Most professional carpenters start out as a solo business. They’re the specialist, and they hire themselves out as such. As with any skilled tradesman, however, the better you are, the faster your business grows. Eventually you may decide to employ others. You may hire administrative assistants to handle client scheduling, apprentices to learn under you, or additional skilled carpenters to lighten your workload.
As your company evolves, so too will its professional needs. And carpenter insurance is one area that can help keep you and your company protected as you grow. Specifically, general liability insurance is one policy that is critical to your success from the moment you start.
General liability insurance is commercial coverage designed to protect you from legal and financial issues that may arise in the course of conducting business. It can help you if someone is injured, property is damaged, or products are defective. In most cases, this coverage protects you even when you’re wrongfully blamed for something.
As an example, you may be at a customer’s home repairing a deck, and one of their children cuts himself on a nail. The nail may or may not be part of the materials you’re using, yet the customer blames you for the injury. They will expect you to pay for any visits to the hospital and related medical care. Some customers may opt to sue for additional reparations. When a person is injured and they blame you or your company, general liability insurance pays the associated costs so that you don’t have to.
Property damages are a similar risk. Customers may blame you or accidents may happen. You may accidentally damage the house siding while attaching the deck railing, for instance. Likewise, accidents can happen at your own storefront or shop location as well.
The when, where, who, how, or why doesn’t matter. When someone sues your company for physical injuries or property damages, you will have to spend time and money dealing with the accusations. If you are found to be at fault, you may be ordered to pay a judgment fee as well. General liability pays these fees and related expenses, whether for health care, property repairs, or legal defense and settlements.
General liability coverage is important for several other reasons as well, one if which is advertising. When you advertise your company and services, whether through traditional advertising methods or simply using online social media, there are always potential risks. A competitor may believe that your ad or social media post puts them in a bad light, makes fun of them, or implies something is wrong with them. As slander can be harmful to personal and professional reputations, you can be sued if these claims arise.
Likewise, you may use graphic designs or photography that someone believes you don’t have the right to use. If they sue you for copyright infringement and you are not at fault, your liability insurance will pay the associated costs so that you’re not paying out of your own pocket.
Another way that general liability insurance for carpenters can help protect you is with leased or rented property. In most parts of the United States, you may not be able to rent or lease a business premises without first having this coverage, because it is designed to protect the property itself. If you or your employees cause damages to the property in the course of doing business, someone would need to pay for the repairs. If you did not have insurance, you would have to pay for it directly. If you were unwilling or unable to, the property owner would be left to do it themselves. Neither of these scenarios is ideal, and this is why the coverage is often required before you’re able to sign a business premises lease.
Other important types of insurance for professional carpenters include tools coverage, commercial auto insurance, and workers compensation. Tools coverage protects you from having to pay for replacing tools and equipment that is vandalized or stolen, and it protects equipment that’s rented as well as owned. Auto insurance becomes ever more important as your company grows, because it helps protect the fleet of vehicles you use to travel to and from jobsites. Works compensation also becomes more important as your company grows, because it protects your company and your employees if an employee is injured on the job.
Get in touch with a qualified agent today and ensure your company has the important protections it needs from day one.