Washington D.C. Locksmith Insurance Policy Information
Washington D.C. Locksmith Insurance. In order to run a successful locksmith business you need more than just trained and certified locksmiths. Your locksmiths need to be bonded as well. Bonded means the locksmiths' liability is guaranteed by an exclusive bonding company (insurance company). Simply put, if the locksmiths cause any damage while performing their duties the financial obligation due to the third party is absorbed by the insurance company.
Locksmiths install, repair, open, and replace locks and locking mechanisms on homes, businesses, and automobiles. Other services include key duplications and retail sales of hardware and locks. Locksmiths often provide 24-hour emergency unlocking services. Some locksmiths also service safes, alarm and security systems.
Many business owners are under the false perception that if a locksmith is licensed they are also automatically insured. This is not true. The two are not related. Licensure speaks of a locksmith's professional training while Washington D.C. locksmith insurance speaks about a locksmith's liability.
Washington D.C. locksmith insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why You Need Locksmith Insurance
DC Locksmiths who are not bonded are at risk of having to pay for any damages should they occur. Not having Washington D.C. locksmith insurance also portrays the business as being less competent. In order to stay competitive and appeal to as many customers as possible and safeguard the business finances, here are the various types of locksmith insurance:
General Liability Insurance - This is an insurance policy that all DC businesses should have. It covers any damage resulting from work done as well as any injuries that might have occurred while working to any third party. Should the third party pursue legal action the general liability insurance policy will be claimed and be used to cover the associated costs e.g. any medical costs incurred, the cost of damaged property e.t.c. One great benefit of a Washington D.C. locksmith insurance policy is it protects the locksmith wherever he goes. In addition, the policy can be used to cover the business should another business bring legal action claiming slander or copyright infringement.
DC Business Auto Insurance - The locksmith profession is a highly mobile one. Constant travel is part and parcel of their occupation. For this reason, commercial auto insurance is absolutely essential particularly for the locksmiths who work primarily from company cars. A DC commercial auto insurance policy will cover the costs for any accidents regardless of who is at fault, any damage done to the vehicle due to a collision with wildlife and even damage caused to the vehicle by weather.
The commercial auto insurance policy can also be used to make up for any difference that might arise in the event the employee uses his own vehicle to pursue work-related errands and his personal auto policy is not sufficient to cover the financial consequences resulting from an accident e.g. medical bills, vehicle repairs etc. This is called an non-owned coverage.
Professional Liability Insurance - Also know as errors and omissions insurance, this Washington D.C. locksmith insurance policy that covers the locksmith in the event a professional oversight or error occurs which results in the financial loss of a third party, which is usually the customer.
For example, if the locksmith uses forceful entry and it is later determined there was a more sophisticated approach he could have used, he might face a professional liability lawsuit. In such a case the insurance policy can be claimed to cover the legal defense as well as any related expenses. Additionally, if the locksmith made any omissions that might be construed as negligence that resulted in financial loss of a third party the professional liability insurance policy will still help cater for the legal expenses and the awarded damages to the plaintiff should the locksmith be found to be at fault.
Commercial Property Insurance - This Washington D.C. locksmith insurance policy protects the locksmith's tools and property in the event they are damaged or lost. The damage or loss may be caused by a natural disaster, theft or even a fire. The policy is claimed to help with the repair and replacement of the tools or property.
With property insurance, business owners have the option of choosing between cash value and replacement value insurance plans. A cash value plan reimburses cash at the depreciated value of the property while a replacement plan replaces the tools/property at the initial price.
Workers Compensation Insurance - Workers comp is require in most states for an non-partner or owner employees. DC workers comp policy covers the medical costs of locksmiths injured while working. Regardless of whether they get injured by their tools, or they happen to slip on a wet floor, or their injury occurs in any other fashion, the policy will cover their medical costs. In some instances the policy may be used to compensate the locksmiths on wages they might miss out on while recovering.
Umbrella Insurance - Commercial umbrella is excess liability insurance that provides additional liability coverage beyond the limits of the underlying liability insurance. If your locksmiths regularly work for clients who own property that is very expensive extending the coverage of some of your Washington D.C. locksmith insurance policies is recommended since its very possible you might end up facing a liability suit that requires more than your current policies permit. This policy guarantees that any difference will not be drawn from company funds.
