General Contractor Insurance

What You Need to Know About General Contractor Insurance

General contractors have many responsibilities when it comes to working on a new project. And with each new job comes numerous possibilities for industry-related risks and liability claims they have to manage. This is where comprehensive general contractor insurance comes in. 

The key with general contractor insurance is building it to fit precisely what your business needs in terms of protection. Whether you are a small contractor or you work for a large organization, you deserve to know that your livelihood is protected. 

Insurance Coverage Options

With every new contracting job comes a new set of risks, so whether you are an independent contractor or the CEO of a large company, you need contractor insurance to safeguard your business from unforeseen events and liabilities. 

Fortunately, our super Insurance Hero team makes finding contractor insurance in Ontario effortless. We understand that setbacks can be costly. We also understand that insurance can be, too. With our expert knowledge and experience with insurance, we will work diligently to help you get the insurance you need at the most affordable rates possible.

What is general contractor insurance?

General contractor insurance is a customized insurance portfolio built to safeguard contractors from various industry-related risks, such as damages, losses or bodily injury to a third party or client. Your general contractor insurance will cover the cost of legal fees in the event of a claim against your business and any damages that occur, such as repair costs, property damage, medical bills and more.

What are the requirements for contractor insurance?

Depending on the type of contracting work you do, your insurance needs will vary. For example, a roofing contractor’s needs will vastly differ from a landscaper. However, to protect themselves from financial loss, all general contractors are required to have commercial general liability insurance. 

In the event that a third party injures themselves or third-party property damage occurs at the job site and even after the job is finished, commercial general liability insurance safeguards you from legal responsibility. This insurance policy covers any associated medical bills, legal fees, and repairs or replacements. It also protects you should the above occur on your company’s premises (e.g., your company’s office) or against any advertising and reputational injuries (e.g., slander, libel, copyright infringement).

Our award-winning team of insurance heroes will review your business’s specific wants and needs to help you get the best insurance possible.

What does general contractor insurance cover?

General contractor insurance begins with commercial general liability insurance, paired with additional policies as needed. Contractors should strongly consider the following types of coverage for their comprehensive insurance policy:

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance protects your brick-and-mortar office and the contents inside by covering the financial loss from such perils as:

  • Property damage due to natural disasters, flood, fire, vandalism or theft.
  • Property damage or theft of electronics, equipment, company documents or employees’ personal belongings.
  • Inventory theft by employees.

Commercial property insurance can also include business interruption, which protects your business should you be unable to work due to an illness or injury and have to shut it down temporarily. This helps offset ongoing costs from income losses, such as bills, employee wages, etc.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Should you or your employees use any vehicles for work-related purposes, such as transportation of materials or getting to and from job sites, you need commercial auto insurance, as personal auto insurance will not cover vehicles used for work. This includes the following:

    • Third-party liability: If you or an employee are found to be at fault in an accident while driving a commercial vehicle that leads to a third party’s property damage or injury/death, this policy will cover legal fees, repairs and medical expenses.
  • Accident benefits: This policy covers the driver, passengers, or pedestrians if injured in a vehicle accident, regardless of who is found to be at fault. These benefits include:
      • Income replacement, non-earner and caregiver benefits
      • Medical rehabilitation and attendant care benefits
      • Death and funeral benefits
      • Miscellaneous benefits
  • Uninsured automobile coverage: Should the occupants of a commercial vehicle be involved in an accident with an underinsured at-fault motorist or a hit-and-run driver, this policy covers medical expenses, lost wages and more.
  • Direct compensation-property damage: If you are found not at fault while using a commercial vehicle, this policy covers the cost of repairs or replacement of your vehicle, its contents and a rental.

Builder’s Risk Insurance

This insurance policy safeguards your building and liability in the event of costly claims while working on a project. Builder’s risk insurance covers the building, on-site materials and liability claims throughout the duration of the project. Also known as construction liability insurance or course of construction insurance, contractors often require clients to purchase this policy as they are the property owner. However, sometimes the contractor is also responsible for purchasing this policy. Make sure to confirm who’s purchasing the policy. 

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, protects your business and employees against the total cost of customer claims of negligence or inadequate work. Any company that provides a service should strongly consider having a professional liability insurance policy. It covers:

  • Errors, mistakes and oversights
  • Failure to meet deadlines
  • Failure to deliver your product to a customer
  • Professional negligence
  • Failure to meet a standard of care
  • Breach of contract

Pollution Liability Insurance

Even if the level of pollution exposure is extremely low, pollution liability is essential for contractors. With today’s environmental regulations, contractors need coverage to protect them against claims of pollution caused by their operations. So even if the pollution risk is low, this insurance is required for contractors for many jobs.

Pollution liability protects you in the event of sudden and gradual environmental damage occurring at the job site that results in third-party bodily injury or property damage. It includes:

  • Transportation exposures during loading and unloading
  • Environmental damage and clean-up costs 
  • Emergency response costs
  • Civil fines, penalties and assessments

Equipment and Tools Insurance

There’s nothing more essential to a general contractor than their tools and equipment. Without them, you cannot complete your job. Equipment and tools insurance covers reimbursement costs for tools and equipment that need repairs or to be replaced if lost, stolen or damaged due to theft, vandalism, fire or flood. This policy includes tools and equipment owned, leased or rented and provides coverage whether in storage, in transit, or left at a job site.

Who needs general contractor insurance in Canada?

All general contractors in Ontario should have contractor insurance. At a bare minimum, general liability insurance is mandatory, but it alone will not be enough to protect your business in the event of unexpected perils. And it’s not just general contractors who need it. Subcontractors, landscapers, painters, roofers, heating and cooling and more also need contractor insurance—even homeowners working on their own projects. 

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As many contractors have experienced, some customers are difficult to please. Plus, you never know when an employee may injure themselves or when a freak storm will hit that causes damage to your job site or equipment. Contractor equipment is expensive to replace, and settlements and legal fees can leave your business in financial ruin. Moreover, clients want to see that they’re sufficiently insured. Contractor insurance will help secure jobs by demonstrating that your business is credible and includes coverage. These are just some of the many reasons you need a comprehensive insurance policy to protect your business and livelihood. 

Get a General Contractor Insurance Quote Today

No two contractor businesses are the same. As such, the type of general contractor insurance you need will depend on several variables, such as your business size and type. Let Insurance Hero help manage your risk and insurance costs by conducting a full commercial insurance policy review to determine what kind of coverage is best for you and your business!

For reliable, affordable Ontario general contractor insurance, please request a quote online or give us a call at 1-855-777-4376. Our team of Insurance Heroes is happy to answer any questions you have!