There are inherent dangers that go with operating a business in the construction industry. Roofing contractors are faced with unique risks that make them more prone to property damage, workers’ injuries, and fatalities! There are several safety measures that can be implemented in order to prevent such injuries and deaths from occurring; on top of prevention, you should also hedge your business from a huge financial setback when the business has adequate roofers insurance coverage.
The risks involved in the roofing business are clear, but how risky exactly? According to this report from the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association, the number of fatalities in the roofing industry has gone up in recent years. This claim was also supported by the Roofing Contractor on their website citing that the number of roofing fatalities in 2019 is up by 15% (compared to data from 2018). To give you an idea, the number of fatalities in 2018 was 96 and this was up to 111 in 2019.
In the roofing business, fall-related incidents are attributed to the growing number of injuries and deaths. Aside from improving its planning for fall protection and observing worker safety codes, contractors can safeguard their business from financial risks with the right type of roofing insurance coverage.
First things first…
Before you shop around for quotes on roofers insurance, it pays to carefully assess your business’ risk first. With roofing, in particular, selecting a single policy might not be enough protection. Currently, there are three types of insurance that roofers need:
- Roofers General Liability – A general liability insurance is recommended for roofing contractors because it protects you from financial or legal obligations in the event that a third party, typically a customer, suffers from personal injury or if the work delivered resulted in property damage.
- Workers Compensation – Roofing work has one of the highest fatal injury rates in the US. Obtaining workers compensation insurance for your roofing business, along with observance of safe working practices, can significantly reduce medical expenses or loss of income due to work-related injury or accidents.
- Surety Bond – Surety bond is a type of business insurance that will pay the customer in the event that you failed to complete the job you are hired to do. As soon as you accept a job from a customer, you are legally obligated to complete that. If not, your customer can file a claim to recoup their expenses.
Do you need more coverage?
As a roofer, you should look beyond the traditional coverage for your insurance policy. The above-listed types of coverage are not often sufficient to protect your business from financial damages. In some cases, you need to obtain additional coverage, depending on the nature and unique challenges of your roofing business.
When comparing roofers liability insurance, you can add the following inclusions to your policy:
- Commercial Auto Insurance – This can be purchased separately or added to your roofers insurance. It specifically covers the vehicle you use for your business and offers protection against death or injury from car accidents involving your business vehicle, as well as property damage.
- Tools and Equipment Insurance – Like your business vehicle, your tools and equipment are vital to ensure business operation. Make sure they are covered by your insurance policy so you can pay for their repair or replacement in the event of damage, loss, or theft. Otherwise, you have to pay for them out of your own pocket and it will cause a dent in your company’s finances.
- Inland Marine Insurance – This type of insurance offers protection for your tools and equipment while being transported from one location to your working site, especially when they are at distant locations. This is also a good type of policy to obtain if you are leasing your tools and equipment. Obviously, you won’t need this type of coverage if you are working in one area and your business tools and equipment don’t need to be transported.
- Pollution Liability Insurance – This is another type of coverage you might want to consider adding to your roofers insurance. Your workers are not the only ones exposed to the hazards of your work. In the course of your roofing work, you could potentially cause property damage or injury by releasing pollutants into the general vicinity of your work site. At the same time, contamination can occur from the materials you are using, such as adhesives, sealants, asphalt, and more. Make sure you are covered for any damages that could result from it.
- Business Income Coverage – This is one of the most important types of coverage you can add to your policy. It will protect your business from loss of income in the event you are forced to close the business due to uncontrollable circumstances such as extreme weather conditions or fire.
How much does a roofer’s insurance cost?
There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all insurance coverage for roofing businesses. Therefore, the best way to determine the cost of your insurance policy is to assess the unique features and circumstances affecting your business.
Simply put, insurance companies will look into the following factors when giving you a quote:
- Size of the business
- Number of employees
- Location/City of operation
- History of claims
- Types of tools/equipment used
- Types of vehicle/s operated
Businesses with a higher risk will be quoted a higher roofers liability insurance cost (versus those with a lower risk). How do insurance companies assess this? First off, they will be looking at your history of filing insurance claims.
You can also expect your insurance premium to go up when you increase the limits of your insurance policy. Obviously, you will pay higher premiums if you want a higher coverage on your policy.
It is worth noting that every insurance company employs different risk ratings. This is why it pays to obtain as many quotes as possible so you can get the best deal without compromising financial protection.
Running a roofing business entails a lot of risk. It’s important to be prepared and protect your business from unexpected financial obligations by obtaining roofer insurance. In the event of a third-party accident, injury, or property damage, your insurance policy will pay for those expenses. Otherwise, it will be difficult for your company to recover from this financial setback.
Every roofing business is unique. As the business owner, you understand the extent of protection your business needs. Take this into account when choosing the right policy to give you peace of mind.