What Type of Insurance Do You Need As a Carpenter?Posted on Apr 28, 2021
As a carpenter or woodworking handyman, you offer an invaluable service to the people you serve, but there’s always the risk of an accident occurring or having your property damaged.
Regardless of whether you’re self-employed in a solo practice or you have a team of employees, if you own a carpentry business, your top priority should be keeping your clients, yourself, and your team protected with the right types of insurance.
Types of Insurance for Carpenters
There are various types of insurance for carpenters. Some are optional, like health insurance for carpenters, and others are required, like commercial general liability. All, however, are a valuable asset to your carpentry business. Common carpenter insurance policies include:
1. Commercial General Liability
Regardless of how small or big your business might be, it’s crucial you get commercial general liability insurance. This type of insurance provides coverage for property damage and third-party injuries, as well as settlements and legal fees.
For example, if you or one of your employees damages a client’s property, then general liability insurance would kick in and help pay for the replacement or repair of the damaged property. If the client decides to file a lawsuit against you, commercial general liability will also help cover the legal fees.
2. Commercial Property
This type of insurance helps to cover any damages to your business, which includes:
- The structure
- The property surrounding it
- The contents inside it
For instance, if there’s a storm that causes damage to your building, there’s an act of vandalism, or someone steals equipment, commercial building insurance will help you pay for the repairs or the damaged equipment or replacement of stolen equipment.
3. Workers Compensation
If you have employees, workers compensation insurance is essential. It’s actually required in most states. This coverage will protect your staff from any work-related illnesses or injuries that they might sustain. If a worker suffers an injury while they’re using machinery, workers comp will pay:
- Their wages lost while out of work
- Their medical bills
- Any needed rehabilitation
- Various other things
4. Commercial Auto
If you use a truck or car for your business, it’s a good idea to get commercial auto insurance, also referred to as business auto insurance. If you are ever involved in an accident while you’re in a company vehicle driving to the job site, this coverage will pay for the damages to the vehicles as well as any damaged equipment inside and medical bills.
5. Commercial Umbrella Insurance
It offers an added liability protection layer to various other policies you may have. It starts kicking in when you have reached your other applicable insurance policies’ limits to protect you from claims that exceed the coverage amount available from your other policy.
6. Error and Omissions (E&O) Insurance
In short, contractor’s errors and omissions (E&O) insurance is often used interchangeably with professional indemnity insurance is and professional liability insurance. It protects you against oversights or mistakes you may make as a carpenter.
7. Installation Floater
If you’re in a carpentry specialization requiring you to make specific products and deliver them to the job site to install (i.e., custom cabinet maker), you’ll need an installation floater. This coverage protects property stored on or transported to the job site that’s awaiting installation. When you have this coverage, if your product is stolen or a vehicle accident damages the product, you can recover your costs.
Be sure to work with your independent insurance agent to determine your exact carpenter’s insurance needs.
Risks Carpenters Face
There are saws and hammers, ladders, chemicals, and more carpenters face on a day-to-day basis – any of which can lead to harm or injury. In fact, carpenters face numerous liability and property risks, including:
- Income loss
- Property loss, vandalism, theft, or damage
- Liability claims
- Employee injury, illness, or death
Having the proper insurance will help you mitigate the expenses related to staff injuries, materials and equipment damage, vehicle accidents, and more.
Carpenter’s Insurance Exclusions
Various carpenter’s insurance policies may have different exclusions. It’s essential to go over the exclusions listed on your policy.
For instance, a framing contractor may have exclusions that relate to liability coming from their subcontractors. A cabinetmaker with a woodshop, on the other hand, may have an exclusion that doesn’t cover fire damage if there’s no sprinkler system (protective safeguard endorsement).
Get Your Carpenter’s Insurance Quote Today
Carpenter insurance expenses will depend on the limits of your policy, the value of your equipment, your business risks, and other factors. An Otterstedt independent insurance agent will be happy to assist you in finding the right coverage that will suit the needs of your carpentry business, regardless of whether you operate solo or hire employees.