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Understanding Your Builders Risk Insurance End Date

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 27, 2022

Knowing when your builders risk insurance ends can be a key to avoiding surprise costs. Get the best rates on all types of contractor insurance, including in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.There are many types of Contractors’ Insurance designed to protect your business from unforeseen circumstances. However, one type of insurance that is somewhat unique to the construction industry is Builders Risk Insurance. 

What is Builders Risk Insurance?

Builders’ Risk Insurance - also called Course of Construction Insurance or Inland Marine coverage – is a temporary insurance policy that helps protect a renovation or new building while under construction. It typically covers a building, structure, materials, tools, and equipment on a job site, in transit, or stored elsewhere during construction or renovation. 

The following perils are typically covered under a Builders’ Risk Insurance policy:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Explosion
  • Vehicle accident 
  • Weather events, such as hail or lightning

Some Builders’ Risk policies also include the following perils:

  • Costs incurred by delayed construction, such as lost rental income or loan interest
  • Removal and disposal of pollutants
  • Damage to temporary structures
  • Changes required to meet environmental standards 

The following perils are typically NOT covered under a Builders’ Risk policy:

  • Wind
  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Employee theft
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Mechanical breakdowns
  • Terrorism
  • Faulty work or materials
  • Contractual penalties 

When Does Builders Risk Insurance Coverage End?

Most insurance policies have an insurance policy period that includes an effective and expiration date. Simply stated, those dates indicate when coverage from that policy begins and ends. However, the end date of a Builders’ Risk Insurance policy can be a little more complicated. 

Because the value of a structure being built or renovated increases over time, Builders’ Risk insurance factors this changing value into its pricing. Due to this unique situation, there are times when an expiration date may change. 

  1. The owner of the property takes over

If an owner (such as the original property owner, bank, or purchaser) takes over the project (regardless of how complete the project is), the Builders’ Risk Insurance policy you purchased becomes invalid. 

  1. The Project Is Abandoned

If the contractor walks away from the site with no intention of completing the project, the Builders’ Risk Insurance policy becomes invalid. 

  1. The Property is Being Used for Intended Purpose

If all or part of the property is being used for its intended purpose during construction, the Builders’ Risk Insurance policy becomes invalid. 

  1. The Project has been Completed for 30 Days

Once an occupancy permit or other completion confirmation has been issued, the Builders’ Risk Insurance policy becomes invalid. 

Once the Builders’ Risk Insurance policy has expired, other types of insurance are available to protect the property, which are often less expensive. For example, property insurance can be purchased when the property is being used for its intended purpose or when the project has been completed for thirty days, which is typically less expensive than Builders’ Risk Insurance. On the other hand, if a property has been abandoned, there is more risk for damage such as decay, vandalism, break-ins, and arson. Therefore, insurance to cover the property will be higher than Builders’ Risk Insurance.

Need Help With Builders’ Risk Insurance?

If you have questions about Builders’ Risk Insurance or any type of Contractors Insurance, be sure to speak with one of the experienced agents at American Insuring Group.

Not only do we specialize in Contractors Insurance, but as independent agents, we also compare multiple insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest premium for the coverage you need.

Call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Builders Risk Insurance

10 Common Construction Site Hazards

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jun 25, 2022

Avoid these construction site hazards, and save on construction insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lehigh Valley and throughout PAOne of the best ways to lower Contractors’ Insurance (and other) costs is to create safer worksites. But unfortunately, construction sites are filled with many hazards. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), “About 20% (1,061) of worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2019 were in construction – accounting for one in five worker deaths for the year.” 

Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize risks, and the first step is to identify potential hazards. 

10 common construction site hazards and tips to reduce their impact on your business: 

  1. Falls from heights – “In 2019, there were 401 fall fatalities out of 1,102 total fatalities in construction,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Falls are a hazard found in many work settings, but construction has the most fatal falls out of all industries and represents 51% of all falls nationally.” Some causes of falls include unsecured scaffolding or ladders and a lack of guardrails or safety nets.

  2. Being struck by moving objects - Construction sites are filled with many moving objects – vehicles, equipment, materials, etc. Being struck by an object is one of OSHA’s Fatal Four, accounting for approximately 10% of all construction worker deaths. Poor lighting, too little space to maneuver, and working too closely can cause injuries from moving objects.

  3. Slips and trips – According to the CDC, “27% of the 888,220 nonfatal work injuries resulting in days away from work in 2019 were related to slips, trips, and falls.” Slips and trips can be caused by wet and slippery surfaces, uneven surfaces, etc. Most are easily prevented.

