In layman’s terms, plumbers insurance is a subcategory of business insurance designed to protect plumbers from many entrepreneurial risks. Although we know that plumbers are responsible enough to manage and minimize the risks involved in their business, it's impossible to remove the risks completely. Plumbers insurance ensures that even if something out of your control does make a mess of things, your plumbing business can survive.
Let’s say that, for example, while you’re on a job, somebody breaks into your vehicle and steals a bunch of your most expensive tools and equipment. Or maybe you slip and fall in a client’s house, causing damage to your equipment. Maybe when you’re absorbed in your work, a client’s kid snuck into the room, was somehow able to get access to a tool of yours that you had safely stored away, and hit their sibling with it? Each of these scenarios could land you in a type of hot water that no trade school could have possibly prepared you for.
Whether you're an independent plumber or you have a team of employees or subcontractors, your work involves significant risks and there are many risk management tips for plumbers, but the biggest is having the correct plumbers insurance. Plumbing requires you to enter homes and businesses to perform necessary tasks, small and large. It is essential to have plumbers insurance customized to meet your business’s specific protection needs, so you're covered in the event of an emergency or disastrous situation.
Every plumbing contractor should have plumber's insurance. While it is impossible to eliminate all risks, it is vital to take the proper steps to protect yourself from unforeseen losses and damages by purchasing insurance for plumbers. Plumbers insurance covers:
You may be the most dedicated and cautious plumber ever. Maybe you have at points been able to eliminate a problem or two by planning ahead. However, problems can still happen. A small mistake can lead to thousands and thousands of dollars in damages, which could have severe consequences for your personal life and your business.
Additionally, many clients will ask if you have plumber's insurance before you start a project. Clients will likely be more confident knowing your business is insured. Also, if you work as a subcontractor on a project or job site, many general contractors will ask for proof of insurance. No matter your situation, plumbers insurance will also give those around you peace of mind as well.
It's also important to note that if you are bidding on government, institutional or commercial contracts in Ontario, having professional liability insurance is mandatory. Usually, commercial general liability insurance of $2 million to $5 million—in some situations more—is required for these types of contracts.
Suffice to say, as a business owner, it's your responsibility to have the correct plumbing insurance. Not only to help you acquire lucrative jobs and for clients to have faith in your services, but also to protect your business from possibly crippling financial difficulties. Should you have to pay for damages, medical bills or legal fees out-of-pocket, you may find yourself struggling to recoup those losses.
Essentially, if you don't have insurance and something goes wrong at your workplace, then you could be found liable for medical expenses, legal costs, damages and more. This can be financially crippling for any business owner, and you may find your business struggling to make ends meet.
Besides, many of your prospective clients are less likely to hire your services if you don't have insurance. A plumber without insurance is considered far less trustworthy than one with insurance. In fact, some contracts may require insurance before you can begin work.
During your work day, there are many problems that could arise. Say you accidentally break a pipe in a client's home, resulting in significant water damage. Or, perhaps while visiting your worksite a third-party slips on a wet surface and falls. Both these situations could result in medical costs and legal expenses that, without insurance, could put your business in the red.
Plumbers insurance protects you and your business from problems that may occur during your day-to-day operations. Insurance for plumbers should be tailored to protect your commercial property, tools, equipment, inventory, business interruption, business income and more. Coverage applies to worksite loss, a plumber’s work premises, and items stolen from a commercial vehicle used for work.
When it comes to workers' compensation insurance, many business owners don't realize that this coverage is provided by the government. Another coverage nuance that many individuals who work out of their home don't realize is that if you use an outbuilding, such as a garage, to store your tools, this part of your home is not covered by home insurance as it's considered a commercial space.
At Morison Insurance, one of our hardworking brokers will work with you to come up with a comprehensive insurance policy that protects you, your property and your employees from a variety of risks. Some of the coverages you may include as part of your plumber's insurance policy include:
Commercial general liability coverage provides financial protection to your business should you be involved in a lawsuit or found liable for bodily injury or property damage. Plumbing worksites can be full of hazards, and it's possible something could go wrong—no matter how diligent you are.
