation and Work in Progress
Equipment floater coverage is an important part of making sure the supplies do not cause a loss on the way to the job site. Solar panels are covered by this part of the policy from the time they are loaded up for transit until after the job is successfully completed. Many types of damage are covered by this. This includes storm damage, theft, and fire. Damage from vandalism is also covered. If anything happens during the installation, replacements are guaranteed. This is incredibly important due to the size and expense of solar panels.
An event as simple as a wreck on the highway could completely destroy the materials. Also there have been many cases of expensive inverters being stolen from jobsites.
General Liability Insurance usually covers 5 basic categories of MA business liability:
- Bodily Injury - Physical harm to a person at your place of business, or an injury caused by your employee at a client's site - like leaving tools on the jobsite and someone trips and falls and gets hurt.
- Completed Operations/Products Liability - Claims after your business has completed work for a customer - such as a panel blows off a roof in a windstorm.
- Personal Injury - Damage to the reputation or rights of a person or business due to slander, libel, copyright infringement, invasion or privacy, false arrest, wrongful eviction, etc.
- Advertising Injury - Losses caused by your advertising (spoken or written); for example, an ad that trashes a competitor.
- Medical Payments - Pays first dollar medical expenses (think PIP in auto) of a person injured on your premises like a customer, client or visitor, regardless of fault.
Mold is often excluded from various types of insurance policies. The damages can be extensive and costly when mold is involved. Inhabitants of the affected building could also suffer physical harm, as mold can cause health issues. The same goes for Massachusetts solar panel installers insurance policies.
There are, however, some policies that offer optional coverage for future mold damage in MA buildings where solar panels have been installed. Water leakage is one of the most common complications, resulting from installation mishaps. Construction lawsuits can be long and expensive. If your company offers a mold coverage option, it is best to take advantage of it.
Professional Liability For Solar Installers
Professional liability (errors & omissions) has to do with the design and engineering aspect of a solar project. Each project is different, depending on the details of the building or needs of the customer. Once a design is approved and implemented, any issues that arise are covered by the professional liability portion. Rebates and tax incentives are also included in this coverage.
Workers can incur a myriad of injuries when installing solar panels. The most serious injuries can result from working on roofs. The combination of height and heavy equipment can dangerous. While many safety precautions are taken on most job sites, accidents still happen sometimes.
Workers comp is required by most businesses with non-owner employees in most states, according to laws. This part of a solar policy meets the same standards as it does in all business applications. Accidental injuries that happen while on the job are potentially covered by workers compensation. There is usually a strict approval process, however. Medical costs and lost wages are covered by this part of the policy once all other possible liabilities are ruled out.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
MA solar power installers need to be properly covered, just like any other business. Their work does present the possibility of some unique issues, however. Leaks from faulty sealants can cause water damage. This can, in turn, result in mold exposure. Proper coverage covers your work, even after the job is complete. Equipment, however, is only covered until the job is complete. Equipment coverage takes care of the solar panels and supporting materials from the time they are loaded on the transport vehicle.
MA Solar power installers insurance is a lot like average business coverage, with a few tweaks and other optional features.
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 Contractors & Home Improvement Insurance
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.
- Air Conditioning Systems Installation Repair
- Appliance Repair & Service
- Blacksmith & Metal Workers
- Builders Risk
- Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services
- Cabinet Installer
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- Contractor Liability
- Curtain Cleaners
- Deck Builders
- Door And Window Installers
- Dryer Vent Cleaning
- Drywall Contractor
- Electrical Contractors
- Environmental Remediation Contractors
- Fence Installation
- Fire Sprinkler Contractors
- Fire & Water Restoration Contractors
- Flooring Contractor
- Garage Door Installer And Repair
- Glass Contractor
- Glazier Insurance
- Gutter Installation And Repair
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Insulation Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- Lawn Irrigation Sprinkler System Installation
- Paperhanging Contractors
- Plastering And Stucco Contractor
- Pressure Washing Contractors
- Propane And Fuel Dealers
- Rug, Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning
- Sandblasting Contractors
- Security Alarm
- Septic Tank Cleaning
- Siding Contractor
- Sign Installation & Repair
- Solar Panel Installers
- Snow Plow
- Stone And Tile Installer
- Surety Bonds
- Swimming Pool Contractor
- Swimming Pool Service And Maintenance
- Tree Surgeon
- Tree Trimming
- Tank Cleaners
- Upholstery Shop
- Waste Haulers & Garbage Collection
- Water Well Drilling
- Welding Contractor
- Wildlife & Pest Control
- Window Cleaning
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.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Contractors' Equipment and Tools, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Accounts Receivable, Builders Risk, Computers, Goods in Transit, Installation Floater, Valuable Papers and Records, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practicesand Stop Gap Liability.
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