Design and build companies require insurance coverage for a variety of risks. The article below will share seven tips to help guide you in choosing the best insurance policies for your company.
Make Sure Your Contract Is Clear In Regards To Insurance Requirements
If this sounds familiar, it’s time to add an addendum clause when dealing with contractors or any third party that will allow you to take control of getting insured if necessary. Your contract should clearly state that the general contractor has to carry a certain amount of liability and workers’ compensation for you to do the work on their property. Your responsibility may end there, but many designers find themselves going back and forth with their clients before everything is confirmed in writing. This way, they can’t make an excuse after excuse about why they can’t get insurance, and your back isn’t against the wall.
Be Clear About What You Need Out of Your Insurance Policy
Before you start looking for new insurance for your design and build company, be sure to understand what must be included in your new policy. For some people, this may include medical coverage while others need liability protection; thinking ahead about what will serve your company best will significantly help narrow down choices later on.
Know Which Type of Contract You Have with Your Carriers
Knowing the type of contract used is vital to ensure that everything runs smoothly between yourself and any third party. Some companies use package contracts where they offer a multitude of policies under one cover. This can be a risky method, as although most of your policy is covered, you might miss out on the one thing that’s vital for your company. These package policies can also be restrictive and difficult to work around if something does come up during a claim.
Vet Any New Insurance Carriers or Brokers That You’re Considering Working With
Before signing any contracts, double-check that they are licensed and insured themselves as well as who they’re representing. This can be done by calling the state licensing board and searching under individual broker names and the name of their firm. You can also ask what types of insurance carriers do they represent? If only one is listed, they may not know enough about other options, which spell trouble down the road. By making sure they not only have a good understanding of what you need but that they can get it from more than one company, your business stands to gain the most.
Call Previous Clients
Call previous clients and ask them if their claims process was precise and painless. This will give you a great idea of the credibility of the insurance carrier or broker you’re looking into. If their experience was hassle-free, then there’s a good chance your dealings with this new company will be just as smooth.
Make sure everything is handled in writing
As with many things in life, insurance policies are no different, so make sure all changes made to coverage are made through written communication by either email or letter, depending on how much information needs to be sent. It’s elementary for things to go wrong when folks make promises over the phone or via email. Not only can misunderstandings occur, but legal errors can lead to big trouble down the road.
Get new insurance quotes every few years
Lastly, no matter who your carrier is, get new rates at least once a year, so you know exactly what type of coverage you’re getting for your dollar and how it stacks up with the rest of the market. It’s best not to keep all your eggs in one basket; compare policies by several companies that cover design and building businesses to ensure that you’re receiving sufficient coverage that will stand up in court if worse comes to worst.
Although these tips may seem a little bare, they’re excellent guidelines for knowing what type of questions to ask and how to go about doing your due diligence when looking for a new insurance carrier.