Types of Insurance a Roofer Must Have
Perhaps the skills of a roofer are underrated these days not putting into perspective that this trade is a craft requiring time, balance and proficiency which is developed through years of experience in the field. No matter how experienced a roofer may be, however, there is always considerable risk involved, not to mention this is one of the top ten most dangerous jobs in the world!
Therefore it is crucial for a roofer to carry general liability roofing insurance and trust me, this will also give your contractor, homeowner or business owner peace of mind knowing that with the proper risk management these risks are covered in the event of a claim. The types of insurance a roofer must have to differ based on the coverage they offer. companies get insurance coverage determined based on their work schedule, whether they hire subcontractors and the exact nature of the company. The work schedule refers to whether they work during all months of the year because in colder climates, roofing companies don’t operate in winter months and workers tend to do other side jobs during this period.
Professional liability is advanced compared to general liability coverage. The coverage is suitable for roofing companies that offer a consultation service to their customers. This is because it protects the roofing company from any legal claims that arise in the scenario that your recommendations to a customer result in loss or injury.
Roofers general liability insurance also provides vital protection for a business. Whether you are a self-employed contractor or represent a large roofing company, due to the heavy-duty tools involved in roofing, a pure accident may cause a high amount of damage which you may be held liable for. This can include fire damage from use of a blow torch or, more commonly, tools or materials dropping from the roof height and damaging the property beneath, such as a parked car, garden tiles, garden ornaments or a window. Falling objects may also seriously injure a person below, and they may claim compensation from you.
Of course, you should always make sure that yourself or any employee working at heights has undergone the appropriate training for the tasks required with this job role, and all equipment is inspected regularly for quality, to minimize and prevent as many accidents as possible. However, sometimes, even with fully trained roofers wearing all the appropriate protective workwear and operating tools safely, accidents will still happen regardless. People get hurt, things get broken. The key to not letting these accidents financially or legally ruin your business is to acquire the appropriate roofers’ general liability insurance. Your yearly premium for this particular job operation may be higher than most other business policies but if you want to make a good investment and expand your business opportunities, obtaining proper roofers’ insurance is the most beneficial route to take on your business venture.
Injuries are not always avoidable either. Roofers may endure accidental damage from tools used, for example, a roofer might misjudge while installing shingles resulting in an injury from a hammer or possibly lifting or carrying heavy objects carelessly or without having had proper training. There are also hot roofers who handle materials that could cause heat damage to a customer’s property. Not to mention the apparent risk of slips or falls from the roof. Falls from a height account for 35% of significant injuries in the construction industry and, sadly, roofers account for 25% of employees killed by falls from a height across all job classes. This is why it is also essential to carry workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation covers your employees should they become sick or injured while on the job and are unable to return to work.
Other insurance types to consider are Commercial vehicle insurance and tools and equipment floater. This insurance policy can be added on to general liability insurance policy and protects your tools if they were to break down, get damaged or stolen.
The most apparent hazard in having to work from the top of a building or home is height which gives a roofer increased risk factors of expensive accidents. If something on the ground level were to get hit from a falling object from the top of the roof, it is more than likely to get damaged, and God forbid if the objective is a person. This could lead to severe injury. Instead of a roofer holding himself financially liable for these types of incidents that could occur unintentionally at any time, having the proper coverage in place will help prevent significant financial losses whether you are a sole proprietor or working for a large roofing business.
The following are examples of common types of claims that a good roofers’ insurance will cover:
• Your blow torch accidentally causes fire damage to the house
• A tile falls off the roof and lands on a parked car below
• Your ladder falls over and goes through a window
• Water damage caused by a leak after a storm hits
Keep in mind that some roofing insurance carriers may exclude water damage coverage in the event of a claim. Always look over your list of exclusions before signing your general liability insurance proposal.
Water damage to a home from a roof leak is a widespread occurrence, so if this coverage is excluded from your insurance proposal, it is better to endorse this on to your coverage for a couple extra hundred dollars and get the best bang for your buck. Otherwise, you will regret paying out of pocket after a storm strikes over the weekend causing substantial water damage inside your customer’s home.
Government institutions, building management firms and significant contractors may have whole departments that deal with business insurance, but if you are a private builder or building owner looking at different roofing contractors, it is essential to know what constitutes proper coverage. For example, job size does not matter. This is a big misconception regarding roofers’ insurance: the size of the job determines the amount of coverage you need. False. In reality, if you need a $2,500 roof repair or a new $1-million-dollar roof installed, you should be looking for the same insurance coverage from your contractor. The fact of the matter is that you want to make sure that your roofing contractor carries a certificate of legal contractors liability exposure against a third party for bodily injury and property damage, including business interruption, should something unfortunate happen, such as water or fire damage.
Overall, roofing contractors insurance will cover five areas of liability:
• Bodily Injury
• Property Damage
• Personal Injury
• Advertising Injury
Also, there are three types of damages that a roofers’ contractor insurance should cover:
• Compensatory Damage- this includes any financial loss of the claimant and any additional financial loss resulting from claims.
• General Damage- this covers a claimant’s intangible losses such as pain and suffering or mental anguish.
• Punitive Damage- This covers financial penalties and damages against your business from committing a wrongful act.
So if you are making a small roof repair to your mall roof, the building catches fire, and you can’t operate for two months, the size of the roofing job is irrelevant—what counts is that you have this covered by the appropriate general liability insurance. If you are a homeowner in need of a roofing repair and restoration service be sure to ask for a certificate of insurance on any contract job. The document should be job-specific, identifying you like the additional insured.