The work that flooring contractors do is often overlooked—and not just because it's all the way down there at floor level. But as much as we may take our floors for granted, they are an absolutely crucial component of any building that we simply can't live without, and a beautifully-installed floor can make a world of difference in enhancing the overall design aesthetic of a room. Flooring has some very important protective functions, and as important as it is for a subfloor to be protected with the right covering, it's just as critically important for a flooring business to have the financial protection that is afforded by the right Ontario flooring contractor insurance.
Every type of business needs insurance coverage to protect against financial loss related to common risks, and flooring contractors are no exception. However, there's no one-size-fits-all option for insurance—the business insurance that provides adequate coverage to a drywaller or landscaper isn't necessarily going to be a perfect fit for a floor installer, because you have different levels of risk exposures. Even among flooring contractors, your insurance requirements might vary quite a bit from the next company's because the way you choose to operate your particular business is unique. That's why you need an experienced broker from Morison Insurance to find you an Ontario flooring contractor insurance policy that is tailor-made to suit your unique insurance requirements.
Everyone is exposed to some level of risk, and if the worst happens and those risks turn into realities, you could be responsible for paying astronomical bills to cover medical bills, repair and replacement for damages, and legal costs if someone brings a lawsuit against you. Most business owners and contractors don't have hundreds of thousands—or even millions—that they can afford to lose if they are found liable for causing personal harm, bodily injury or property damage. That's where the liability coverages on your Ontario flooring contractor insurance come in. If you are protected by the right coverage, your insurance provider will cover costs such as legal defence fees and settlement expenses in the event that you are sued, up to the limits listed on your policy.
Sometimes you encounter financial loss that has nothing to do with legal liability. If your tools are stolen out of your truck, or your equipment is damaged in a fire at your commercial property, you need financial assistance to cover the cost of replacement or repair so you can get back to work and fulfill your contracts with minimal disruption, and that's another big part of what flooring contractor insurance coverage can offer you. With the right types of coverage, your insurance carrier will cover repair and replacement for tools, equipment and property that has been lost or damaged by factors such as fire, theft, vandalism and natural disasters.
Every flooring contractor business, regardless of specialization or business practices, needs some type of Ontario flooring contractor insurance. That includes those who provide services such as:
When it comes to commercial insurance for contractors, there are a number of different types of insurance that you may want or need to include on your flooring contractor insurance policy. What exactly is covered is going to vary quite a bit depending on how your policy is written and the risk exposures that are of the greatest concern for your unique circumstances. Here are some of the common coverages that are recommended for Ontario flooring contractor insurance.
One of the most basic building blocks of any business insurance, commercial general liability is particularly important for contractors who, by necessity, must perform most of their work at their clients' properties rather than their own commercial properties. Someone who only works at their own property still needs commercial general liability insurance, but it's doubly important for contractors because working at a client's home or business exposes them to additional opportunities to be liable for third-party property damage, bodily injury or advertising injury related to slander, libel or copyright infringement.
Here are examples of situations that could result in a commercial general liability claim on your flooring contractor insurance: imagine you're working at a client's home and they trip over building materials you left sitting out. If the client is injured, they can sue you to recover the expense of their medical costs and recovery period. Or, imagine you accidentally bump into a china cabinet and send several expensive collector's items crashing to the floor. Your flooring contractor general liability insurance will cover the cost of repair or replacement for the damaged items, up to your policy limit.
Also called errors and omissions insurance or E&O, a professional liability policy is a form of business insurance that gives floorers financial protection in the event that they are sued because they allegedly caused the plaintiff to incur financial losses against claims made by clients who allege they have suffered financial losses resulting from professional negligence, bad advice, misconduct, failure to deliver a promised service or breach of contract. For example, if you were running behind and decided to hire subcontractors to handle a job for you, but you failed to supervise their work and they did a poor job that didn't meet industry standards, you could be held liable for damages that would be covered by the professional liability portion of your flooring installer insurance. Your insurance provider will also cover costs associated with defending yourself in court, such as attorney fees.
