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  • Writer's pictureFar North Insurance

General Liability Insurance for Contractor: Top Options in MN for Best Coverage & Quotes

General liability for a contractor protects your business from claims of injury, property damage, and legal costs. This article covers why it’s critical, what it includes, and how it safeguards your operations.


Key Takeaways

  • General liability insurance is essential for Minnesota contractors due to the variety of risks, including bodily injuries, property damage, and personal injuries, providing financial protection and stability for businesses.

  • While general liability insurance covers numerous incidents, it does not cover intentional damages, workers’ compensation, and professional errors; additional policies such as commercial auto, equipment, and inland marine insurance may be necessary.

  • Factors influencing the cost of general liability insurance include the contractor’s specialty, geographic location, and claim history, with higher-risk industries and locations typically resulting in higher premiums.


General Liability Insurance for Contractor

As contractors, we understand the unique risks that come with the territory. General liability insurance coverage includes protection against claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury that can arise during normal business operations. Whether you’re meeting clients in a store or working on their homes, the potential for accidents is always present. This insurance not only covers immediate costs but also helps manage the financial burden of legal fees and settlements that can follow.


Mistakes and unexpected events can happen to even the most meticulous contractors. Without general liability insurance, we would be left to pay out-of-pocket for these claims, which could be financially devastating. This insurance provides a shield against such unpredictable risks, ensuring that our businesses can continue to operate smoothly even when the unexpected occurs.


General liability insurance is not just a requirement; it’s a strategic investment in the longevity and success of your contracting business. It provides a safety net that allows you to focus on delivering quality work without the constant worry of potential liabilities hanging over your head.


Understanding General Liability Insurance for Contractors in MN & General Liability Insurance for Contractors in ND

contractor holding toolbox

In Minnesota, contractors face a myriad of risks that make general liability insurance not just advisable but essential. This type of insurance covers claims arising from normal business operations, such as bodily injuries, property damage, and advertising injuries. Whether you’re a general contractor or a specialty contractor, having a comprehensive general liability insurance policy is crucial to protect your business from financial losses.


General liability insurance coverage is essential for protecting contractors from financial losses due to claims arising from normal business operations, including bodily injuries, property damage, and advertising injuries.


Contractors in Minnesota encounter unique challenges, from harsh weather conditions to varying site safety standards. General liability insurance helps cover costs related to claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury like libel or slander, which are common in the contracting industry. The right insurance policy can provide the necessary general liability coverage to mitigate these risks, ensuring that your business remains protected.


Without this vital insurance, contractors would need to bear the high costs of lawsuits and damages out-of-pocket, potentially jeopardizing the business’s financial stability. By understanding and securing appropriate general liability insurance, contractors can focus on their work with the confidence that they are protected against unforeseen liabilities.


 General Liability Coverage

injured receiving assistance

General liability insurance coverage is designed to cover a range of potential incidents that contractors might face, including bodily injuries, property damage, and personal and advertising injury claims. Each of these areas ensures that contractors have the necessary financial protection to handle various claims, keeping their operations secure and their clients satisfied. With general liability insurance coverage, contractors can confidently conduct their business without worrying about unforeseen liabilities.


Bodily Injury

Bodily injury coverage under general liability insurance is a crucial aspect for contractors. This coverage includes medial payments resulting from injuries that occur on the job site. For instance, if a client or bystander is injured due to your operations, the insurance can cover emergency services, hospital care, and follow-up doctor visits. This ensures that the injured party receives the necessary medical attention without causing financial strain on your business.


Additionally, bodily injury coverage can help pay for:

  • Medical expenses of the injured party, including medical costs and medical payments

  • Legal fees if the injured party decides to sue you

  • Compensation for lost wages if the injured party is unable to work


By having this coverage, contractors can avoid the overwhelming costs associated with such claims, providing peace of mind and financial stability.


Property Damage

Accidental damage to a client’s property can be a significant concern for contractors. General liability insurance helps cover the costs of repair or replacement of damaged property. For example, if an employee accidentally breaks a client’s window while on the job, the insurance can cover the repair costs, ensuring the client is compensated and the contractor’s reputation remains intact.


Personal and Advertising Injury

This coverage is another essential component of general liability insurance. This coverage, also known as liability insurance coverage, helps protect contractors from legal defense costs arising from claims of libel, slander, or false advertising. In addition to this, professional liability coverage can be beneficial for contractors to further safeguard their business.


In today’s competitive market, such claims can arise unexpectedly, and having the right business insurance ensures that your business can handle these legal challenges without suffering significant financial losses.


Common Exclusions in General Liability Insurance

contractor making mistake

While a general liability insurance policy provides broad coverage, it’s important to be aware of common exclusions. Understanding these exclusions helps contractors ensure they have adequate coverage and are not caught off guard by unexpected gaps in their insurance policy.


Let’s explore some of the typical exclusions in general liability insurance policies.


Intentional Damage

A general liability insurance policy does not cover damages caused intentionally by the insured. This means that any property damage or bodily injury resulting from intentional acts, such as vandalism or malicious destruction, will not be covered under the policy.

Contractors must be mindful of this exclusion to avoid potential financial liabilities from such acts.


Workers' Compensation

Employee injuries are a significant concern for contractors, but general liability coverage does not cover these incidents. Instead, contractors need to secure a separate workers’ compensation policy to cover work-related injuries to employees. This policy ensures that employees are compensated for medical expenses and lost wages resulting from workplace injuries, which is crucial in maintaining a safe and supportive working environment.


