Concrete Contractor Insurance: What You Need To Know
Concrete contractors are essential to nearly all of our infrastructure, laying the groundwork for buildings, highways, bridges, and more. These jobs can also lay the groundwork for insurance claims: Pouring concrete has some unique dangers, like handling heavy equipment, dealing with hazardous materials, and working in varying weather conditions. Claims relating to completed work are also not uncommon. But don’t worry – with the right knowledge, you can find the concrete contractor insurance that’s right for you.
What is concrete contractor insurance?
Concrete insurance is a type of business insurance that provides financial coverage for contractors in the construction industry who mix, pour, finish, or install concrete. But it often isn’t just one type of insurance – you may need several policies to fully cover your business. The cost can vary as well. Read on to learn more about the benefits of concrete business insurance and the types of coverage you’ll need.
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Why Concrete Companies Need Insurance
Insurance for concrete contractors helps cover your costs if you face a legal issue, but also has other benefits.
As a part of the construction industry, concrete contracting businesses automatically face high physical risks. Workers, site visitors, bypassers, and company vehicles can all get into accidents. Job sites can be hazardous: For example, if a formwork collapses, it can cause injury and property damage and delay the work, causing you to lose money. And clients can file claims against you for poor workmanship months after the work is completed. All of this makes concrete contractor insurance essential.
Business licensing requirements vary by state, but many areas require a certain level of liability insurance for industries like construction. Most states also require that businesses with employees have workers compensation insurance, a type of insurance that’s especially important for high-risk industries.
Peace Of Mind
Even if your state doesn’t require you to have certain types of contractor insurance, making sure you’re covered is still a good idea. The right insurance policies can reassure clients and general contractors that they won’t have to pay out of their own pockets if something goes wrong during the project.
Essential Insurance For Concrete Contractors
So what types of concrete insurance do you need? For the most comprehensive insurance, find a provider who can offer you these policies.
Commercial General Liability
Commercial general liability, or CGL, covers you for claims related to personal bodily injury and property damage. For example, if wet concrete spills onto a client’s property, causing damage, this insurance could cover the repair costs. For personal injury liability, it would cover the third party’s legal fees and medical expenses. This is the most basic concrete contractor insurance you need to have.
Workers compensation is another essential type of insurance and is required by most states. Construction workers often take on risky situations, and if they’re injured, your business could be on the hook for the bill. Suppose a worker gets hit by a concrete mixer or other equipment and is injured. Workers comp would cover their medical bills and a portion of their wages during recovery.
Chances are you have company trucks you use to get your supplies and workers to your job sites – and that means you need commercial auto insurance for your concrete company. If an employee gets in an accident on company time, it covers the cost of the damage to the vehicles, as well as medical bills if needed. Keep in mind this insurance may not cover you if an employee is using a company vehicle for personal reasons, so be sure your employees know the rules and have their own coverage.
Contractor’s Tools and Equipment
Construction tools and equipment are often stolen – they’re worth a lot of money and difficult to track. Your commercial property policy will only cover them if they’re stolen from the building on the policy. That’s why you want to supplement that policy with contractor’s tools and equipment insurance, which will replace both owned and rented tools and equipment that are lost, stolen, or damaged during a job. For example, if your concrete mixer is stolen from a secure job site, this would cover the cost of replacing it.
Common Claims For Concrete Business Insurance
Pouring concrete may seem low-risk, but there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. Here are the most common claims we see.
- Workers Comp: The construction industry has one of the highest rates of workers comp claims, and concrete is no exception. Concrete workers are vulnerable to strains from lifting, crushing injuries from the equipment, and even respiratory illness from mixing the materials. Workers compensation covers all of these cases and more.
- Bodily Injury: While site visitors and passersby shouldn’t come in contact with heavy equipment, it can happen – and result in injuries. Slip-and-fall claims and other injuries due to spilled concrete or improper signage are more common. Personal injury claims like these would be covered by your general liability policy.