  4. Noise – Loud noise can cause a significant distraction and permanent hearing loss.

  5. Vibrations – Using tools such as drills, jackhammers, and chain saws can cause Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). “About 2 million U.S. workers are exposed to hand-arm vibration, and as many as half will develop HAVS, one expert says,” according to Safety and Health Magazine.

  6. Manually moving materials and equipment – Incorrectly lifting, moving, and handling materials or equipment can cause severe injuries, such as Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSDS).

  7. Asbestos – While asbestos only becomes a problem when damaged, it causes an estimated 255,000 deaths annually, according to the National Library of Medicine.

  8. Electricity – Electricity is an essential part of any construction worksite, but it can also cause severe injuries and even death. Electrical accidents can occur from contact with overhead or underground power cables, damaged tools or equipment, inadequate wiring, overloaded power boards, and improper insulation.

  9. Airborne materials – Invisible and fine dust material caused by cutting concrete, woodworking, and more are prevalent at construction worksites, and prolonged exposure to it can lead to illnesses such as asthma, lung cancer, emphysema, etc.

  10. Excavation/trench collapse – Collapses are all too common on construction sites. In 2020 alone, at least 21 workers died in trench collapses. The leading cause is inadequate cave-in protection.

 4 Tips to Minimize Risk

You can take steps to minimize the risk of injury caused by any of these hazards. Some are specific to the threat, such as providing adequate cave-in protection to avoid collapses or implementing a lockout tagout system to prevent electrical injuries. 

Below are four steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of many hazards:

  1. Training – Safety training helps employees recognize and avoid potential hazards at the workplace.
  2. Proper PPE – To create a safer work environment, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as hard hats, safety glasses, and gloves must be provided. In addition, employees need to be trained on the proper use of PPE.
  3. Work Area management – Work area management includes keeping pathways clear of debris and hazards, providing safety nets or guard rails where needed, ensuring that equipment and tools are kept in a secure area after use, and ensuring spills are immediately cleaned up, etc.
  4. Proper maintenance – Equipment that is regularly repaired and maintained in excellent condition helps avoid injuries.

Lower Your Contractors Insurance Premiums

Creating a safer worksite and working with the right insurance agent can lower contractors insurance premiums. The independent agents at American Insuring Group specialize in contractors insurance and check with multiple insurance companies to get you the right coverage at the lowest price.

So start saving today. Call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Contractor Safety Management

Take the Mystery Out of Contractors' Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, May 14, 2022

Learn everything you need to know about contractor's insurance from our agents serving Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, Allentown, Reading, Harrisburg, and the entire state of PennsylvaniaContractors' Insurance helps protect your business from risk, and let's face it… as a contractor, you face many risks every day. An employee or client may fall and injure themselves on a job site. A piece of heavy equipment might be stolen. A hacker may steal your data. Any one of these things could put you out of business… IF you aren't prepared.

 Risk Management

The first step in preparing is called risk management. Risk management is identifying and evaluating the risks your business may face and determining procedures to minimize the impact of those risks. Effective risk management helps provide confidence, streamline operations, enhance safety, and protect your business. 

Here are four steps to developing a risk management plan for your construction company (Click here for more details):

  1. Identify Risks
  2. Prioritize Risks
  3. Determine Responsive Strategies
  4. Create a Risk Management Plan

 There are many ways you can and absolutely should minimize the risk of something happening. For example, you can create safer workplaces, provide proper training, and ensure PPE is used appropriately. But unfortunately, despite all of your best efforts, accidents happen, equipment gets stolen, and data breaches occur.

 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, there were 1,102 fatal injuries in the construction industry (both private industry and government). Furthermore, "These deaths represented 20.7 percent of total workplace fatalities in the United States (5,333)." It is estimated that $300 million to $1 billion of construction equipment is stolen every year. 

Transfer Risk With Contractors' Insurance

In step three above – Determine Responsive Strategies – one strategy is to transfer risks to an insurance company. For example, if a piece of equipment is stolen, insurance will pay to replace that equipment in exchange for premiums and deductibles. This takes much of the financial risk off of our business.

 Types of Contractors Insurance

The best way to determine which types of Contractors Insurance is right for your business is to work with one of the agents at American Insuring Group who specialize in Contractors' Insurance. Here is a brief description of the types of insurance that may be recommended.

General Liability Insurance – If your business is sued, general liability insurance will pay legal fees, settlements, etc.

Workers Compensation Insurance – In most states, including Pennsylvania, most employers are required to provide Workers' Compensation Insurance - which covers medical costs and lost wages if an employee is injured on the job - for their employees.