One of the most common workplace injuries is slips and falls. A third-party could very easily check on your work only to slip on a wet surface, or trip over a tool left on the ground. If injured, you could be found responsible for their legal and/or medical expenses.
Also known as commercial building and contents insurance, this policy provides financial coverage for physical loss or damage to your property and its physical contents due to theft, vandalism, or an external disaster such as a fire. Commercial property insurance does not provide financial coverage for general wear and tear.
Similarly to how personal auto insurance offers a range of protection—such as third-party liability, which covers you in the event of an at-fault crash where you injure someone or their property, as well as accident benefits and collision coverage—commercial auto insurance works much the same way. The primary difference is that if you use a vehicle for work purposes, it must be insured under a commercial auto insurance policy—even if you work out of your home.
Equipment breakdown coverage protects your equipment from sudden damage. Equipment breakdown insurance differs from commercial property insurance because the latter only protects equipment that is damaged by external sources, like a fire. If the equipment breaks down due to an internal issue, you wouldn't be covered under a commercial property coverage policy.
Business interruption insurance is insurance coverage that replaces your plumbing business's income in the event it is lost during a disaster. For instance, if your office is damaged in a fire or natural disaster. This type of insurance covers operating expenses, a move to a temporary location if necessary, payroll, taxes and loan payments.
As a plumber, your tools of the trade are one of the most important assets you have. Should your tools be damaged or stolen, you need to be able to replace them promptly. This is where tools, equipment and inventory coverage comes in. It's important to note that this type of insurance only protects your tools and equipment if stolen while on your premises. It does not cover tools stolen while in transit or in another location. This coverage can offer contractors equipment floaters to cover tools and equipment that is offsite.
Also known as commercial crime, employee infidelity and employee dishonesty insurance, crime insurance protects your plumbing business from financial losses incurred by various acts of theft, forgery and even fraud.
Also known as errors and omissions insurance, professional liability coverage protects you from client claims alleging financial loss due to negligence, misconduct, failure to deliver services as promised, and due to bad advice. In some situations professional liability can also protect against alleged advertising injury—perhaps where your services as advertised were not the same as delivered according to the client.
As someone who works primarily in your clients' homes, you may not think you need cyber insurance. But if you use a computer system as part of your business operations, say you use a CRM system, then you should have cyber insurance coverage. This policy protects your plumbing company in case you are hacked and valuable information is lost—such as confidential client information.
Talk to your insurance broker to get the right advice about your insurance. Depending on your needs, you might be inclined to protect your plumbing business further by including a few add-on policies such as disability insurance and life insurance.
There are many ways your plumber's insurance policy can protect your tools from loss, theft and damage. Different policies offer different protections. For instance, commercial property insurance protects your tools from external threats, whereas equipment breakdown insurance protects your tools from internal threats. To establish what extent of insurance you need, it's best to speak with one of the qualified brokers at Morison Insurance.
There is no set price for plumbers insurance. This price often varies based on a variety of factors based around your business model and other insurance history. However, an estimate can be made at $800 annual, although there are plenty of factors that can raise or lower this rate.
There are a range of factors that can affect your plumber's insurance rates. A few of these factors include:
When applying for plumbers insurance, it's helpful to prepare by having a sense of what questions your broker might ask. These questions will help your broker understand what coverage is best for you, based on your plumbing company's unique needs. A few questions you can expect your Morison Insurance agent to ask include:
In addition to knowing what questions your insurance agent will ask, it's also helpful to prepare the necessary information to make the application process as smooth as possible. This should include:
Our friendly and experienced team of brokers here would be more than happy to help you with your plumbers insurance needs. As a family-owned and operated business, at Morison Insurance we treat all our clients with that same family-oriented mindset. We truly have your best interests at heart, and are dedicated to finding the best coverage for your plumbing business's needs. We'll work with you to establish the right coverage to adequately protect your business from a range of perils. Our goal is to build long-term relationships with all our clients, so we can be here for you no matter what happens.
To learn more about plumbers insurance and to get in touch with our expert brokers, give our team a call at 1-800-463-8074. You can also inquire about a quote online.