As an electrical contractor and business owner in Rhode Island, you have many responsibilities. Protecting your business and lifestyle is one of them. Electricians insurance is one of the biggest expenses you have and provides protection for one of your biggest assets: your business. The importance of the right insurance for your business cannot be overstated. This is an overview of electricians insurance coverage to help those in the electrical trades understand and purchase insurance.
The Best Insurance Company for Electrical Contractors
We often get asked: What is the best insurance company? Each electrician is different, and similarly, every insurance company is different. Insurance companies look for well run businesses that operate safely and are reputable. They are selective, and qualifying for the best programs are determined by some of the following:
Amount of residential vs. commercial work.
Whether government work is performed.
Involvement of sub-contractors (No hired sub-contracts is preferred)
Business Owner’s Coverage
Most insurance programs for electricians include a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP). The BOP is a bundled insurance policy that includes General Liability and Property coverage. These bundled coverages make the BOP more affordable than purchasing each coverage separate. The BOP has many additional coverages, options, and endorsements that can vary from one company to another. When evaluating an insurance program for your business, these options play a role in the selection of a specific BOP. As mentioned above, every BOP includes:
– protects your business from covered lawsuits resulting from business operations. The general liability exclusions should be reviewed. Reviewing them helps to determine what program is best for you and what is not covered by the insurance policy.
– provides protection for the property at your office location. The building can be included as part of the BOP if it is owned by the business. The contents such as chairs, desks, office equipment and office furnishings can also be included regardless of whether you own the building or rent.
If your business does not fit into the requirements and guidelines of the BOP, the coverages above can be provided on separate policies.
Electricians Insurance: Tools and Equipment
In Rhode Island, electricians tools and equipment can be included as part of the bundled BOP coverages. This provides coverage for hand tools, power tools, and power equipment that the business owns, rents, or leases. Like the general liability and commercial property coverages, tools and equipment insurance can also be purchased separately with an inland marine insurance policy.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
In RI, workers’ compensation insurance is required by law if a company has one or more employees. Workers’ compensation provides medical care and income for workers that are injured on the job. The employee receives coverage for an accident at work regardless of who was at fault. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to provide benefits for the employee and protection from lawsuits for the employer. The cost of workers’ compensation insurance is based on the type of work performed, the loss history or experience of your company, and the amount of payroll.
In RI, automobile liability insurance is required by law. Automobile insurance protection for an electrician can include a personal auto policy, a commercial auto policy or both. The ownership, size, type, use, radius driven, and the insurance protection desired, determine whether a personal auto policy or commercial auto policy best suits your needs. In addition, cost and convenience can also play a factor in deciding between a commercial or personal automobile insurance policy.
Life and Disability Insurance
RI law, general contractors, and property owners do not require you to have life insurance or disability insurance. However, both types of policies can be an essential part of an insurance program designed to protect your business. If something happened to you, life insurance can be used to cover debts and financial obligations the business may have accumulated. It can provide funds for a transition of ownership, used as part of your tax strategy, or perpetuation plan.
Disability insurance provides income while you are injured. It can also minimize the financial impact on your business in the event of a disability.
A commercial umbrella is a great way to protect your business from a devastating lawsuit or large liability loss. Umbrella policies are purchased in increments of $1 million. An Umbrella provides insurance protection over and above the coverage on your BOP and Business Auto insurance policies. If your business doesn’t have an umbrella policy, you should evaluate the cost and benefits.
As a business owner, your business life and personal lifestyle overlap. Having your personal insurance and commercial insurance with the same local trusted advisor is a convenience and time saver. Having one insurance agent provide and service all your insurance needs simplifies your life and reduces the need to contact multiple companies. Partner with an insurance agent that continually utilizes technology and processes that are intended to help you to succeed and save you time.
Please note, this article was written to help you in general terms. Please consult an insurance professional to discuss your specific situation as it relates to things discussed in this article.
David Brush, CIC
Nancy Mendizabal, CIC
Apple Valley Insurance
Apple Valley Insurance helps people and businesses with insurance needs. We are a locally owned Smithfield, Rhode Island independent business that enjoys working with fellow small business owners. We serve all of Rhode Island and have many options, providing personal and business insurance programs. Contact us for a review or if you are concerned about having the right insurance coverage.