Commercial Property Insurance - Property insurance helps protect against property loss or damage due to events such as fire, hail storms, civil disobedience, and vandalism.

Builders Risk Insurance - Builders Risk Insurance helps replace materials, tools, and lost, damaged, or stolen equipment.

Commercial Auto Insurance - Commercial Auto Insurance helps cover bodily injury or property damage claims if one of your company's vehicles is involved in an accident.

Inland Marine Insurance - Inland Marine Insurance helps cover damages that occur while a building is under construction.

Professional Liability Insurance ((Aka Errors and Omissions Insurance) - If your business is sued due to a mistake made in your company's professional service, Professional Liability helps cover legal costs.

Umbrella Insurance - Insurance liability policies include a limit (the maximum amount an insurer will pay if a claim is filed). Commercial Umbrella Insurance helps cover the difference if a claim exceeds a policy's limit.

Cyber Insurance - Cyber Insurance helps cover your business' liability for data breaches that involve sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, and health records

Pollution Liability Insurance - Pollution Liability Insurance protects your business if you're held liable for a pollution incident on a worksite.

Gap Insurance – Often overlooked, Gap Insurance helps cover the cost difference to pay off a lease balance when the vehicle's value is less than the leasing company's payoff in a total loss accident.

Business Income Coverage/ Business Interruption – If you are forced to shut down your business after experiencing covered property damage (such as fires, storms, etc.), Business Income coverage can help replace lost income.

 How Much Does Contractors Insurance Cost?

Regardless of the specific type of insurance, several factors can significantly impact those insurance costs. Those factors include the following:

  • Claims History:
  • Nature of Work and Risk:
  • Liability Limit:
  • Loss Type

Start Saving on Contractors Insurance Today!

t's easy to lower your premiums by working with one of the agents at American Insuring Group. Our agents specialize in Contractors' Insurance and – as independent agents – we compare the quality and cost of your coverage with multiple insurance companies to find the policy that's right for you!

Don't Delay - start saving today by calling us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Contractual Risk Transfer

10 Tips to Minimize Litigation Risk and Lower Contractors Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Dec 18, 2021

How to Minimize Litigation Risks to Save on Contractor Insurance in Philadelphia County, Berks County, Lehigh Valley and throughout Pennsylvania

Contractors Insurance is designed to help protect your business from various risks, including the risk of liability. A contractor can be sued for a variety of reasons – breach of contract, defects, employee and customer relations, project delays, etc. – and no business is immune to these risks.

According to a Small Business Administration (SBA) survey on the impact of litigation on small businesses, 36-53% of small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) were involved in filed civil lawsuits, resulting in $3,000 to $150,000 in legal costs for actual litigation. The survey report also states, “The impact of litigation on businesses goes well beyond the purely financial impact of legal fees and damages. Most small business owners are invested personally in their businesses; litigation causes not just financial loss, but also substantial emotional hardship, and often changes the tone of the business.”

Taking steps to minimize liability risks is just good business. Here are nine tips:

    1. Identify Potential Risks – Contractors are surrounded by potential liability risks, and the first step to reducing those risks is to identify them. Take time to look at your overall business practices and potential hazards at each project.

    2. Avoid accidents, including the Fatal Four – Every employer is obligated to keep employees safe, which can be a challenge in an industry like construction where hazards loom around every corner. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), 5,333 workers died on the job in 2019, and about 20% of fatalities in private industry were in construction. OSHA identified four hazards responsible for 63.7% of construction worker deaths in 2016, known as the “fatal four.” All workplace safety risks should be addressed, and starting with the fatal four – falls, struck by an object, electrocutions, caught-in/between - is a great place to start.

    3. Understand Safety Laws – The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was created to help ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers. The result is a set of standards that businesses are required to follow by law. For example, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided for any employee working at an elevation of six feet or more in the construction industry.

    4. Understand Labor Laws - Fair Labor Standards Act mandates are designed to protect workers in the U.S. All businesses are required to follow these mandates, which include the establishment of minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and youth employment standards.

    5. Avoid Delays – Delays are often unavoidable in the construction industry, and they are one of the most common disputes between construction companies and clients. Even if there is nothing in your contract about penalties for delays, common law usually applies, which could force you to compensate your client for loss of rent, storage fees, moving costs, etc. Proper planning can help minimize the risk of delays.

    6. Provide Quality Work – Shoddy work not only damages your business reputation it can also result in a costly lawsuit. Avoid construction defects, including defects in the design, workmanship, and or materials used, by drafting well-crafted contracts, fulfilling the contract terms, performing and documenting periodic inspections, etc.

