Plumbing Insurance Policy Information
Plumbing Insurance. Plumbing is a messy profession, but it becomes messier still if you are working as a plumber and find yourself on the receiving end of a liability claim. For this reason, all plumbers, including small, sole proprietors working independently, need plumbing insurance. If you are a plumber, septic installer, pipe fitter or even a general contractor who works with other professionals to provide plumbing services, you are putting yourself, your business, and your assets at risk when you work uninsured.
Plumbing contractors install, service, repair, and replace piping and fixtures that connect to water mains or wells, gas utilities, sewers, appliances, sprinklers, and irrigation systems. Plumbers may offer services to the general public, or specialize in residential or commercial work, new construction or remodeling.
Plumbing operations involve cutting metal or plastic (PVC) piping to length and assembling it by means of threaded couplings, adhesives, or by soldering, brazing or welding. Some plumbing contractors provide retail sales of hardware and appliances, and offer remodeling services for kitchen and bathrooms. The contractor may offer 24 hour emergency service.
Life is uncertain, and things happen. You are putting yourself at risk for claims for damage you cause, equipment or vehicle damage, or injury to yourself and clients, among other risks. This is why you should have plumbing insurance.
Plumbing insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked plumbers insurance questions:
- What Is Plumbing Insurance?
- How Much Does Plumbing Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Plumbers Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Plumbers Need?
- What Are Plumbers Risks & Exposures?
- What Does Plumbing Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Plumbing Insurance?
Plumbing insurance is a type of insurance that covers the costs associated with damages or injuries caused by the work of a plumber or plumbing company. This can include damage to property or equipment, as well as injuries to customers or employees. The insurance may also cover the costs of legal fees in the event of a lawsuit.
Some policies may also include coverage for lost income or business interruption in the event that the plumbing company is unable to operate due to damages or injuries.
How Much Does Plumbing Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small plumbing businesses ranges from $27 to $49 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
Why Do Plumbers Need Insurance?
Plumbers need insurance for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, insurance protects plumbers from financial losses due to accidents, injuries, or damage to property. Without insurance, a plumber may be held personally liable for any damages or injuries that occur on the job, which could lead to significant financial strain.
Additionally, insurance helps protect the reputation and credibility of the plumbing business. If a plumber is uninsured and an accident occurs on the job, it could damage the reputation of the business and make it difficult to attract new customers.
Insurance also helps to protect plumbers from legal action. If a customer or employee files a lawsuit against a plumber, insurance can help cover the costs of legal fees and damages.
In summary, plumbers need insurance to protect their finances, reputation, and legal rights. It is a necessary investment for any plumbing business to ensure its long-term success and protect against potential risks.
What Type Of Insurance Do Plumbers Need?
Plumbers typically need several types of insurance to protect their business and themselves. Some of the most common types of insurance that plumbers need include:
- General Liability: This type of insurance protects plumbers from legal and financial liabilities arising from injuries or damage to property while they are working. It covers medical expenses, damages, and legal fees if someone is injured or if property is damaged while the plumber is working.
- Professional Liability: This type of insurance protects plumbers from financial liabilities arising from errors or omissions in their work. It covers claims made against the plumber for failure to perform work properly or for making mistakes that result in damage or loss.
- Workers Compensation: This type of insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages for plumbers who are injured on the job. It is required in most states for businesses with employees.
- Business Auto: Plumbers often use vehicles to travel to and from job sites, and it is important to have insurance coverage for these vehicles. This includes liability insurance to cover damages to other vehicles or property, as well as collision and comprehensive insurance to cover damages to the plumber's own vehicle.
- Equipment Insurance: Plumbers rely on a variety of tools and equipment to perform their work. It is important to have insurance coverage for these items to protect against loss or damage.
- Cyber Liability: As more and more businesses move to digital platforms and systems, it is becoming increasingly important for plumbers to protect themselves against cyber attacks and data breaches. Cyber liability insurance covers the costs associated with recovering from a cyber attack, including legal fees and the cost of hiring experts to repair damage.
- Commercial Property: Plumbers may own their own workshop or have inventory stored in a warehouse. Commercial property insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing this property if it is damaged or destroyed.
- Business Interruption: If a plumber's business is forced to shut down due to an unforeseen event, such as a natural disaster, business interruption insurance can help cover lost income and expenses during this downtime.
Some states require specific types of insurance for contractors conducting business within their borders. This is oftentimes a condition of doing business, so check to see what licensure involves and if you are required to have particular types of insurance in order to perform your work as a plumber.
If you work as a general contractor, then you may need to purchase plumbing insurance insurance before you can work with or hire plumbers to work under you. Sometimes property owners also require that contractors, including plumbers, show that they have insurance in force before they will hire you for a contract or job.
Overall, plumbers need a combination of insurance coverage to protect their business and themselves from potential liabilities and financial losses. It is important for plumbers to carefully assess their insurance needs and choose coverage that meets their specific needs.
