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Contractors: Time for an Insurance Checkup

Contractors: Time for an Insurance Checkup

As Spring begins to bloom, many contractors come out of hibernation. It’s time now for potential customers to start building, trimming, cleaning, mowing, moving, etc. The phone is about to start ringing again. If your business is just starting to gear up again after a long winter’s nap, now is the time to review your business and your insurance coverage. Are you ready for Spring? Has Your Coverage Lapsed? During the lean months of winter, some contractors find their income from the heavy months wasn’t able to sustain times of no work. If you failed to pay your insurance premium, your policy may have lapsed, meaning you have no insurance at this time. Lack of general liability or workers compensation insurance could put you in jeopardy with general contractors, municipalities, and state agencies that require coverage to get, keep and use your business license. Lack of auto liability insurance could risk your driver’s license. Pull out your policies, dust them off, and call your insurance broker to make sure coverage is still in place and valid. When you make that call, go ahead and schedule an appointment for a risk management analysis to review current coverage and see if there is anything else you might need. Check Your Equipment We know you’d never leave for a job site without the proper tools for the job. Have you purchased any new equipment? Are you planning to lease any equipment over the next several months? Review the scheduled equipment on your inland marine policy and compare it to your current tools on hand to be sure they match. If items need...
Safeguarding Your Valuable Equipment & Tools

Safeguarding Your Valuable Equipment & Tools

Tools and equipment you use for your business can sometimes be an afterthought when it comes to your insurance coverage.  You probably think they are covered under your property insurance contents coverage, but are they? They probably aren’t.  Office equipment usually stays in one place, and is subject to the same risks as the building.  Contractors’ tools and equipment move around from job site to job site in trucks and on trailers, and they are more likely to be stolen, lost, or damaged.  Contractors’ equipment can often eclipse large office equipment in terms of replacement cost. This is why contractors’ equipment coverage (sometimes called inland marine coverage) is essential to your business.  Without your tools and equipment you can suffer job delays and catastrophic financial losses. Insure Your “Big Ticket” Equipment Smaller tools may only cost a few hundred dollars to replace, and those may be things you aren’t worried about.  The equipment you should consider insuring on a contractors equipment policy are the big ticket items: backhoes, tractors, bulldozers and other large pieces of equipment.  These items can be owned, leased or rented at the time they are insured. When you insure your larger tools, you can shop a range of policies with broad coverage options. Equipment coverage found through an insurance broker is often broad enough to include limits for smaller tools – tools that you wouldn’t otherwise insure. Keeping Up With Changing Coverage Needs Determining how much equipment coverage you need can be tricky, partly because the answer may change from week to week.  You should take into consideration: Changes to your owned equipment Changes to your leased or rented...
URGENT: How to Ensure You Have The Proper Insurance For a City Contract

URGENT: How to Ensure You Have The Proper Insurance For a City Contract

So you want to bid on a city contract, or maybe you just won a city contract and it is time to get the paperwork submitted and get to work. There is one small problem: you don’t know if the insurance you have meets the city’s requirements. What do you do?! Take a deep breath, and then keep reading: The city will provide you with a copy of the insurance requirements either with the bid packet or after the contract has been awarded. They probably look something like this: from City of Santa Monica Government The insurance requirements may also be on the website, and can be found by searching “[city name] insurance requirements”. For instance, the City of Long Beach insurance requirements can be found by clicking here. You can also check with the city’s risk management website. If you don’t have the proper insurance or enough insurance, your contract could be delayed or even nullified. Your Hayes Broker should be an integral part of your city contract bid process. You should provide the insurance requirements to your Hayes Broker in order to ensure that you have the proper insurance for the city contract. This information should be provided as soon as possible, and preferably prior to bidding or prior to signing the contract. The sooner your broker knows what insurance you will need, the sooner they can put coverage in place and advise you of additional costs. Best Practices for Meeting City Requirements Most city contracts require at a minimum: Workers compensation & employer’s liability coverage Commercial general liability Automobile coverage Cities may also require: Umbrella/excess liability...
What You Should Know About Equipment Coverage

What You Should Know About Equipment Coverage

If you’re like most business owners, you have a lot of valuable equipment including tools that are vital to your success. Lawn care companies need mowers. Craft beer brewers need kegs. As you are shopping for basic insurance like general liability and workers comp, you should strongly consider covering your important equipment and learning about coverage. How Do I Determine What Insurance Should Cover My Equipment? Some equipment can be covered under Property Coverage. But if your equipment and tools are typically in transit to and from a work site, you should get coverage under an inland marine policy. Why is it called “inland marine insurance” if it covers equipment transported on the land? Inland marine insurance is a term that developed in the 19th century with the advent of railroads. Most companies at the time who purchased insurance were insuring their equipment and goods for transportation across the oceans. Insurance companies who provided this type of coverage specialized in “ocean marine insurance.” As more equipment was transported over land by railroads, the first insurance companies to insure this liability were the ocean marine insurers. These insurers had experience covering equipment and forayed into the new market. The “marine” term stuck, and they simply changed the name from “ocean marine insurance” to “inland marine insurance.” What Can Inland Marine Insurance Cover? Inland marine coverage is insurance for tools and equipment that may be moving from location to location, whether that location is in storage, at a temporary location or on a long term work site.  Tools and equipment are often subject to unique causes of loss that traditional property...