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Contractors FAQ

What is General Liability Insurance?

General Liability insurance (often called “slip and fall” insurance) can protect your business against claims where you accidentally cause third party bodily injury or property damage. Usually, the third party is a client or a homeowner, but other people like neighbors or even random people walking down the street would be considered third parties as well.

What is Contractors’ Errors and Omissions coverage?

Contractor’s Errors & Omissions coverage is intended to protect against faulty work or accidental damage to your product. This coverage is important if you work on a property that belongs to a third party but is in your care during the job, or if you construct products for your clients and want coverage in case mistakes are later discovered.

What do the policy limits mean?

The limits on the policy decide how much money you have available in case of a claim – you can think about them like a budget. The most important limits to consider when determining your package are the per occurrence limit, which is your available budget per claim, and the aggregate limit, which is your available budget for the policy term.

What’s not covered under this policy?

There are many different types of insurance that a business could need or want for their operations. Accidents that would be covered by these policies are not included in General Liability coverage:

  • Commercial Auto Coverage – damages that involve the use of a vehicle
  • Workman’s Compensation – personal or employee injury
  • Inland Marine – damage to personal or business equipment and property (including theft)
  • Contractual Liability – a financial loss that occurs from a breach of contract

It’s also important to be operating within the scope of your policy’s coverage. Typically, our policies are designed to cover the normal work associated with a type of business, but we strongly recommend reviewing the exclusions outlined in your application.

Will this cover my tools and equipment?

Unfortunately, General Liability policies do not offer coverage for personal or business property. For protection for those items in case of damage or theft, we suggest checking in with a local agent about the availability for an Inland Marine policy, a Contractor’s Tools and Equipment policy, or another type of property policy.

Who is covered under this policy?

Good question! This actually depends on your business structure. We offer policies for individuals, LLCs, and more! If you’re not sure which one you are, we recommend checking with the department where you registered your business or filed for your licence. If you’re a registered LLC or corporation, our policies can offer coverage for your reported W2 employees, and in certain situations can extend as excess or umbrella coverage over a subcontractor’s (a 1099 employee) own policy. More information about our subcontractor requirements can be found in the “About Your Business” portion of the application, or by contacting our support team.

If I subcontract all of my work, why do I need General Liability coverage?

There are a few reasons you could still need General Liability coverage as a general contractor:

  • You may still be at risk of causing damage during a site visit, especially if you run projects that are remodels or additions, where a third party’s property is potentially vulnerable.
  • You could be at risk for Personal and Advertising Injury, which includes accidental copyright infringement, defamation of character, advertising infringement, or caused some other form of non-tangible harm.
  • You could be held responsible if you instruct your subcontractors to operate a certain way, and injury arises because of your method, especially if your instructions corrected or changed the actions or processes of your subs.
  • You could be held responsible for certain actions of your subcontractors, as you were responsible for hiring them.
I’m a general contractor, does this insurance allow me to hire subcontractors?

Yes! We do require that your subcontractors have the legally required licenses, their own insurance with limits that are equal to or greater than your own, and that they have you named as an additional insured on their policy. You’ll also need to keep this documentation on file for an adjuster to review in case of a claim.

I subcontract out all of my work. Am I still eligible for a quote and policy?

Of course! In this case, we recommend filling out an application for our General Contractor policy. Please review the subcontractor requirements carefully, so that in case of a claim, you’ll have all of the necessary paperwork.

I need to add a General Contractor or employer as an additional insured, can I do that with this policy?

Absolutely! We know this is a common need for contractors, so we’ve given you the power to create certificates of insurance and add additional insureds right from your customer account, 24/7, with Live Certificates. You can read more about our Live Certificates and how they work here. If your contractor needs special language on the certificate or other forms (called endorsements), please send a sample certificate to support@next-insurance.com and an agent will be happy to review those requirements with you.

I filled out a _______ application, what does that cover?

In general, our trade specific policies only offer coverage for the operations listed in the application, and the normal job components associated with them. If you offer a variety of services, especially if you have a specialty, we recommend filling out our General Contractor application.

I’m a jack-of-all-trades, what policy do I need?

We have a couple of policies that could be right for a jack or jill of all trades! Our Handyperson policy might be the best fit if you offer minor repair or maintenance services. This policy is limited to small jobs and is not a fit for jobs that might require a license, permit, or inspection at any point. If your operations are a little bit larger in scale, or if you have a specialty, we recommend taking a look at our General Contractor application, where you will have the opportunity to add coverage from a list of coverable activities.

Note: all of our policies require that you have the legally required licenses for the work you’re doing in your state, so be sure to check in to make sure you are compliant.

Will my policy include coverage for work that I don’t have a license for?

There are a couple of options here:

  1. If your state requires a license, we do too. However, in most states where insurance is a requirement to get your license, we do offer the ability to purchase the policy on the condition that you agree to have all the required licenses before working. But it’s important to remember: if you are not operating legally, a claim will likely not be covered.
  2. If your state doesn’t require you to have a license for a certain line of work you are welcome to apply for any trade specific policy, a Handyperson, or General Contractor policy. You can take a look at our jack-of-all-trades FAQ for how to decide between those two.
How do I cancel my policy?

We’re sorry to see you go! To cancel your policy, start by clicking the “Log In” button in the top right corner of your screen. Then, follow the prompts to access your online customer account. Once you’re logged in, click the icon in the top right hand of the screen and click “My Account.” Select the “Billing” section and lastly, click “Cancel plan.” Once you complete the request, we process it effective immediately. You’ll receive confirmation and a refund for any unused premium within a few business days.

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