General liability insurance is the backbone of many contractors’ insurance portfolio, but it may provide too general a coverage option to really protect your business.
What Does General Liability Cover?
For third-party bodily injury and property damage claims, general liability insurance provides an important form of protection. The rest of the coverage offered by the policy is dependent on the additional endorsements and exclusions listed in an individual policy. Your general liability policy will have its own set of limits and deductibles and, no matter what is included or excluded, those limits alone might necessitate the presence of secondary coverage to pick up where your general liability limits leave off.
At no point will a general liability policy protect against purposeful damage, and it may not protect in the event of professional negligence. To fill gaps in your coverage, consider the following:
- Professional Liability Protection: You might consider adding professional liability protection if you are responsible for duties such as:
- Construction management
- Design delegation or in-house design
- Plumbing or electrical work
- Pollution Liability: This coverage can generally be added as an endorsement to a general liability policy. It protects against damage caused by pollutants that are produced as a result of the job being conducted.
- Disability insurance: If you are injured at work, your general liability policy provides no protection. A short- and long-term disability policy will ensure that you have an income throughout your disability.
- Worker’s Compensation: If you have regular employees, then you need worker’s compensation insurance unless you are prepared to self-insure the claims of employees who are injured at work.
- Commercial auto: If you use a car to get to and from jobsites or to run errands for your business, then you need a commercial auto insurance policy. That will help cover liability claims that arise out of accidents while driving or after a client’s property is damaged by your vehicle or while it is held inside it.
- Umbrella liability: To supplement the limits of your general liability and commercial auto policies, you can add an umbrella policy. An umbrella policy might also protect you from damages caused by slander or libel.
- EIFS: If you or your subcontractors use a synthetic stucco system on your construction projects, then make sure you include an EIFS policy or that your general liability policy includes it.
The goal of insurance is to protect your business from loss. Work with an experienced agent who understands the issues that contractors face and can help you get full coverage through a family of policies, and you can conduct your business with confidence.
Contact us to discuss insurance coverage at 512-518-6292 or get a free Austin business insurance quote.