Do carpenters need business insurance?
Carpenters get paid to provide goods and services to customers. Working with heavy materials, sharp tools, and in construction zones can be exciting, but also dangerous. When it comes to risk, there’s nothing better than having insurance. Peace of mind and financial protection… What’s not to like?
Types of carpenters insurance
Carpenters’ work is physical. You work with your hands to build things. Your work environment isn’t nearly as safe as working in a cubicle. It doesn’t matter if you’re operating as a sole proprietor, or have a team working with you. Whatever the case may be, having insurance is definitely better than not having insurance in the event of an accident.
Wondering what commercial insurance policies are best for your carpentry business? A great place to start is with general liability, workers’ compensation, and inland marine insurance. Aside from lumber, these coverages are a carpenter’s best friend.
Carpenter liability insurance
General liability insurance is a nice blanket of coverage for the various things that can go awry while working. General liability is general, and that’s a good thing! This coverage is especially important for carpenters, since you are typically working out in public or with others.
Coverage benefits include:
- You’re installing new cabinets in a client’s home and one dismounts, cracking the marble countertop below. Your general liability policy would pay for the replacement or repair costs.
- Bodily injury: You overlooked a nail when you were cleaning up for the day, and your customer steps on it when walking to the kitchen for a late-night snack. Rather than having to foot the bill for their doctor’s visit or tetanus shot, your policy would pay for the expenses.
- Personal/advertising injury: This includes libel and slander. If you get caught bad-mouthing your client and they file a lawsuit, you’re protected.
- Legal fees, court costs, and lawyers’ fees are also included in this policy, should you face a lawsuit.
Workers’ comp for carpenters
Workers’ compensation insurance is a very important policy for carpenters, because it protects you and your employees should someone get hurt or sick on the job.
While most states require carpenters with employees to carry this coverage, if you’re a one-person operation, you may not be legally required to have workers’ comp insurance. But just because your state doesn’t mandate it, doesn’t mean the person hiring you will not. Many hiring parties require carpenters to have this coverage so if something happens, the liability is removed from themselves.
Coverage benefits include:
- Medical costs due to illness or injury caused by work duties
- Recovery and return to work services
- Employers liability coverage, should an employee file a lawsuit
- Reimbursement for lost wages
- Funeral expenses
Feel like taking your chances? Take a chance on something else! Head to Vegas or bet on a horse race. There’s no sense in risking your hard-earned money on unexpected catastrophes, especially when an insurance policy could simply cover the bills for you.
Speaking of bills, here are a few quick tips on how to save when it comes to workers’ compensation:
- Implement a safety program
- Establish a drug-free program
- Have a back-to-work program
- Consider a ghost policy if you have no employees
Carpenter inland marine insurance
When you think of protecting your work gear, you most likely think of commercial property insurance. This is a great policy to have, however, the coverage ends once you are over 500 feet away from your business premises. And since carpenters are typically working on job sites, an additional coverage like inland marine insurance can be very helpful.
Inland marine insurance protects your tools, equipment, and inventory on the go and whilst in other locations. There are many add-ons, or “endorsements”, when it comes to inland marine.
Primary endorsements for this policy include:
- Contractor tools and equipment
- Builder’s risk
- Installation floater
Essentially, all of these endorsements provide different types of coverages for your work and materials.
Other insurance policies carpenters may consider
We recommend you consider a few other policies that are a great fit for carpenters.
- Business property: Protect your tools and other commercial property from things like fire, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters. Your tools are your investment, and if you have to replace them without insurance, it’s just money out of your pocket. Note: If you store your work tools at your house and something happens to them, your homeowners policy usually only covers up to $500 in business property damage.
- Business auto: Carpenters are always on the go, traveling from job sites, to hardware stores, and more. Business auto insurance protects vehicles owned by your business.
- Hired & non-owned auto: This policy covers your company should any vehicles that work on behalf of your business get in an accident. This pertains to vehicles you hire, borrow, or rent. It also includes employees’ personal vehicles while being used for work-related errands.