Being in business as an electrician poses some unique risks, and making sure that you are properly covered with insurance is required by law. The types of coverage an electrician needs vary for each unique situation. Some electricians may store all their business equipment in a vehicle that they leave parked overnight, and some may have their own commercial property where their items are a bit more secure. Some electricians choose to work completely alone, and some may have a crew of 10 employees or more.
Having the proper insurance policy is vital for electricians, as dealing with this unique type of service poses many risks. When things are going smoothly, electricians are the life blood of every job site and remodel, but you don’t want to be caught unprepared with insufficient coverage if anything goes wrong. Here are some of the basics that will point you in the right direction regarding different types of coverage in how they can benefit your electrician business.
Why Should Electricians be Insured?
Liability insurance is the basic layer of business insurance that electricians need to be in business. Professional liability insurance offers protection if you caused damage to your property or bodily injury while on the job. If boxes are wired incorrectly, they could cause damage to any home electronics, while that same error in a residence could injure a customer. For an electrician to secure their license, they must obtain liability insurance coverage at the minimum. Any customer who has done their research and is ready to entertain bids will look for business liability insurance as a must when seeking their preferred electrician.
What Does Business Electrician Insurance Cover?
Business insurance coverage can happen to be very broad, or very specific regarding the different services provided. The type of coverage varies by the type of policy, and electrician duties can pose many unique challenges that general contracting does not. Here are the specifics about each type of insurance policy that you’re required to carry for this type of work:
Business General Liability Insurance
This is the most basic business insurance protection type that is required by law. General liability coverage will protect the electrician who caused property damage or bodily harm to a client during an instant of professional negligence. In this type of work even the most seasoned professional must make judgments very quickly, in the workplace conditions vary from month to month. This type of policy will also cover medical payments that fall under the claim of any injured customer.
Commercial Property Insurance:
This is the type of coverage that would be required for an electrician who stores equipment at a rented space, it would also include his furniture along with other office fixtures. This type of coverage is required in Missouri if the electrician keeps any other business tools on personal property such as a garage or Quonset Hut behind a residence. A standard homeowners policy usually won’t cover commercial property, but in some instances, there are extra riders available to expand the original policy to provide coverage.
Business Interruption Insurance:
Business interruption insurance is a type of policy often compiled with an electrician’s general liability coverage. This type of disruption can be caused by a tornado or a flood that makes it impossible to continue operating due to damage. This is a very important type of coverage as it will cover any interruption in sales or revenue caused by theft. It is crucial to be able to protect your business, your assets, and above all, lost wages that become impossible to pay out. This coverage can often exist as part of a bundle with general liability insurance.
Workers Compensation Insurance:
Worker’s compensation insurance is required for a business that has one or more employees other than yourself. This form of protection covers medical bills that would be accrued by said employees. They can protect your business from lawsuits, keep you compliant with state regulations, and cover employee illnesses and unforeseen workplace illnesses. It is important to note that these benefits are not available if your employee gets ill or injured outside of work, or for anyone who is under the influence when the accident occurs.
Commercial Auto Insurance:
Any successful electrician needs a vehicle for dispatch and service, and commercial auto insurance is needed even if the vehicle is also for personal use. If you happen to endure a car accident involving a personal vehicle that has work equipment inside of it, the personal policy will fail to cover damages to this property. When the schedule gets hectic and you become in a hurry, any electrician or contractor should not let an employee who is not listed on the policy drive a vehicle at all, even if it’s just a quick errand.
Other Types of Insurance Coverage for Electricians:
General liability insurance is the most common entry point for an electrical contractor to begin with. There are many other very useful add-ons that we can help you bundle at a discounted rate with, often in conjunction with a business owners policy as well.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Some business owners think that this type of insurance policy could include breakdowns that occur due to normal aging and wear and tear of your equipment. While it won’t protect you in those instances, it will provide coverage to repair or replace equipment that suddenly breaks down, and just as importantly cover income lost during this period.
Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance: If your business vehicle happens to be in the shop for repairs, it can be kind of difficult to situate a personally owned vehicle or client’s car to keep up with your workload. To make sure that you stay on top of a very busy and booked-up schedule, this type of coverage will provide you with a temporary rental.
Contractor’s Tool and Equipment Insurance: This is very useful for the days and months when you’re working on the job site and need to leave equipment there as the project progresses. It could be bulldozers, solar equipment, mounting tools, hand-held meters, or many other types of goods. This will protect you against any damage or effect, which has sadly been on the rise startlingly during the last decade.
Installation Floater: This type of coverage will protect the various types of equipment an electrician needs to complete their work period. It can include coverage for copper wires, electric boxes, conduits, and all the accessories that are needed to complete a fully-fledged electrical job.
Errors and Omissions Insurance: Some business owners think that errors and omissions insurance is the most important for professionals such as real estate agents, architects, and accountants. An electrician can still be prone to lawsuits if someone claims that your work is faulty, property is damaged, and any medical expenses are incurred. This type of coverage will also provide legal defense and other legal costs that you undergo because of a client or entity being unsatisfied with the finished product or work in progress in any way.
Surety Bond: Any contractor must be bonded insured before they can officially obtain a business license and start the journey of retaining satisfied clients. While not mandatory in all states, small business owners should consider getting a surety bond that acts as a solid guarantee that they will perform the work that they have promised.
Here at the Alexander Insurance Agency of Saint Charles, we understand that starting your electrical business was a goal that likely required years of hard work and determination. We can assist you with the best options for all types of coverage, and tell you from personal experience which plans will help you most in the long run. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing you are protected and that your livelihood is intact, with many more happy years at the helm of your circuit-breaking brainchild!