Washington D.C. Locksmith's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are light at the locksmith's premises due to lack of public access. Off-premises exposures are moderate at the client's premises, but customers can be injured or their property damaged during repair or installation. Employees of the locksmith may steal from customers. Locksmiths are held to a high degree of care because of the trust their customers necessarily place in their work.
Any time security issues are involved and a theft or crime occurs, the exposure of the locksmith who promises safe, secure premises from the installation and use of a product can result in significant products losses. The completed operations exposure can be very high if the locksmith monitors alarms.
Property exposure may be limited to an office and storage of equipment if the locksmith handles only on-call lock services. If there are retail lock and security systems sales, the stock will be susceptible to fire, smoke and water damage. Specialty equipment used to duplicate keys and open locks is a target for thieves.
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. Employees who cannot be bonded and licensed are a significant hazard as they have ready access to the special tools used to duplicate keys and open locks, plus access to customers' premises and property. This exposure can quickly grow from a crime loss against the locksmith to a liability loss from customers.
Physical audits of all equipment should be conducted regularly. Receipts for monies received from customers should be reconciled daily. All ordering, billing and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the locksmith offers credit to customers, computers, contractors' equipment and tools transported to customers' premises, goods in transit if there are retail sales, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. The equipment used to open locks is attractive to thieves as it can be used to break into buildings and cars. If the locksmith installs locks or security equipment, there will be an installation floater exposure.
Business auto exposure generally consists of travel to and from job sites. 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. Emergency services result in driving to unfamiliar places at unusual hours. A significant hazard arises if the insured lacks standard procedures that apply to "on call" personnel regarding sleep, alcohol or drug use, and radius of operation.
Workers compensation exposures come from the cutting, welding, drilling, and other necessary processes during the repair and installation operation. Persons on call to handle emergency lock-outs can be injured in automobile accidents or face danger from robbery and personal attack, especially in high-crime neighborhoods, as the equipment and tools they carry are attractive to thieves.
DC Locksmith Insurance
There are many potential risks you face when operating a DC locksmith business. Having Washington D.C. locksmith insurance will help protect your operation, while minimizing out of pocket expenses if you are ever sued.
Made In Washington D.C. Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Whether you have a great idea for a business and you're considering your first startup company or you are already operating a business and you're looking to expand, the location of your operations is one of the most important factors you'll need to consider. In order for a business to achieve success, it must be situated in an area that offers a healthy economy and a market that your products and/or services will appeal to.
The unemployment rate of a region paints a picture of the area's economy. A lower unemployment rate indicates that the area has a healthy business climate that can sustain the residents of the region. In addition, it's important for prospective proprietors to find out which industries are thriving in the area they're considering for their operations.
Furthermore, business owners must take into consideration what type of commercial insurance policies they will need to carry in order to protect themselves, those who interact with them, and to ensure that they are compliant with the law.
If you're considering Washington, D.C. for your business, below, we provide an overview of the above-mentioned information so you can determine if the nation's capital offers favorable conditions for success.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Washington D.C.
In December of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Washington, D.C. was 5.3%. While that rate is considerably higher than what the national average of 3.5% at the same time, the rate had fallen throughout the course of the year.
For example, in July of 2019, the unemployment rate was 5.6%, in August it was 5.5%, and in October, it was 5.4%. This steady decline indicates that more employment opportunities as a result of a healthy business climate have become and are becoming available in D.C.
Washington, D.C. is divided into four specific quadrants, including NE, NW, SE, and SW. While all regions are considered suitable for businesses, those that are situated in commercial areas - Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast - as opposed to Northeast, which is primarily residential, are likely to offer the best opportunities for prospective business owners.
There are several industries that are experiencing growth in D.C. Not surprisingly, government-related sectors and businesses that provide services for the government are seeing the most growth. Additionally, leisure, hospitality, and tourism are also prime industries in the nation's capital, as the region attracts millions of tourists from around the globe. Construction, education, and health round out the top industries in the region.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Washington D.C.
The Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking regulates insurance in DC. Washington D.C. mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Washington D.C. 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 or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Washington D.C. 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
- 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
- Tool Grinding And Repair
- 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.
Also find Washington D.C. insurance agents & brokers, DC local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Washington D.C. small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including District of Columbia business insurance costs. Call us (202) 800-5202.