Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance
How much does small business insurance cost?
Costs can vary widely based on industry and are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. Request a free quote to get an exact number. (read more)
What kind of business insurance do I need?
Most business owners need General Liability Insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you will need workers compensation insurance too.
What is a Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance is proof of coverage. It lists the type and amount of liability coverage you have and other policy information when a third party requests it. (read more)
Is business insurance tax deductible?
Yes. you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance premiums. The IRS considers insurance a cost of doing business as long it benefits the business & serves a business purpose.
Paving Contractors Insurance
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 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 paving contractors insurance is the key to protecting your livelihood.
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, 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 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 paving contractors insurance policies that contractors should carry; other recommended coverage options include workers' compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance, and commercial property insurance.
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.
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 paving contractors insurance to make sure that your business is properly protected.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
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
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.
Quotes from leading small business insurance carriers including: ACE, AmTrust, Chubb, Cincinnati, CNA, Colony, Employers, Evanston, Fireman's, Foremost, Guard, Hanover, Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, LLoyd's of London, Markel, MSA, Nationwide, Penn America, Philadelphia, Prime, Progressive, Scottsdale, The Hartford, Travelers, USLI, Utica First, Western World, Zurich & others.