Contractor Insurance is available for a wide variety of contractor classes and size of operations.
The most common type of insurance for contractor’s is General liability. “In general terms,” General Liability covers Bodily Injury to others, Completed Operations, for the type of work “you” do, Advertising Injury and possibly Medical to others.
Depending on the type of contractor “license” you have and the operations you perform, many endorsement may come with or can be added.
Likewise, many endorsements can “exclude” certain types of operations within the same policy.
It is highly recommended that you work with a Professional when purchasing your insurance. The do it yourselfer can get caught in a bind without the proper consultation.
General Liability can also come in different “forms.” The most common are “occurrence form, modified occurrence form, sunset provision form and claims-made.
Other important factors in purchasing General Liability are any special endorsements that are required by “Additional Insureds.”
Many times, when working under other contractors as a sub-contractor, a written request is made of you to provide insurance that has certain endorsements. Endorsements such as Primary Working or Waiver of Subrogation.
Ask you Agent or Broker about “best practices” when bidding on jobs “before” you release the bid. When you have a dedicated Agent or Broker, the review of the indemnity agreement between the one hiring you and well.. you should first be reviewed to see if your current insurance will meet the insurance requirements.
So much for touching upon the surface of General Liability.
Other forms of insurance that a Contractor may need are Inland Marine (for tools and equipment), Builders Risk (also referred to as course of construction), Installation Floater, Bid and Performance bond (a bond is not insurance but a surety of your financial warranty to complete the job and warranty the work in some cases. In which case you may need Maintenance Bond).
There is also Commercial Auto. For the contractor driving around with Personal Auto, I dare you to get a copy of the actual policy (not the declarations page) and look at the table of contents.
View the section labeled exclusions. See if it makes sense and ask your self. “Am I covered?” Here is second test, call your Personal Auto insurance carrier and ask them if there is any problem in getting an “Additional Insured” certificate for a contractor or homeowner you are going to do a job for an see what the response is.
This is only the service of what a Contract may need from an experienced Agent or Broker.
Using an online rather or a do it yourself could lead to not being covered the way you should have been.