Risk Considerations for the Professional Home Handyman
You’ve learned that business liability insurance is essential to protect your assets should your services cause someone injury or cause damage to someone’s property. You’ve also taken the important step of meeting with your Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent to discuss coverage options and secure a policy.
While securing the policy is the first step, should your business continue to grow, you should be prepared to receive requests from potential customers concerning information about your insurance. Consider the following:
What is a "Certificate of Insurance" and Why is Someone Asking for It?
A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is a document that provides details of your insurance coverage to an interested party. For example, a homeowner may request that you provide a COI so they may know that, should your workmanship cause damage to their property, you have access to an insurance company to help cover the cost of damage as well as costs resulting from their inconvenience. Say, for example, that you rupture a pipe that then floods their home, and they are forced to relocate to a hotel while repairs are made.
In addition to your business liability insurance, a COI may also include details of other important insurance policies such as workers compensation or auto insurance. A COI can be obtained easily upon request from your Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent. More and more homeowners are requesting COIs from those they hire, and your ability to produce a COI upon request may create a competitive advantage for your business. And should your services be retained by another contractor, you will most certainly be required to produce a COI to the contractor.
It’s important to note that a COI is simply a summary of your insurance policy and cannot in any way confer information that is not reflective of the insurance policy it is certifying. Should a party request that you add additional information to a COI, speak with your Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent.
What is Additional Insured Endorsement?
At times, simply proving that you have insurance via a COI is not enough to win the job. Another party, such as a contractor who hires you into a home to assist with a remodel, could be held responsible should your actions cause damages. For this reason, the contractor may require that your insurance policy defend and pay a claim on their behalf. Such a requirement is often satisfied with a request from the contractor to be added to your insurance policy as an “additional insured.” Your Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent can help you understand such requests as well as facilitate them on your behalf.
Other Common Insurance Requirements
Depending on the nature of the work you do and for whom you do it, there may be other requirements imposed upon you and your insurance. For example, some contractors may require you to obtain a statement from your insurance company concerning a “waiver of subrogation,” a statement concerning “primary/non-contributory,” or other specified requirements. Some jobs may also require proof of liability insurance limits that are higher than those on your policy, thus requiring you to obtain an excess liability or commercial umbrella policy. Such requests can be complicated and having an expert like your Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent to assist you is essential in understanding such complexities.
How to Focus on What you Do Best?
The concept of liability is constantly evolving. A trusted insurance adviser can help you manage the growing complexities of the home repair/construction environment, so you can focus on what you do best. Call your Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent today.