No Hammer Needed…Specialty Trade Contractors Need The Right Kind of Insurance
North Bay construction projects depend on the special talent and skills of specialty trade contractors. Specialty trade contractors are part of our thriving North Bay Area economy. For many specialty trade contractors, the most cost effective and efficient way to obtain property and liability coverage is with a business owners Policy (BOP) especially tailored to their needs. Although marketed under a variety of names, these policies will typically have provisions similar to the BOP.
Who Are These Specialty Trade Contractors?
Artisan contractors are usually small companies that offer specialty skills made up of one or more of the following:
- Finish Carpentry
- Concert work
- And more
What Are The Risks Associated With Artisan Contractors?
Artisan contractors have many different risks that can be covered by commercial insurance:
- Commercial Auto
- Loss of equipment & tools
- Commercial general liability
- Professional liability
- Workers” compensation
- Umbrella insurance
Your North Bay business insurance may not renew for a number of months, now is the time to start your insurance and risk management planning. For commercial insurance buyers, market conditions will generally be favorable. Here are a few of the hot trends for 2015.
Many of our North Bay clients may be in the process of hiring a contractor for a home repair or remodel. No matter what the job, it is important to make sure you protect your interests through the process. We want to provide you with some basic information that you should consider before you actually hire any North Bay contractor. Remember your North Bay homeowner’s insurance will not cover the liability from the contractor’s negligence.
While most home contractors out there are legitimate and complete quality work, there are some contractors who may not fulfill their promises. No matter how small the job, we always recommend you follow a few simple steps.
Contractor Hiring Tips
- Get more than one bid. However, don’t necessarily jump at the lowest bid; our surveys have shown that people who hired the lowest bidder generally got poorer work.
- Have an agreement in writing.
- Check references. Always ask for, and check out, references of people who have used the contractor. If a contractor provides only email addresses for the references, request telephone numbers, too. For larger jobs you may even ask to view the contractors work.
- Check the Better Business Bureau for filed complaints. Usually this can be done on line.
- Confirm through the state that the contractor is licensed & insured. Ask for a certificate of insurance. Also request to be named additional insured on the contractor’s policy. The contractor should have the following coverage:
- General liability- $1,000,000 minimum
- Property damage
- Workers’ compensation
- Ask for a firm quote. Some contractors will provide only an estimate; you want a FIRM QUOTE.
- If you pay by check, write out the check to the contracting company rather than to an individual.
- Make final payment only when the work is completed to your satisfaction. A reputable contractor will not threaten you or pressure you to sign documents if the job is not finished properly.
- Any extra work needs to be put in writing with the costs.
- Call our office, we may have references for you to consider.
How Your Homeowner’s Insurance Applies
Your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the negligent work of a contractor. If the contractor is injured on your property, your homeowner’s insurance will not apply, unless you are negligent somehow.
North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. provides insurance to construction businesses in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, American Canyon, and surrounding areas.
North Bay business owners must take some time to think about many of the risks associated with experiencing a major loss, like last year’s major earthquake. A loss might come from an earthquake, riot, flood, or fire. Doing a little re-planning will go a long way in helping your business survive the “big event”.
- Get your North Bay business insurance in order. Your business insurance program needs to have coverage for the risk you face. Is your building near a river? Then you may need flood insurance. Did you know tornados occur in every state? Do you have the proper insurance? Consider reviewing your business income limit, extra expense coverage and other key coverage’s.
- Develop a plan. It is a good idea to have a plan to evacuate the building, coordinate and account for all employees. Obtain personal phone numbers from all employees to facilitate communication during and after the event.
- Have scheduled fire drills.
- Consider an alternative business site. If your building is temporarily closed you may need an alternate location. Have a plan in place where you might go. Develop partnerships with other businesses with which you could share facilities.
- Keep your building safe. It is always good to make sure your facility is up to code and has adequate security and safety equipment.
- Pre-approve contractors. It will save you a lot of time if you have established relationships with contractors. Your business insurance company will have a list of these as well.
Our team of business insurance professionals can design a program that fits your budget and exposures. Protection and security is what a comprehensive insurance program provides for your business. We will work with you to develop the plan that meets your needs. We maintain strong relationships with our insurance companies which offer comprehensive plans at competitive prices.
At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we’re committed to keeping your business protected – so you can focus on your day-to-day operations. And with the right insurance plan, your business will be covered from top to bottom.
North Bay Auto Insurance Rate Increases
There are many factors that may cause your North Bay auto insurance rates to increase. These factors might include having a number of accidents, adding teen drivers or buying a newer car. The primary factors that will contribute to increased auto insurance rates are moving violations. Also, drivers who file an auto insurance claim will see their rates climb by an average of 38% nationwide, while those who file two claims within a 12-month period can expect to pay nearly twice as much as claim-free drivers, according to a new report by Quadrant Information Systems.
The Most Expensive Auto Violations Nationwide Include:
- DUI—93% increase in insurance premium
- Reckless driving—82% increase
- Speeding—30% increase for 31+ mph over the limit
28% increase for 16-30mph over the limit
21% increase for 1-15mph over the limit
- Careless driving—27% increase
- Failure to stop—19% increase
- Failure to yield to pedestrians—19% increase
- Driving in a carpool lane—18% increase
How to Keep Auto Insurance Rates Down
- Be a defensive driver
- Combine your home and auto with one insurer. If you purchase your auto, homeowners and umbrella coverage from one carrier, for example, the impact of violations on premiums may be less severe.
- Use an independent agent who can shop your insurance on a regular basis.
You buy California auto insurance to protect yourself when you have an accident or claim. When something bad happens you want your auto insurance company to respond. When it comes to auto insurance, knowledge is power. Here are some facts to help educate you about auto insurance. At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we combine premium Auto Insurance with personalized service to give you the best coverage possible