Massachusetts Steel Erection Contractors Insurance Policy Information
Massachusetts Steel Erection Contractors Insurance. Construction is essential, but it's also one of the most dangerous industries; especially if you're working as a steel erection contractor. Despite your best efforts to follow all safety protocol, there is always a chance that something could go wrong and someone on the job or a third-party could be injured or property could be damaged.
Steel erection contractors build, repair, or maintain the steel framework for buildings and other structures, including high-rise apartments and offices, industrial complexes, warehouse buildings, and signs. Much of their work is structural and load bearing.
Operations may involve the use and placement of heavy steel girders, columns, and I-beams which may be welded together or fastened with bolts or hot rivets to create a metal framework for further construction. While steel is flexible, it can corrode in humid climates or lose strength at high temperatures, which could result in collapse.
The hazards vary considerably depending on the size of the job and the number of stories. The MA contractor may offer design services.
To protect yourself from any potential mishaps, it's imperative for steel erection contractors to invest in the right type of insurance. Why is Massachusetts steel erection contractors insurance important? What type of coverage do you need? Find the answers to these questions and more below.
Massachusetts steel erection contractors insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
What Type Of Insurance Do Steel Erection Contractors Need?
MA contractors who work in the steel erection industry should invest in three types of insurance coverage at the minimum - specifically: general liability, professional liability, and workers' compensation.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance provides coverage for third-party personal injuries and property damages. For example, in the event that a delivery driver trips over a piece of equipment at the site you're working on, suffers an injury, and files a lawsuit against you, general liability insurance will provide you with the coverage that's needed to pay for any medical care that the third-party may require, any legal fees that you may incur, and anything that a court of law may be liable for.
If the property owner of the building you're working on claims that you damaged their building and files a lawsuit, general liability insurance would also cover any legal expenses that you may end up facing, as well as any repairs that you may be required to pay.
Professional Liability Insurance
With professional liability, if you a client that hired you to erect a steel structure claims that you failed to do your job properly and files a lawsuit against you, you'll have the coverage you need to pay for the legal fees, any repairs that you may need to make to correct the problem, and it can also help to protect your business from any negative press that you may receive.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Workers' comp provides coverage for any workers that you may employ. For example, if a member of your team suffers a work-related injury and requires medical care, this policy will cover the medical expenses and can provide the employee with the wages he or she may lose while recovering.
If the employee files a lawsuit against you, claiming that the equipment that you provided wasn't properly maintained and caused the accident, for example, workers' compensation insurance can also assist for the related legal expenses.
Additional Massachusetts Steel Erection Contractors Insurance
Other types of Massachusetts steel erection contractors insurance that might be needed include:
- Commercial Property: - If you run your business out of a physical space, you should also invest in commercial property insurance. This policy covers the building, the contents within it, and some of the exterior structures, from acts of nature, peril, theft, and property damage that may occur as a result of a break-in, whether attempted or successful. For instance, if your business is defaced and looted, commercial property insurance can help to cover the costs of any related repairs.
- Commercial Auto - With commercial auto insurance, you can protect any vehicles that are used for work-related purposes. If a truck is involved in an accident while driving to a site and damages another vehicle, for example, this policy would cover the related expenses to the other vehicle.
- Mobile Equipment - This policy protects any mobile equipment when it isn't stored on your commercial property. If you have cranes, saw, ladders, and other type of erection equipment that you keep on a client's property until the job is finished, this policy will help to repair or replace that equipment if it is damaged or stolen.
Why Is Steel Erectors Insurance Is Important?
Employee injuries, third-party property damage, accidents with work-related vehicles, a fire in your commercial space; the costs that are related to the risks that steel erection contractors are exposed to can be quite exorbitant.
By having the right type of insurance coverage in place, if the unexpected occurs, instead of having to pay the related expenses out of your own pocket, your policy will cover them for you.
In addition to helping to offset potential high claims costs, steel erection contractors are legally or contractually required to carry some types of coverage; general liability, workers' compensation if they employ a team, commercial auto for vehicles that are used for work-related purposes, etc.
Massachusetts Steel Erector's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures at the contractor's office are generally limited due to lack of public access. Outdoor storage may present vandalism and attractive nuisance hazards. Off-site exposures are extensive. The contractor must control access to the area and post signs to protect the public from slips and falls over tools, power cords, materials, and scrap.
Steel erection always involves work at heights. Persons and property may be injured by falling objects, especially when work is done near existing structures or residences. Pedestrians and vehicles must be protected from falling objects through barricades and netting. Unprotected welding, cutting, and riveting may cause fires or serious injuries to the public or other contractors' employees. Repair and maintenance work may entail closing roads and redirecting traffic.
