Working in any construction is essentially one of the most dangerous professions in this modern age. Additionally, the high risk associated with construction jobs makes the insurance needs a little bit too complex. In the case of roofing, the risk extends even further. In essence, this is one of the professions where the worker does not have their two feet on the ground during the work. Typically, the most significant risk associated with this line of work is the fall of a roofer from their roofing position, such as a ladder or the roof itself. Typically, these cases tend to lead to severe injuries, life-threatening situations, and even fatalities.
Roofing Contractors: What They Do
A roofing contractor mainly does the following:
- Replace roofing materials – especially if they are damaged or broken
- Repair roofs
- Install new roofs on new or old buildings
During these activities, the roofer may get into an accident. Essentially, this is where the need for insurance arises. In this piece, we take a look at some of the insurance policies a roofer should have.
Types of Insurance Policies for Roofers
The National Census of Fatal Occupation Injuries conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that 96 out of 5250 fatal injuries were incurred from the roofing profession in 2018. Now, the average rate of fatalities per 100 000 workers across all the occupations is generally 3.5, while the rate in roofing is 51.5. Essentially, this isn’t very comforting and is also a major reason to get roofers insurance. Apart from the fatalities and injuries the roofers might get exposed to, the accidents might also damage property. The following are insurance policies that you, as a roofer, should consider.
1. Business Owners Policy
The business owner’s policy (BOP) is typically the essential coverage for roofing contractors. Usually, this policy covers basic operational accidents and occurrences. If your company is larger, you might need to purchase other insurance policies that include:
- General Liability Policy
- Commercial Property Protection Policy
- Interruption and Business Destruction Policy
Typically, you will have to buy these insurance policies separately. However, if you are a small construction business – small businesses typically have less than 100 workers and make an income of less than $5 million a year – the basic coverage in the BOP will adequately cover you. Apart from basic coverage, the business owner’s policy bundle comes with the following policies.
• General Liability Policy: If your roofers or company are engaged in an accident where a third party gets body injury, this policy comes into effect. Typically, this can happen when you have a roof construction job where a person not employed by your company gets injured on the construction site. Essentially, the injury must arise from your roofers’ action or inaction. In this case, the general liability insurance ensures that all the costs associated with the injuries or harm on the third party are covered. General liability can also protect you from particular issues such as libel, slander, wrongful arrest, and any other problem associated with the reputation of your business, yourself, and your business.
• Commercial Property Policy: During the operations of your roofing business, you might cause damage to other commercial properties or equipment. If this happens, the commercial property insurance kicks in. Normally, the policy protects the property and contents that are within the jurisdiction of your property. Additionally, if you have facilities such as business garages, storage facilities, and office spaces, this policy will protect you against possible eventualities. Roofing experts can also protect their specialized equipment by adding the ‘tools and equipment floater’ to the coverage clause. Another point worth noting is that this insurance policy covers your business property and equipment regardless of whether you purchased it or have rented it.
• Loss of Income or Business Interruption Insurance: Normally, your business might get disrupted or lose income due to unforeseen events. This can especially happen if an eventuality like a pandemic or destruction causes the business to be closed down. In such a case, the interruption policy will cover your business against the losses experienced during this period by reimbursing the income and all operating expenses for a period that runs up to a year.
2. Workers Compensation Insurance
In the roofing business, workers are the largest income generator since they deliver the requested services. Therefore, the protection of workers’ safety is very key to running a successful roofing company. To protect the workers against harm and injuries, the company can purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy. This type of coverage is especially important when creating a comprehensive insurance program for your roofing company.
Considering that roofing has the highest rate of injuries and fatalities, you might have to compensate the workers for more than other professions. In addition, you can improve the whole working experience of the workers by insuring them against injuries and probable fatalities. This type of compensation is also more expensive than in other professions due to the high risk involved. So, how does it work?
Typically, if one of your workers is injured while working on a roof, the compensation insurance caters for the medical bills plus any cost of rehabilitation that they might require. This compensation also covers your workers against any lost income or wages, especially when under-recovery or unable to offer their services. In case a fatality occurs during tragic incidents, this compensation insurance will compensate for death and disability. Your company is also protected against workers’ compensation claims and covers all defence costs. If the injured worker decides to seek legal redress instead of compensation, the coverage also attends to the defence expenses.
Other Insurance Policies to Consider
Apart from the above-listed insurance options, you can also consider the following protection against your business.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: This insurance is especially critical for protecting vehicles and trailers that you use in your roofing business. Without this type of insurance, personal auto insurance does not offer coverage for work-related incidents.
- Inland Marine Insurance: Do you take jobs in many locations? If you do, you will need shipping of your working equipment from one place to another. This is where marine insurance comes in.
- Professional Liability Insurance: This coverage is essential if your company is regularly consulted or recommendations on particular products or materials.
- Builder’s Risk Insurance protects the property under which the roofing or other construction activity is undertaken.
In general, insurance is critical for all aspects of a roofing business. It helps the contractors feel safe, and the business gets protected against possible losses. Though most of the accidents are unavoidable, the business is cushioned against them.