What Are Plumbers Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures at the contractor's shop or office are generally limited due to lack of public access. If there are retail sales, customers may slip, trip or fall while on the premises. Outdoor storage may present vandalism and attractive nuisance hazards.
Off-premises exposures are extensive. Plumbing work can be invasive, resulting in a high potential for property damage. The area of operation should be restricted by barriers and proper signage to protect the public from slips and falls over tools, power cords, building materials, and scrap. Plumbers can damage customers' premises when removing old plumbing and piping and installing new. Welding presents potential for burns or setting the property of others on fire if not conducted safely.
In enclosed structures, buildup of fumes from adhesives or sewer gases can result in bodily injury. 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. The use of subcontractors as well as any contractual liability exposures should be examined.
Completed operations liability exposures can occur if the plumbing or piping is not properly installed, resulting in leaks or water damage. Bacteria from leaking sewage connections can cause illness, as well as substantial property damage from hidden mold and fungus.
In larger jobs, such as sprinkler installation, accidental discharge or the failure of the system to operate properly represents a potentially catastrophic exposure from water damage or fire. If the plumber installs natural gas household appliances, poor connections can result in carbon monoxide poisoning.
Workers compensation exposures vary based on the size and nature of the job. Cuts, scrapes and even amputations from cutting tools may occur and become infected from contaminated materials or sewage. Back injuries, hernias, strains, sprains can result from lifting. Burns from welding operations can occur both at the yard site and job site. Welding should be conducted in well-ventilated areas to reduce the exposure to injury from fire, fumes, and vapors which can cause eye, skin, and lung irritations.
If the contractor does any excavation to connect to utilities or to install sprinklers and irrigation systems, bodily injury can result from digging and trenching. When work is done on ladders and scaffolds, there is a potential for severe injury or death from falling, being struck by falling objects, or adverse weather conditions. The absence of good maintenance of scaffolds, proper use of basic safety equipment, and strict enforcement of safety practices may indicate a morale hazard.
Property exposures may be limited to an office only or include retail sales, shop operations and a yard for storage. If the contractor constructs their own piping, the potential for fire or explosion increases due to sparks and flames produced by the welding process and storage of gas cylinders on premises. 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 operations either in a separate room or with flash/welding curtains away from flammables. PVC piping may release toxic fumes should a fire occur. Plastic piping typically uses adhesives that contain a flammable solvent. Handling and storage of flammables need good controls. If repair work on vehicles and equipment is done in the building, fire hazards may be much higher.
Crime exposure is primarily from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees providing services to customers or handling money. All ordering, billing and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly. Theft can be a high exposure if inventories of valuable metals, such as copper or brass, are stored.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the plumber offers credit to customers, computers, contractors' equipment, goods in transit, installation floater, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Contractors' equipment includes employees' tools and equipment that may be rented, leased or borrowed from others for specific jobs.
The goods in transit exposure includes supplies (adhesives, caulking, welding tanks) and materials to be installed. Hazards in transit include shifting and oversized loads. Improper loading or inadequate tie down poses a serious loss potential. Oversized loads can be damaged by collision. Equipment at a job site can be damaged by drops from heights, weather damage, or by vehicles. Equipment and supplies left at job sites are subject to theft and vandalism.
Environmental impairment exposures arise from the removal, transport, and disposal of waste and old insulating materials removed from structures. As some of these materials may be contaminated with waste or include lead piping and asbestos insulation, disposal procedures must adhere to all EPA and other regulatory standards. Proper written procedures and documentation of all processes is important. Training and supervision of employees are critical.
Commercial auto exposures include the transportation of workers, equipment and materials to and from job sites. There may be transportation of hazardous waste to approved landfills. All drivers must be well trained and have valid licenses for the type of vehicle being driven. MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location. Drivers may need a hazardous materials ("hazmat") endorsement to transport some waste and old insulating materials removed from structures.
What Does Plumbing Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Plumbers can be sued for a variety of reasons, such as:
Property damage: If a plumber damages a customer's property while performing plumbing work, the customer may sue the plumber for the cost of repairs or replacement. For example, if a plumber accidentally breaks a pipe while repairing a sink and causes water damage to the customer's home, the customer may sue the plumber for the cost of repairs.
Insurance protection: Plumbers can obtain liability insurance that covers property damage claims. If the plumber is sued for damaging a customer's property, their liability insurance will pay for the damages up to the policy limits.
Personal injury: If a customer or someone else is injured as a result of a plumber's work, the plumber may be sued for the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, and other damages. For example, if a plumber leaves a tool on the ground that a customer trips over and injures themselves, the customer may sue the plumber for their injuries.
Insurance protection: Plumbers can obtain liability insurance that covers personal injury claims. If the plumber is sued for a personal injury claim, their liability insurance will pay for the damages up to the policy limits.