    7. Hire Subcontractors Wisely – When something goes wrong – someone is injured, there’s a crack in the foundation, etc. – the general contractor is often held responsible. Therefore, only hire subcontractors you trust and have a reputation for quality work. Draft a comprehensive contract and ensure they have appropriate insurance.

    8. Communicate – Good communication – with employees, subcontractors, and clients – is key to the success of any project. Employ communication techniques, such as choosing a suitable communication method, being an active listener, and keeping communication professional at all times.

    9. Consult a Specialist When Appropriate – If you or your employees don’t have the knowledge or experience to perform a specific task, hire someone who specializes in that task.

    10. Document – With each project, have a comprehensive contract AND thoroughly document any potential hazards, inspections, accident reports, etc.

How to Purchase the Right Insurance

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may find yourself on the wrong side of a lawsuit. Thankfully, the right insurance can help minimize the impact of any lawsuit.

The agents at American Insuring Group understand the unique risks contractors face, and – as independent agents – they compare the cost of your coverage with several companies to lower your premiums.

Give one of our contractor insurance specialists a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance

10 Hand and Power Tool Safety Tips

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 11, 2021

10 Hand and Power Tool Safety TipsCan you imagine trying to complete any construction project without hand or power tools? No, neither can we. But we also can’t ignore the fact that both hand and power tools present many hazards that can cause injuries, and injuries mean higher Contractors Insurance costs. 

When you work with tools every day, it’s easy to become complacent. As you repeatedly use certain tools, you almost go into auto mode, which can be extremely dangerous. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, power tool injuries result in approximately 400,000 emergency room visits each year in the U.S. Staying alert is crucial to minimizing the risk of injury. 

10 Hand and Power Tool Safety Tips 

  1. Use the Right Tool – You know the correct tools to use for each task (at least you should), but sometimes a different tool is just handier. For example, using the screwdriver in your tool belt when you know the right tool for the job is the chisel you left in your truck. Or using the wrong sized bits, blades, etc., just because you don’t have the right size on hand. Using the wrong tool can cause damage or injury.
  2. Follow Manufacturers’ Instructions for Use – Don’t think you know how to use a tool better than the manufacturer. Manufacturers’ instructions are written to help you avoid damage to your tools and injury to you and your coworkers.
  3. Regularly Inspect Tools – Always inspect hand and power tools before and after use and properly repair or replace anything that is damaged before using again. Here’s what to check:
    • The handle and body casings of the tool for cracks or other damage
    • Damaged switches or faulty trigger locks
    • Make sure auxiliary or double handles are securely installed
    • Inspect cords for defects, such as cracking, fraying, or other signs of wear
    • Inspect plugs for cracks or faulty prongs
  4. Don’t Modify Tools – Don’t remove any safety guards or disable any safety devices on tools. Don’t paint tools because this can hide cracks and chips.
  5. Handle Tools With Care – The more carefully you handle your tools, the longer they’ll last and the safer you and your coworkers will be. Don’t “toss” tools into boxes or at coworkers. Don’t use electrical cords to lift tools. When not in use, keep tools in a toolbox or your tool belt.
  6. Unplug – Power tools should be unplugged when not in use, moving to a new location, replacing blades or bits, or making repairs.
  7. Keep Workspace Clean – A cluttered space can lead to trips, falls, and injuries, especially when you’re handling power or sharp tools, so keep your workspace clear of clutter. Also, be careful with power cords and air lines. Don’t let them get tangled up, and watch for cords as you move about your workspace.
  8. Make Space – Leave yourself enough room to safely operate hand and power tools without coming into contact with your coworkers or other objects.
  9. Wear PPEPersonal Protective Equipment (PPE) – such as safety goggles, earplugs, gloves, face masks, and hardhats – help protect you from injuries. PPE should fit properly and be well maintained.
  10. Get Training – Understanding how to correctly use (and not use) tools is the best way to avoid injuries. Every employee using hand or power tools should be trained on the proper use of those tools. They should also be trained on general safety procedures and the appropriate use of PPE.

How to Save on Contractors Insurance

Creating a safer worksite to eliminate injuries is the first step to saving money on Contractors Insurance. The next step is to work with one of American Insuring Group’s agents specializing in Contractors Insurance. Not only do they understand your unique insurance needs, but they will also check with multiple insurance companies to ensure you get the best rate on your insurance coverage. So give them a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with them online.