If you install floors at your clients' homes and businesses, you need to get to job sites somehow—and you need to bring your tools, equipment and flooring materials with you. Commercial auto liability insurance is mandatory for commercial vehicles in the same way that personal auto insurance is mandatory for your personal vehicle. It offers the same type of protection, but it's specific to your commercial automobile. It's worth noting that if you use your personal truck or car for business purposes and get into an accident while you're driving for work, your personal car insurance policy may not cover you for damages or liability claims.
Depending on the types of flooring you work with, you likely have a few expensive tools or pieces of equipment that you rely on to do your job correctly and efficiently. If your tools were stolen, or your equipment was damaged in a fire or flood, or your flooring materials were vandalized, it could have a serious impact on your ability to continue working and meet your contractual obligations. And because you have to transport your materials, tools and equipment to and from job sites rather than keeping them safely in a workshop on your own property, there is an additional risk that something could happen to render them unusable.
In most cases, coverage for tools, equipment and materials is not included on a standard business insurance policy. That's why it's so important to speak with a broker about tools and equipment insurance, which is a type of inland marine insurance. It gives you protection against having to pay out of pocket to repair or replace tools, equipment and materials that are stolen, vandalized, or damaged during transit or at a job site, which makes it a critical part of a comprehensive Ontario flooring contractor insurance policy.
Exclusions with your flooring contractor insurance policy depends on how your individual policy is written and which types of coverage you choose to include, so it's best to speak with your broker at Morison Insurance to get a clear picture of what is and is not included with your specific flooring contractor insurance. For example, if you are liable for causing environmental harm through pollution and you don't have pollution liability insurance on your policy, you won't be covered. That being said, some things that are often excluded are liability situations that arise from faulty materials, inexperienced or careless workmanship, and injury to employees or the business owner.
There are no business insurance requirements in Canada, aside from the legal requirement to have commercial auto insurance. But just because you're not technically required to have liability or property flooring contractor insurance, that doesn't mean you can get by without it in a practical sense. It's easy to assume you'll never need to file an insurance claim. You'll just be extra careful and cautious so nothing goes wrong.
Unfortunately, that's just not realistic. You may be the most conscientious contractor out there, but there's just no way to avoid every single mishap that could leave you liable for bodily injury or property damage. At the same time, you could be subjected to property damage such as fire or theft that puts your own tools and equipment out of commission, leaving you with no way to pay the replacement costs. Most contractors can't soak those costs on their own and still continue to operate their business, so Ontario flooring contractor insurance is a sound investment that lets you sleep easily at night knowing you're protected from financial loss. In addition, there are many people who won't hire a contractor who can't provide proof of insurance, so if you don't have coverage, you could be forced to pass on lucrative contracts often enough to really hurt your bottom line.
Most contractors need a minimum of two million in commercial general liability, though more may be recommended if you are exposed to certain liability risks. For tools and equipment coverage, it will be necessary to submit an evaluation of the costs for each individual tool or piece of equipment to determine limits. Generally speaking, if the item in question is less than five years old, it is insured for replacement cost. If it's more than five years old, it is insured for actual cash value.
When you apply for flooring contractor insurance, the insurance carrier evaluates your risk factors and other information to determine your premium cost. Flooring contractor insurance costs vary based on factors such as:
To find out more about what you can expect to pay for Ontario flooring contractor insurance, chat with a licensed broker at Morison Insurance. Once we've had the opportunity to learn more about your unique business, we can find the right coverage options to ensure you're protected against financial loss from liability and property damage.
To get a quote for the right combination of Ontario flooring contractor insurance coverages, call the expert brokers at Morison Insurance. As a family-owned business, we take pride in giving each and every one of our clients the same level of quality service that we would offer our own family members. We'll seek out the best flooring contractor insurance to protect your business from lawsuits and property damage that could cause serious financial pain. Give us a call at 1-800-463-8074 or complete our online quote form to speak to an experienced broker today.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.