Professional negligence: If a plumber makes a mistake or fails to perform their work properly, and this causes harm or damages to the customer or their property, the customer may sue the plumber for professional negligence. For example, if a plumber installs a water heater incorrectly, causing it to leak and damage the customer's home, the customer may sue the plumber for the cost of repairs.
Insurance protection: Plumbers can obtain professional liability insurance (also known as errors and omissions insurance) that covers professional negligence claims. If the plumber is sued for professional negligence, their professional liability insurance will pay for the damages up to the policy limits.
Breach of contract: If a plumber fails to fulfill their obligations under a contract with a customer, the customer may sue the plumber for breach of contract. For example, if a plumber agrees to install a new bathroom fixture by a certain date but fails to do so, the customer may sue the plumber for breach of contract.
Insurance protection: Plumbers can obtain contract liability insurance that covers breach of contract claims. If the plumber is sued for breach of contract, their contract liability insurance will pay for the damages up to the policy limits.
In summary, insurance can protect plumbers from the financial consequences of being sued by providing coverage for various types of claims, including property damage, personal injury, professional negligence, and breach of contract. However, it is important for plumbers to carefully review their insurance policies to ensure that they have adequate coverage for the risks they face.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 1711 Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning
- NAICS CODE: 238220 Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 5183 Plumbing NOC & Drivers
Description for 1711: Plumbing, Heating and Air-Conditioning
Division C: Construction | Major Group 17: Construction Special Trade Contractors| Industry Group 171: Plumbing, Heating And Air-conditioning
1711 Plumbing, Heating and Air-Conditioning: Special trade contractors primarily engaged in plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and similar work. Sheet metal work performed by plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning contractors in conjunction with the installation of plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning equipment is included here, but roofing and sheet metal work contractors are classified in Industry 1761. Special trade contractors primarily engaged in electrical work are classified in Industry 1731.
- Air system balancing and testing-contractors
- Air-conditioning, with or without sheet metal work-contractors
- Boiler erection and installation-contractors
- Drainage system installation, cesspool and septic tank-contractors
- Dry well construction, cesspool-contractors
- Fuel oil burner installation and servicing-contractors
- Furnace repair-contractors
- Gas line hookup-contractors
- Heating equipment installation-contractors
- Heating, with or without sheet metal work-contractors
- Lawn sprinkler system installation-contractors
- Mechanical contractors
- Piping, plumbing-contractors
- Plumbing and heating-contractors
- Plumbing repair-contractors
- Plumbing, with or without sheet metal work-contractors
- Refrigeration and freezer work-contractors
- Sewer hookups and connections for buildings-contractors
- Sheet metal work combined with heating
- Solar heating apparatus-contractors
- Sprinkler system installation-contractors
- Steam fitting-contractors
- Sump pump installation and servicing-contractors
- Ventilating work, with or without sheet metal work-contractors
- Water pump installation and servicing-contractors
- Water system balancing and testing-contractors
Plumbing Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out exactly what type of plumbing insurance you need and how much coverage you should have, speak to an experienced business insurance broker to go over all of your options.
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
- Boat Repair & Dry Docks
- Boiler Contractors
- Builders Risk
- Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services
- Cabinet Installer
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- Cistern Contractors
- 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
- Furniture Repair
- Garage Door Installer And Repair
- General Contractors
- Glass Contractor
- Glazier Insurance
- Gutter Installation And Repair
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Insulation Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- Lawn Irrigation Sprinkler System Installation
- Oil And Gas Well Drilling Contractors
- 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
- Tank Cleaners
- Tool Grinding And Repair
- Tree Surgeon
- Tree Trimming
- Upholstery Shop
- Waste Haulers & Garbage Collection
- Water Well Drilling
- Welding Contractor
- Wildlife & Pest Control
- Window Cleaning
- Specialty Contractors
The contracting industry is a field that involves a lot of risks, both for the contractor and for the clients they work for. This is why commercial insurance is so important for contractors. Insurance can protect contractors from a variety of potential losses, such as:
Liability: If a contractor causes damage to a client's property or if a client is injured while on a job site, the contractor could be held legally responsible. Liability insurance can cover legal fees and any settlements or judgments that may be awarded.
Property damage: Contractors often use a lot of expensive equipment and tools, and there is always a risk that this equipment could be damaged or stolen. Commercial property insurance can help cover the cost of replacing damaged or stolen equipment.
Business interruption: If a contractor is unable to work due to an unforeseen event, such as a natural disaster, insurance can help cover their lost income during this time.
Workers compensation: If a contractor or one of their employees is injured on the job, worker's comp can help cover medical expenses and lost wages.
Overall, commercial insurance is an important risk management tool for contractors. It can provide financial protection against a wide range of potential losses, helping contractors to stay in business and continue serving their clients.
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.