What insurance do masons need?
Whether you’re a brick mason, a block mason, or a stone masonry contractor, you have a physically demanding job. You need to consider the right insurance when you work as a contractor.
Accidents can happen at any time, to anyone–even a master craftsman. And the only thing worse than an accident is when you have to pay for the costs that go along with it. At least with insurance those costs will be taken care of.
All forms of commercial insurance have merit. But considering the physical nature of your work, and the fact that you have to interact with the public (like going to physical job sites), the best place to start is with workers’ comp and general liability insurance.
Mason Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is a basic, catch-all form of commercial insurance designed to cover many of the random things that can go wrong on the job. This policy is especially important if you work around the public, which, as a mason you do.
- Bodily Injury: Your client trips over the cord of your concrete saw, fracturing their wrist. Your liability policy will cover the costs instead of you.
- Property Damage: The new stone chimney at a client’s home doesn’t’ bond correctly for some reason. The stones pull away from the siding and ruin the side of the house. Yur policy would foot the bill for replacement or repair costs instead of you.
- Personal Advertising Injury: This refers to slander, libel, copyright infringement, and false advertising.
- Legal Defenses and Settlements: If someone gets hurt as a result of your operations and slaps you with a lawsuit, your court costs and legal fees will be taken care of.
Workers’ Comp for Masonry Contractors
Workers’ comp covers masons and their employees in the event of a workplace injury. Working with materials like brick, block, and heavy marble carries physical risks. It covers medical bills and lost wages if you get hurt on the job.
It also helps you get hired because hiring parties don’t have to worry about you being covered if you get hurt. Many general contractors and other hiring parties require contractors working for them to have their own Certificate of Insurance. By hiring workers with proof of insurance, it takes the liability away from the person hiring you. If an accident happens on the job, they will not be held responsible. Their workers’ comp policy will not have to pay for the claim, yours would.
Workers’ comp covers:
- Falling Ill from a Job-related Activity: Crystalline silica is a mineral found in many masonry materials you handle, like stone, concrete, mortar, and rock. When these materials are cut, the crystalline silica is suspended in the air. Breathing in these fine particles can lead to lung damage. If you require medical attention after extended exposure, the costs will be covered by your workers’ comp policy.
- Getting Hurt on the Job: While creating a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace for a residential project, you fall and break your collarbone. Your trip to the hospital bill would be taken care of by workers’ comp.
- Lost Wages: If you or an employee needs time away from work to recover from an illness or injury, your wages will be supplemented.
- Employers’ Liability: Should an employee file a claim in regard to negligence or failure to provide a safe work environment, settlements, attorney’s fee, and other court costs will be covered.
- Employee Lawsuits: If an employee files a lawsuit for lost wages and/or medical expenses, you will be protected.
- Completed Operations:
Covers liabilities for property damage or injuries to a third party after your masonry work is done.
There are few other types of commercial coverage that are a great fit for masons, including commercial property, inland marine, commercial auto, and umbrella insurance.
As a mason, you’re great with your hands, but that doesn’t mean you can successfully complete your work without other equipment. You need hand tools to get the job done–and they can be expensive. From something inexpensive like a brick trowel, to a stone buster, smart block or paver saw. Masonry saws can cost a pretty penny, especially if the saw blade has diamond. And if something goes wrong, do you really want to have to replace these items?
Business property insurance protects your work tools and equipment while on your business premises. The policy also covers the premises itself, including additional contents like furniture and electronics. In the event of fire, theft, or some other form of disaster, your commercial property will be protected. Basically, the replacement and repair costs will be taken care of if something happens.
While property insurance is good to have, the protection ends after you leave your business premises. That means while you’re at other job sites, or on the go, your tools and equipment will not be protected. That’s where inland marine insurance comes in handy. This policy protects your gear in transit.
Builders Risk insurance provides coverage if you are doing contracting work on a new building construction. The top contractor on the project usually buys it. Builders risk typically provides coverage for all business property kept on the site for the duration of the job, including things owned by subcontractors.
Business Auto Insurance
Business auto insurance is a form of liability coverage that covers trucks, cars, or any other service vehicle that’s owned by your business. Coverages include:
- Property damage liability coverage
- Collision coverage
- Bodily injury liability coverage
- Physical damage coverage
This policy covers vehicles your business owns. If you borrow, rent, or hire vehicles on behalf of your business, they will not be covered under your business auto policy. For those vehicles to be protected, you would need hired and non-owned auto insurance. This policy also extends coverage to you and your employees for driving personal vehicles used for work-related purposes.
Also known as excess liability insurance, umbrella policies provide extra liability coverage on top of an existing policy you may have.
All insurance policies have limits of liability, which refers to the price they will pay if a claim occurs. Once that limit has been met, you have to pay the remainder. If you have an umbrella policy, it will kick in and pay the remaining balance.
Masonry Insurance Costs
Liability Insurance Cost
Many masonry contractors pay somewhere around $690 per year for a liability insurance policy. But the price of liability insurance will vary depending on things like how big your business and where you’re located.
Looking to get more bang for your buck? Consider a business owner’s policy, or BOP. BOPs combine general liability and property insurance into a packaged deal that offers more coverage and at a lower price than purchasing each of the policies separately.
Workers’ Comp Cost
The cost of masonry contractor workers’ comp prices rely on a few factors:
- Your Location: States make the rules of workers’ comp. That makes the cost of these policies vary. For example, some states require you to have workers’ comp for yourself, while others just mandate your employees have coverage. By including yourself in coverage, your workers’ comp premium will be higher.
- Your Occupation: Your occupation plays a role in computing the cost of workers’ comp. All industries are assigned a rate based on the level of liability they face. The greater the risk, the higher your classification rate will be. For example, a mason’s classification rates higher than an accountant’s. That’s because masons work with saws and climb ladders, while accountants sit at a desk behind a computer all day. Kind of different.
- Your Payroll: The more employees you have, the greater the cost of your policy.
- Your Claims History: Your experience modifier, or mod, keeps track of your claims. If you’ve had no claims, your mod will be around a 1.0, which is great! If you have had losses, that number will rise. For example, if your mod is a 2.0, that means your insurance premium could be double.
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