Improper signage or barricading could result in a vehicle collision and catastrophic loss of life. Both the structure under construction and the equipment (such as cranes) may create an attractive nuisance hazard to children who enjoy climbing. All equipment must be disabled when not in operation to prevent untrained individuals from using it. Fencing must be in place with appropriate warning signs to prevent trespassing. The use of subcontractors as well as any contractual liability exposures should be examined.
Personal injury exposures include assault and battery and invasion of privacy. Background checks should be conducted for any employee who will have regular contact with customers.
Completed operations liability exposure can be severe should a structure collapse due to the number of people who could be injured or killed and the potential for damage to the property of others. The competency of the designer and engineer of the project, the quality of materials, and the integrity of the completed structure are all critical.
The absence of an aggressive quality control program that documents full compliance with all construction, material, and design specifications may indicate a morale hazard and make it impossible to defend against serious claims. Any changes made by the engineers and carried through in the design must be noted prior to implementation.
Hazards may 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.
Professional liability exposures may be serious if the insured does design work or alters plans. The exposure increases if the firm fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employee's education and training, permit other workers to do tasks that only professionals should handle, or if error checking procedures are ignored or are inadequate.
All design specifications must be followed, and inspections regularly conducted. Documentation must be clear, with changes marked and authorizations signed by both the engineer and the customer.
Workers compensation exposure is severe. Erection work always involves work at heights, with danger from falls or from falling objects. Sudden changes in wind or weather can make hoists and scaffolding less safe. Lifting and back injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains can occur from loading or unloading machinery, setting up structural parts, or working from awkward positions.
Collapse or overturn of equipment may result in severe injury or death from crushing or suffocation. Common hazards include slips and falls, foreign objects in the eye, hearing impairment from noise, temperature extremes, cuts or puncture wounds, auto accidents during transportation to and from job sites, bites from insects or vermin, and exposure to pollutants.
Welding can cause eye damage and burns. If welding must be done in confined spaces, proper ventilation and fire protection are essential to prevent or reduce injury.
Property exposures at the contractor's own location are generally limited to those of an office, shop, and storage of materials, equipment, and vehicles. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. If fabrication, which includes cutting and welding, is done on premises, the potential for fire or explosion increases due to sparks and flames produced by these processes.
Welding involves the use of tanks of gases that must be stored and handled properly to avoid loss. There should be basic controls such as chained storage in a cool area and the separation of welding from other operations away from combustibles, either in a separate room or with flash/welding curtains. Some material may be stored on site, but it is not susceptible to damage by fire or weather.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the contractor bills customers for services, computers, contractors' tools, and equipment, including scaffolding, hoists, and portable welders, goods in transit, installation exposure, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Backup copies of all data should be stored off premises. Machinery, tools, or building materials left at job sites and awaiting installation are exposed to loss by theft, vandalism, damage from wind and weather, and damage by employees of other contractors.
The contractors' equipment schedule can include large cranes used to put beams in place. Equipment and supplies are subject to drop and fall from heights, especially when lifting girders or beams. Since any accident may trigger both the equipment and installation coverages, as well as possible third-party liability, many contractors prefer to hire a crane with a licensed operator.
The lease contract should specify responsibilities for providing insurance. Goods in transit consist of tools and equipment as well as materials owned by either the insured or the customer for installation at the job site.
I-beams and girders are usually drop shipped to the site by the manufacturer. If the contractor transports these, special equipment is necessary due to the length of the beams. Materials are not highly susceptible to damage in transit. An installation floater will be needed if the materials to be installed are delivered to the site in advance of the installation. Some construction supplies may be target items for theft by third parties or employees.
Crime exposure is primarily from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements. All items should be physically inventoried on a regular basis.
Business auto exposures can be high due to the transport of girders, beams, equipment, machinery, and supplies to and from job sites. Special modifications or built-in equipment such as lifts and hoists may be awkward and require special handling and tie-down procedures.
Drivers should be properly trained to prevent overturn and to navigate through high traffic areas. Serious property damage or injury to employees of other contractors, passing pedestrians, or motorists can arise during loading, transport, and unloading equipment and materials. Long drives with oversized equipment may lead to driver fatigue.
For long-term projects away from home base, personal use of company vehicles poses a concern. Similarly, employees may use their own vehicles on company business for long periods, especially to transport crews to the jobsite. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be maintained, and the records kept in a central location.
MA Steel Erection Contractors Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out what type of Massachusetts steel erection contractors insurance policies you'll need to carry, speak with an agent or broker that specializes in commercial construction insurance.
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.
- Bridge Contractors
- Building Contractors
- Demolition Contractors
- Dredging 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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