Tags: Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Contractor Safety Management

4 Heat-Related Illnesses Construction Workers Should Watch For

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 28, 2021

4 Heat-Related Illnesses Construction Workers Should Watch ForAs the temperature continues to rise, so do heat-related illnesses among construction workers. The first step to minimizing your risk of these illnesses (and lowering your Contractor Insurance costs) is to understand potential illnesses, how to avoid them, and how to treat them.

According to WebMD, "Heat exhaustion is strongly related to the heat index, which is a measurement of how hot you feel when the effects of relative humidity and air temperature are combined. A relative humidity of 60% or more hampers sweat evaporation, which hinders your body's ability to cool itself." A heat index of 90 degrees or more significantly increases the chance of a heat-related illness.

Certain factors can increase your risks of a heat-related illness, such as obesity, certain prescription medications, the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, and certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney, and heart problems. Also, adults over 65 can be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

Here are four heat-related illnesses to look out for when you're working in hot and humid conditions – inside or out.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the most common heat-related illness and can occur when a person is exposed to high temperatures for several days without adequate fluids.

There are two types of heat exhaustion – water depletion and salt depletion. Water depletion can cause excessive thirst, headache, weakness, and even a loss of consciousness. Salt depletion causes nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and muscle cramps. Additional symptoms can include confusion, dark urine, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, and profuse sweating.

If you or someone you're working with in hot and/or humid conditions experience these symptoms, the first step is to cool them down.

  • Get them out of the heat – preferably into an air-conditioned room
  • Remove tight or unnecessary clothing,
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath
  • Drink plenty of fluids (including sports drinks, which replace salt)
  • Remove tight or unnecessary clothing,

If these measures don't make you feel better within fifteen minutes, seek medical help. Without proper intervention, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke – a more serious heat-related illness that can cause damage to vital organs or even death.

Heat Stroke

Heatstroke is the most severe heat-related illness and, unlike heat exhaustion, requires immediate medical attention. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "[Heat stroke] occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes."

A person suffering from heatstroke will experience many of the same symptoms as heat exhaustion – headache, dizziness, nausea, etc. But a person with a heat stroke will stop sweating and have a high body temperature. As a result, their skin will be red, hot, and DRY rather than cold, pale, and clammy skin like someone with heat exhaustion.

If you see or feel any of these symptoms, immediately call for medical assistance, get out of the heat, and use any methods to cool down quickly (i.e., spray with cool water or immerse in a tub of cool water). Monitor the body temperature until it is below 103°F. Do not give fluids to someone with heatstroke.

Heat Cramps

When your body lacks both water and salt, your muscles can spasm and cause cramps, typically in the arms, legs, and abdomen. If you experience heat cramps, get out of the heat, drink cool water or electrolyte-replenishing drink, and apply a cool, wet compress to cramping areas. Seek medical assistance if the cramps don't go away within an hour of treatment.

Heat Rash

Heat Rash is the least serious heat-related illness, but it can be uncomfortable. It happens when sweat can't evaporate from the surface of your skin, which can happen to construction workers working long hours in hot conditions. With a heat rash, you'll see small itchy red bumps or blisters – typically on your chest, neck, groin area, and inside your elbow. You can help alleviate the symptoms by getting out of the heat and hydrating. A cool shower and the application of talcum powder can help eliminate the rash.

Here's How to Lower Your Contractor Insurance Costs

American Insuring Group wants to help lower your Contractor Insurance costs by helping you keep you and your employees safe. AND, as independent agents, we compare multiple competing insurance companies to ensure that you pay the lowest insurance premiums while providing you with great coverage.

Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Contractor Safety Management

How to Minimize and Protect Your Construction Company from 3 Top Risks

Posted by David Ross on Sat, May 08, 2021

Minimize your construction company risks with proper contractor insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Erie and elsewhere in Pennsylvania.The construction industry is filled with risks, but understanding those risks and how to mitigate them can save you a ton of money on your Contractors Insurance costs. Here are three top risks every construction company should be aware of, steps to minimize those risks, and insurance to protect your business when something does happen. 

Risk: Injuries

Job site injuries are all-too-common. According to BigRentz, construction injury rates are – on average - 71% higher than injury rates across all industries and every year. The total cost of construction injuries in the U.S. is more than $11.5 billion per year, and in 2019, 130,000 construction workers missed work due to injuries. 

Employees aren’t the only ones who can be injured on a job site. Clients, vendors, etc., who visit your job site are also susceptible to injuries and may not be familiar with your safety protocols. 

Minimize the Risk of Injuries

The most effective way to minimize the risk of injuries is with a safety program. According to OSHA, construction companies can save $4 to $6 for every $1 invested in a safety program. However, according to National Funding, construction companies spend about 3.6% of their budgets on injuries and only 2.5% on safety training. 