- Vehicle Accidents: If a company-owned vehicle causes an accident while transporting tools, materials, or workers to a job site, your commercial auto policy would cover the damages caused to the other vehicle and any medical costs if injuries occurred.
- Poor Workmanship: Pouring slabs and foundations is one of the most common types of concrete work, but if it isn’t done correctly, it can cause structural issues and result in a completed work claim. In this type of claim, your client files to be compensated for the damage the poor workmanship caused, and your liability insurance would pay it out.
How much does concrete contractor insurance cost?
The needs of construction contractors vary widely, so like most businesses in this industry, the cost of a concrete insurance policy depends on a few factors:
- Business Size: The more employees you have, the more insurance you’ll need to cover them. Large contracts or multiple job sites also mean more opportunities for accidents and claims, which increases your risk.
- Claims History: Never had a claim made against you? Your premiums will likely stay low. But if you have a history of accidents that were your fault, your premiums will go up with each claim.
- Location: Businesses in areas prone to natural disasters, like coastal Florida, typically have higher premiums. High-crime areas can also raise your rates for property, equipment, and auto insurance.
Top 3 Highest-Risk Concrete Businesses
Your insurance costs could also depend on the type of business you run. There are certain types of concrete operations that take on more risk than others.
Road And Bridge Work
Road and bridge work is the hardest type of concrete contractor insurance to find. Because road work puts workers next to fast-moving traffic, and bridge work involves heights and dangerous conditions like high winds, it means more workers compensation claims and higher payouts. The potential liability claims from faulty construction are also high.
Residential Foundation Work
Concrete business insurance for a contractor that does lower-risk work such as sidewalks, driveways, or parking lots is cheaper than insurance for a contractor doing residential foundations. If a sidewalk or driveway fails, it probably won’t damage any personal property aside from the slab itself. But when a residential foundation fails, it can cause damage to the entire home. That means residential foundations can result in larger and more frequent claims.
Although not as risky as bridge work or residential foundations, many general liability insurance carriers have a hard time insuring contractors that build retaining walls. Depending on where it’s built, if a retaining wall fails, it can cause major damage because whatever it’s holding back will be released. That can mean multiple claims as well as high-cost claims.
How To Lower Your Insurance Costs
Even high-risk concrete businesses can lower their insurance costs by putting the right policies in place and providing insurers with the right information.
Carefully read your policy
Reading your policy is important so you don’t end up in a situation where you’re not covered. First, make sure your business is classified correctly, as this plays a role in your coverage options. Then make sure you understand your policy exclusions. Many concrete insurance policies don’t cover subcontractors’ work, which can be a problem if you use them. Another common exclusion is pollution liability, a type of insurance many concrete contractors want due to the risk of polluting bodies of water.
Provide safety training for your workers
Workers compensation is an expensive part of concrete contractor insurance, especially if you’re doing any work from heights or on roads. Regardless of the type of work you do, it’s smart to create a comprehensive safety training program so your employees know how to be safe on the job and prevent accidents. That can reduce claims made against you, which can lower your premiums.
Share positive information
It can be difficult to determine the cost of insurance for concrete companies that don’t yet have a history of coverage and claims. If you’re a new business, providing information about your business plan, safety certifications, completed training programs, and other experience and skills can help them build you a more favorable risk profile and offer lower rates.
The Bottom Line
The coverage you need – and the cost of that coverage – varies widely in the concrete industry. Certain types of operations, locations, and business sizes are more high-risk than others. But finding concrete contractor insurance doesn’t have to be a hassle. Working with an insurance provider that’s experienced in all areas of construction, including concrete, can mean you’ll get a better deal for the coverage you need. LandesBlosch has decades of experience in the construction industry, so contact us today to get started.
About The Author: Austin Landes, CIC
Austin is an experienced Commercial Risk Advisor specializing in property & casualty risk management for religious institutions, real estate, construction, and manufacturing.
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