Why Contractors Need General Liability Insurance

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No matter if you’re a general contractor, sub-contractor or employee, contractor’s insurance is a necessary insurance policy. Not only will the majority of jobs require your company to provide proof of GLI (general liability insurance) before allowing it on their property, but neglecting to protect your assets with this wide-ranging kind of business insurance leaves you exposed to sometimes-catastrophic liabilities if mishaps or injuries occur during a job.

Things Contractor’s GLI Covers

Contractor’s general insurance coverage covers a variety of essential types of coverages that collectively protect bystanders, customers and sub-contractors from these types of claims.

* Advertising Injury (i.e., libel and slander)
* Bodily Injury
* Personal Injury
* Property Damage
* Products and Completed Operations

General liability covers the costs of legal and court expenses that are incurred by the contractor in the event of any claims. This usually covers the cost of all hospital bills, lost earnings, and any pain or suffering that could have occurred.

While some of the above types of claims (bodily, personal, and property injury) are quite common on job sites the necessity for others may be less obvious for contractors. This is why it might be useful to examine each type and show an example of an incident that could result in this type claim being filed against a contractor.

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Examples of the types of claims that are covered

Advertising Injury

This type of claim is usually covered by contractors’ general liabilities policies. However, it is one of the most rare to be filed. Advertising injury can be defined as any damage that is caused by the use of slander against the plaintiff. A sub-contractor might file an insurance claim against a general contract if he believes that the contractor’s negative reviews and publicity have damaged his professional reputation.

Bodily and Personal Injury

The most common claims against contractors include personal injury and bodily injury. They can also be made against third parties (e.g. A contractor’s negligence causes an accident that results in injury to a customer or other person on the jobsite. Personal injury cases can sometimes include psychological or emotional injury due to negligent or deliberate actions by the defendant. A contractor may leave a step ladder unattended in an area with high foot traffic. This could lead to injury to a passerby.

Property Damage

Property damage claims are the most common claim on job sites. They involve property loss or damage due to an insured party’s actions. Sometimes, these actions are filed after the contractor has finished the job. A plumber might be sued if the water pipes that he installed leak and cause damage to walls and floors.

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Products and completed services

Contractors need to have products and complete services insurance. This covers any claims that may arise if a client feels that the job was not done properly. This could happen if a foundation splits or a wall collapses after a job is done.