OSHA suggests the following core elements of a Safety and Health Program:

  • Management Leadership
  • Worker Participation
  • Hazard Identification and Assessment
  • Hazard Prevention and Control
  • Education and Training
  • Program Evaluation and Improvement
  • Communication and Coordination for Host Employers, Contractors, and Staffing Agencies 

Insurance Protection for Injuries

Workers’ Compensation (WC) Insurance – WC -mandatory in most states - is designed to cover medical expenses and lost wages when an employee is injured on the job. It also helps protect the employer against accident-related lawsuits. 

Business Liability Insurance – Clients, vendors, etc., who are injured on your job site are not covered under your WC policy. Business Liability Insurance typically protects your company if someone other than an employee is injured on a job site. 

Risk: Equipment Damage and Theft

Contractors rely on their tools and equipment to get the job done, and damaged or stolen equipment can quickly put a project at risk. Every year, as much as $1 billion is lost in the U.S. due to stolen construction equipment and tools. According to the NCIB, less than 20% of it is ever recovered. 

But the cost of stolen or damaged equipment goes well beyond replacement costs. IT also costs time spend filling out police reports and insurance forms. And whether the equipment is stolen or damaged, contractors need to find alternative equipment or make repairs to finish the job. 

Minimize the Risk of Equipment Damage and Theft

The risk of damage can be minimized with regular maintenance and training to ensure the equipment is being operated properly. 

The risk of Theft can be minimized with a few steps:

  • Assess risks on each job site and develop a theft prevention policy.
  • Secure your job site with fencing, security cameras, etc.
  • Secure your equipment by locking it up and consider adding security measures such as alarms, fuel and equipment cut-off switches, and locks that immobilize controls. 

Insurance Protection for Equipment Damage and Theft

Commercial Property Insurance - Most Commercial Property Insurance policies cover tools and equipment that is stolen or damaged. However, it does not usually cover equipment that is in transit or stored at a job site. 

Builders Risk Insurance – Builders Risk Insurance is designed to protect equipment, structures, and materials in transit or at a job site. 

Risk: Litigation

We live in a litigious society, and anyone who works on a project can be held liable for any number of things. For example, you can be held responsible for property damage and projects that are not up to code or have other defects, such as cracks in the foundation, faulty drainage, or heating or electrical issues – even if it isn’t your fault. 

Minimize the Risk of Litigation

Litigation can cost a lot of time and money in legal fees and potential judgments against you. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of litigation:

  • Pay attention to the contract and fulfill the terms of the contract
  • Document daily reports for defects
  • Set realistic schedules
  • Keep communication formal and reasonable
  • Consult a specialist when appropriate 

Insurance Protection for Litigation

General Liability Insurance - This type of policy helps cover risks such as injuries of non-employees, customer property damage, libel, and slander. 

Professional Liability Insurance – This type of insurance helps cover lawsuits that result from a failure to deliver on promised services, negligence in providing services, and errors and oversights. 

The Best Way to Protect Your Construction Company

Minimizing risk should always be a top priority, but when all of your best-laid-plans fail, the right insurance helps protect your company from those risks. The independent agents at American Insuring Group will check with multiple insurance companies to ensure that you pay the lowest price on your insurance coverage. Give one of our experienced agents a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

Tags: Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Contractor Safety Management

As a Contractor, Do I Really Need Builders’ Risk Insurance?

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Apr 04, 2021

Save on Builders Risk Insurance for Contractors in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, and throughout Pennsylvania.Builders’ Risk Insurance is a type of Contractor Insurance designed to help protect contractors, subcontractors, and construction companies if there is damage to buildings or structures during construction. You may ask, “Isn’t that what Commercial Property Insurance and General Liability Insurance is for?” The answer is not a simple “yes” or “no.” 

 

What is Builders’ Risk Insurance?

Builders’ Risk Insurance - sometimes called Course of Construction Insurance or Inland Marine coverage – is a temporary insurance policy that can help protect a specific renovation or new building while under construction. It is designed to protect a building, structure, materials, tools, and equipment on a job site, in transit, or stored elsewhere during construction or renovation. 

Builders’ Risk Insurance is typically purchased by property owners, general contractors, subcontractors, lenders, or architects – anyone with a financial interest in the project. Usually, we recommend that it is purchased before materials are delivered and end only when the property is ready to be occupied or sold. 

The cost of Builders’ Insurance varies depending on the type of project, the construction materials used, and the policy coverage amounts and limits. The coverage amount should include the total estimated cost of the completed project – including land value, materials, and labor. 

