California Insurance Specialist

California Contractors Insurance – General Liability Requirements and Information

It’s no secret that one of the occupations or fields of work most affected by the down-turn in our economy has been contractors, but it’s not a good excuse for even the smallest contractors to go without their liability insurance.

For California Contractors, liability insurance is the last item they want to spend their budget on.

The following are a few samples of what we hear these days:

  • “I’m an owner only operation and I’m a safe contractor”
  • “ I’ve never had any accident in ___ (you fill in the blank) years of doing business”
  • “Business is so slow right now, I really don’t need it.”
  • “ My jobs are only small remodels, no large contracts that require me to have insurance”

Sound familiar? Well, accidents can happen regardless of the amount of care you take, or years of experience you have. For a no obligation quote, fill out the following form, for more info, read on below.

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General Company Information

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Policy Limits

If you are requesting limits other than $2,000,000 Aggregate/$1,000,000 Occurrence, please include this in your description of operations.

Description of Operations


What Determines My California Contractors Insurance Premium?

Carriers use your payroll, subcontractor costs, and/or gross receipts as well as your trade or field of work to determine the level of risk for your business. Actuarial departments track accident/claim rates for all trades in order for the insurers to accurately determine their risk. These risk factors are combined to create their rating systems. Underwriters have final authorization to offer a policy to an applicant. Some policies for small contractors are set programs using the class of business (your trade), the other factors above, and the limits of liability. Some insurers work to tailor their programs to meet the most common needs of contractor clients. Other insurers may be able to customize coverage and/or offer credits to those with previous coverage etc.

What Does Contractor’s Liability Insurance Cover?

While contractor’s liability insurance doesn’t cover poor workmanship, it will cover property damage caused by it. For instance, if a cabinet installer installs an upper cabinet improperly and it falls and damages a kitchen counter and kitchen floor, it won’t cover the “re-do” of the cabinetry, but may cover the damage done to the counter and floor. In addition, bodily injury resulting from your work may be covered (say the cabinet fell on someone’s head), but bodily injury to employees would be covered by your workers comp policy.

For more information, keep an eye open for my future blog posts discussing differences in coverage types, the Sunset Clause, and answers to more frequently asked questions.

Should I Decide on Price?

Although many of the lower priced programs still provide excellent coverage, not all programs are a “one size fits all”. You will want to be specific when working with a broker to inform them of your requirements such as special wording, additional insureds, budgetary restrictions etc. Just like an auto dealer sells cars at different price points, so does the insurance broker. Pricing can range depending on whether you’re looking for the Ford, or the Lexus, so be honest with your broker on the level of coverage you want, and can afford.

Because we offer coverage at all price points, a brief consultation to determine your needs is always helpful. While, as an insurance professional, I recommend that you purchase the most comprehensive coverage you can afford, this can mean different things to different people so be honest about your budget and coverage needs and I’ll work to find you the best coverage for the best price.

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