Whether it is a new construction, renovation, remodeling, or a home improvement project, the successful completion of a given construction project is always of the greatest concern to property owners. For this reason, prospective clients are always on the lookout for General Contractors that are ethical, experienced, competent, and above all, reliable. As a general contractor (GC here refers to builders, painters, electricians, plumbers, repairmen, roofers, etc.), some of the factors that play a key role in determining if you will be hired by a prospective client include:
Web Presence (Website and Social Media)
When searching online for contractors, people normally search a given company’s name along with such tags like “scam”, “complaints”, etc. Hence, having a good online reputation will go a long way in convincing clients to contract you to oversee their construction work. By visiting your website, clients can also get an idea of how long you have been in business. Also, your customer reviews will also play an important role in determining whether or not a client will hire you.
References and Portfolio of Work
Not only do clients investigate by asking friends, relations and other acquaintances about experiences (positive or negative) that they have had with your company, some will go as far as asking you for a list of at least 3 people for whom you have completed similar projects in the not too distant past. They may eventually contact such clients to find out the kind of service you rendered to them. This will influence your competency and reliability rating with prospective clients.
Another key consideration is whether you are a registered general contractor; and if yes, the license number. In doing so, clients try to protect themselves and ensure they get some form of compensation in the event that something goes wrong with the job. In such circumstances, the client can resort to filing a complaint with the relevant licensing board/bureau.
General Contractor Insurance
The educated client understands the importance of hiring an insured contractor to oversee his construction project. Liability insurance is an important integrity and honesty-rating determinant for you as a contractor. As a precaution, some clients may ask to see your insurance certificate to help them determine if your policy is current and the extent of your liabilities in case of unforeseen circumstances. The more savvy clients actually know that there are different types of insurance coverage for a general contractor such as:
- General Liability Insurance: This type of insurance covers for direct personal bodily injury, advertisement injury and independent contractor liability. It protects you and the project site from most third party claims.
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance: This type of insurance protects clients from liability for accidents or injuries incurred by workers while working on their project site. In the event of such accidents or injuries, this insurance covers for resultant wage loss and medical expenses for the affected worker(s).
- Property Damage Coverage: The homeowner’s property insurance doesn’t cover for damages caused by the general contractor while working on the client’s project site, hence the importance for your contractor insurance to cover for such damages if and when they occur.
They will want to make sure that you have these and other types of insurance coverage and having them will help to sway these clients towards deciding to hire you.
Getting the Insurance You Need
From the above, it is obvious that the importance of having a comprehensive insurance coverage as a general contractor cannot be over emphasized. For starters, working on a construction site is a complex, accident prone undertaking since it exposes workers on the site to potential hazards from accidents, machinery malfunctions, electrical accidents, etc. Loss from such accidents and/or damages can sometimes be huge, for the contractor, worker and the clients. As a small business owner, independent contractor, construction worker, plumber, electrician, repairman, roofer, etc. you need to determine the exact nature of insurance cover that you need. Getting the appropriate independent contractor liability insurance coverage can protect you from lawsuits, accidents and third party property damages that may arise in the course of your construction work.
Let’s take a closer look at ways in which a good insurance cover protects you from risks associated with the various types of construction work especially in today’s highly litigious environment.If you do not have general liability insurance and any form of bodily harm, injury or property damage is incurred by a third party, judgment may require that the assets of your business be used to offset the costs such damages.
- General liability insurance cover will help to safeguard your construction business by ensuring it survives if a judgment is passed as it will cover for court costs and arising settlements to the specified extent/limits of your insurance policy.
- Liability insurance will provide a sense of security for both your construction/contracting business and your employees. With an insurance coverage, you and your employees can carry on with business confident in the knowledge that you are reliably insulated from unforeseen circumstances that are associated with the hazardous nature of your work environment.
- General liability insurance should provide coverage for you on the following types of claims: bodily injury claims, completed products claims, property damage claims, personal injury claims, advertising injury claims and medical expenses claims. In this way, your general contracting business will be properly insulated against financial loss arising from such claims if and when they occur.
As a general contractor, you should be well informed in regards to the kind of insurance coverage that is suitable for the scope and nature of your construction business. It is important that you do not leave your business vulnerable to possible financial loss arising from litigations.
At FarmerBrown.com, we are committed to guiding and helping you choose the policy plan that is perfect for your business needs. Apply online to get a quote in 5 minutes or Contact us today, and one of our licensed insurance agents will assist you in assessing the risks associated with the contracting and construction business and ensure that you have general liability policy that leaves your construction and contracting business secure.