Sometimes, a client contract will require that you carry Builders’ Risk Insurance, and sometimes, you may be covered under the property owner or developer’s insurance. 

What Does Builders’ Risk Insurance Cover?

Every project is unique; therefore, every Builders’ Risk Policy is unique. Consequently, it’s crucial that you work with an experienced insurance agent to ensure you have the right coverage, so there are no unpleasant surprises if you need to file a claim. 

Typically, a Builders’ Risk policy will cover damages caused by the following:

  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Explosion
  • Weather events, such as hail or lightning
  • Vehicle accident 

Additional perils included in some Builders’ Risk policies include the following:

  • Damage to temporary structures
  • Removal and disposal of pollutants
  • Costs incurred by delayed construction, such as lost rental income or loan interest
  • Changes required to meet environmental standards 

Perils that are not covered in a typical Builders’ Risk policy include the following:

  • Wind
  • Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Employee theft
  • Terrorism
  • Faulty work or materials
  • Mechanical breakdowns
  • Contractual penalties 

Some policies do cover these last perils but come with higher deductibles. An extension or endorsement to your policy may also cover these perils. 

When reading an insurance policy, it is also essential to understand the difference between a “structure” and a “building.” A structure is usually temporary and is not occupied – such as scaffolding or a temporary structure built to store materials. A building is a structure – such as a house or an office building – that can be occupied. 

Why Isn’t Commercial Property Insurance and General Liability Insurance Enough?

Commercial Property Insurance is designed to cover commercial properties – buildings and everything in them - from perils such as fire, damage caused by theft, and natural disasters. You’ll want to purchase this type of insurance to protect your office space, warehouse, or other buildings you use to conduct business. However, Commercial Property Insurance does not typically cover damage to your equipment or materials when offsite or in transit, nor does it usually cover buildings that are under construction. 

General Liability Insurance is designed to protect your business if you are responsible for property damage or bodily injury to others. It does not cover your property if it is damaged. 

How Can I Get the Lowest Price on Builders’ Risk Insurance?

If you want to get the right coverage at the lowest cost, work with an independent insurance agency like American Insuring Group. They specialize in Contractors Insurance throughout Pennsylvania, from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and all points in between.

They can help you customize your Builders’ Risk Insurance to meet your specific needs and compare the cost of your coverage with several insurance companies to ensure that you’re paying the lowest price for that coverage.

Give the independent agents at American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online for a free quote on all of your business insurance needs.

Tags: Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Contractor Safety Management, Builders Risk Insurance

20 Eye-Opening Stats to Help Improve Worksite Safety

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Nov 14, 2020

Lower Your Contractor Insurance Cost by Learning from These Statistics. Serving Philadelphia, Berks County, PA and Beyond.Most contractors understand that fewer workplace injuries create lower employee turnover, higher employee morale, lower Contractors Insurance costs, and a slew of other benefits for both employers and employees.

But do you ever feel like you’re beating your head against the wall when you try to explain the importance of workplace safety to your workers?

Too often, younger employees feel invincible, and older employees become complacent, so it’s up to you to make them understand the importance of safety and the impact a lack of safety can have on them and their families.

One surefire way to do that is with cold, hard eye-opening facts and stats like those below.

20 safety facts to share with your employees

  1. One out of every ten construction workers is injured on the job every year.
  2. There is an average of two deaths every day in the construction industry.
  3. Non-fatal injury rates in construction are 71% higher than any other industry.
  4. Every year, one in five work-related deaths are in construction.
  5. Another way to say it - nearly 20% of all work-related deaths were in the construction industry.
  6. Over a 45-year career in the construction industry, there’s a 75% likelihood that a worker will experience a disabling injury and a one in 200 chance that an employee will die due to a workplace injury.
  7. 60% of construction workplace accidents happen during an employee’s first year on the job.
  8. OSHA’s “Fatal Four” - falls, struck by, electrocutions, caught-in/between - caused 58.6% of construction worker deaths in 2018.
  9. Eliminating deaths caused by the “Fatal Four” would save 591 construction workers in the U.S. every year.
  10. Falls account for the largest number of “Fatal Four” deaths (33.5%).
  11. Of all the industries, construction has the most fatal falls, representing 51% of all falls nationally.
  12. Fall protection is the most frequently cited OSHA standard following OSHA Inspections.
  13. Struck by object injuries account for 11.1% of “Fatal Four” deaths.
  14. Electrocutions account for 8.5% of “Fatal Four” deaths.
  15. Caught-in/between injuries account for 5.5% of “Fatal Four” deaths.
  16. In 2018, construction workers between the ages of 35-44 were more likely to experience a non-fatal injury (19,410) in the U.S.
  17. In 2018, construction workers between the ages of 45-54 had the highest number of fatal injuries (228) in the U.S.
  18. While older workers are injured less frequently than their younger co-workers, their injuries tend to be more severe and take longer to recover from.
  19. Between 2003 to 2016, construction companies with fewer than 20 employees accounted for 56.6% of the industry’s 5,155 fatalities.
  20. Not a statistic, but a fact – the majority of construction work-site injuries and deaths are avoidable.

Act Now to Save on Contractors Insurance!

Another way to save on Contractors Insurance is to work with one of the independent agents at American Insuring Group who specialize in Contractors Insurance. We understand your needs, so we can ensure that you have the right coverage, and we check with many competing insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest rate on that great coverage. Give us a call now at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

 

These statistics were gathered from a variety of sources, including the following:

  • OSHA
  • Safety + Health magazine
  • National Safety Council
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Big Rentz
  • The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

Tags: Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, PA Workers Compensation Insurance, Contractor Safety Management

7 Tips to Improve Roofer Safety and Lower Contractor Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Mar 08, 2020

Save on Roofer Contractor Insurance by Improving Roofer SafetyWant to know how to lower your Contractor Insurance costs? It’s simple: reduce the number of claims. You already know the construction industry is filled with its share of potential hazards, and this is particularly true for roofers.

Roofing work was rated the fourth most dangerous job - behind logging workers, fishing workers, and pilots – in 2019. The roofing profession has a 48.6 fatality rate – the number of deaths per 100,000 full-time workers calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with more than 100 fatalities per year (most a result of a fall).

Here are seven tips to ensure the safety of your roofers and reduce insurance costs:

Plan, Provide, and Train

OSHA recommends that employers plan, provide, and train to help ensure the safety of employees. Plan ahead to get the job done safely. Provide appropriate equipment so that employees can work safely. Train workers to recognize hazards and the proper use of equipment, ladders, scaffolds, and fall protection systems.  

Consider Weather Conditions

Moisture, ice, and wet leaves can make a roof extremely slippery, and a strong gust of wind can cause a worker to lose his or her balance. Avoid working on roofs in bad weather, especially on surfaces such as slate, tile, metal, and some single-ply membranes, which can be particularly slippery when wet.

Use Ladders Properly

Ladders are an essential tool for any roofer. Ladders should be inspected for visible defects regularly and after any occurrence that could have caused damage. Ladders should only be used on stable and level surfaces. If that isn’t possible, secure the ladder to keep it from moving. Areas at the top and bottom of the ladder should be kept clear.

Roofers should be trained to maintain three points of contact (two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand) at all times when going up or down a ladder. Workers should also not carry anything that could cause them to lose their balance.

Check to make sure that ladders are fully open before using them. If using non-self-supporting ladders, such as extension ladders, OSHA recommends setting the ladder “at an angle so the horizontal distance between the top support and the foot of the ladder is approximately one-quarter the working length of the ladder (a 1:4 ratio).”

Provide Fall Protection

It comes as no surprise that falls are the leading cause of work-related injuries and fatalities among roofers. Employees should attend regular training on fall safety.

OSHA requires that employees who are exposed to a fall of six feet or more to a lower level be provided with fall protection. Fall protection can come in many forms, including personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), fall restraint systems, guide-rail systems, warning line systems, safety net systems, safety monitoring systems, and covers.

Provide Safe Scaffolding

Ensure that any scaffolds used are designed and constructed by a qualified person. Employees are most likely to fall when climbing on or off a scaffold, so it’s important to provide safe access. It’s also important that scaffolds are fully planked or decked between the front uprights and guardrail supports.

Consider Electrical Safety

The biggest electrocution risk for roofers is contact with overhead powerlines, but contact with electrical conduit buried in old roofing can also cause electrocution. Workers should be protected from electrocution by de-energizing the circuits, grounding, or guarding it with insulation.

Train Employees on Hazardous Materials

Employees must be trained on how to read and understand safety data sheets, container labeling, and other forms of warning and how to protect themselves from hazards, such as asbestos, lead, silica, and hazardous chemicals.

 

Compare Insurance - Here's How We Can Help You Save!

A Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agent in Berks County, and serving Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.Another way to save on Contractor Insurance is to work with an independent agent – like those at American Insuring Group – who will compare the cost and quality of insurance coverage among several different competing insurance companies.

If you want to be confident that you’re getting the best price and coverage on Contractor Insurance, give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online!

Tags: Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, workers comp insurance, Contractor Safety Management