Workers’ compensation insurance is often the most costly part of a contractor’s insurance program, but it is mandatory in most states and essential for covering employee injuries. By having this insurance, contractors can protect themselves from lawsuits and ensure their employees receive the care they need.


Professional Errors and Omissions

Professional mistakes or negligence, such as errors in design or construction, are not covered under general liability insurance. For these types of claims, contractors need a separate professional liability insurance policy, also known as errors and omissions insurance.


This coverage is essential for protecting against claims of professional mistakes and ensuring comprehensive financial protection.


Additional Coverages for Contractors

commercial vehicle at construction site

In addition to general liability coverage, contractors may need other coverages to address specific risks associated with their operations. These additional coverages help provide a more comprehensive safety net, ensuring that all potential liabilities are adequately managed.


Let’s explore some of the critical additional coverages contractors should consider.


Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is necessary for contractors who use business-owned vehicles. This coverage protects against:

  • Property damage caused by these vehicles

  • Bodily harm caused by these vehicles

  • Legal bills

  • Medical expenses

  • Damages from weather, vandalism, or theft.


Ensuring that company-owned vehicles are adequately insured is vital for any contracting business, and partnering with a reliable insurance company can make all the difference.


Equipment Insurance

Equipment insurance is crucial for protecting a contractor’s tools and equipment against theft or damage. This insurance can include coverages like business income and extra expense coverage, providing added financial protection.


Whether the equipment is owned or leased, having this insurance ensures that operations can continue smoothly even if equipment is lost or damaged.


Inland Marine Insurance

Inland marine insurance provides coverage for materials and equipment while they are being transported. This insurance ensures that your valuable tools and materials are protected from natural events and theft during transit. For contractors who frequently move equipment between job sites, this coverage is indispensable.


Factors Influencing General Liability Insurance Cost

Several factors influence the cost of general liability insurance for contractors. These include the contractor’s specialty, geographic location, and claim history. Understanding these factors can help contractors manage their insurance costs more effectively and ensure they get the best coverage for their needs.


Let’s delve into each of these factors.


Geographic Location

The geographic location of a contractor’s operations also plays a crucial role in determining insurance costs. Operating in areas with frequent natural disasters or higher population densities can lead to increased premiums. Urban areas, for instance, pose a higher risk of claims, thus driving up the cost of insurance.


Contractors should consider these factors when planning their insurance budgets.


Claim History

A contractor’s claim history can have a significant impact on the cost of general liability insurance. Here are some key points to consider:

  • A clean claims history can help lower insurance premiums, as it indicates a lower risk to insurers.

  • Businesses with a history of frequent claims may face higher premiums.

  • Insurers evaluate claim histories case-by-case to determine their impact on insurance rates.


How to Get General Liability Insurance Quotes

Obtaining general liability insurance quotes involves comparing options from multiple companies. Contractors can use online quote tools or work with insurance brokers to find the best coverage at competitive rates. Understanding the methods to obtain quotes can help contractors secure the most suitable insurance for their needs. Many insurance providers offer general liability insurance coverage quotes and assistance tailored to the needs of small business owners and contractors.


Let’s explore these methods in detail.


Online Quote Tools

Online quote tools offer a convenient way for contractors to compare insurance options. These platforms allow business owners to input their information once and receive multiple quotes from top-rated carriers, making it easier to find the best coverage at competitive prices.


Using these tools can save time and money by providing quick access to a range of options.


Working with Brokers

Working with insurance brokers can be highly beneficial for contractors seeking general liability insurance. Brokers offer expert advice tailored to the specific needs of contracting businesses, helping to navigate the complexities of various policies. They also have access to exclusive rates and coverage options not available online, potentially saving contractors money while securing better coverage.


By leveraging a broker’s expertise, contractors can ensure they obtain the most comprehensive and cost-effective insurance solutions.


Summary

In summary, general liability insurance is a critical component for contractors in Minnesota, offering protection against a wide range of risks including bodily injuries, property damage, and personal and advertising injuries. This insurance helps cover medical expenses, legal fees, and repair costs, ensuring that contractors can manage claims without facing financial devastation. However, it’s important to be aware of common exclusions such as intentional damage, workers’ compensation, and professional errors and omissions, which require additional specific coverages.


Additional coverages like commercial auto insurance, equipment insurance, and inland marine insurance further enhance the protection for contractors, addressing specific risks associated with their operations. Factors such as contractor specialty, geographic location, and claim history significantly influence the cost of general liability insurance. By utilizing online quote tools and working with brokers, contractors can obtain competitive quotes and secure the best possible coverage. Ultimately, having the right insurance allows contractors to focus on their work with peace of mind, knowing they are well-protected against unforeseen liabilities.


Frequently Asked Questions


What does general liability cover for contractors?

General liability insurance covers bodily injuries, property damage, and personal and advertising injuries during normal business operations.


Why is workers' compensation not covered under general liability?

Workers' compensation is not covered under general liability insurance because it is designed to address workplace injuries and requires a separate policy. Always ensure you have the necessary coverage for your employees' well-being.


How can I reduce the cost of my general liability?

To reduce the cost of your general liability insurance, maintain a clean claims history, understand your specific risks, and compare quotes from multiple insurance companies. By doing so, you can potentially lower your insurance expenses.


What additional coverages should contractors consider besides general liability?

In addition to general liability, contractors should consider commercial auto insurance, equipment insurance, and inland marine insurance to cover specific risks related to their operations. Cyber liability is also playing an important role in protecting contractors. With funds transfer fraud and ransomware/extortion on the rise, now is not the time to sleep on cyber risks.


How do online quote tools compare to working with brokers for obtaining insurance quotes?

Online quote tools offer quick access to multiple quotes for easy comparison, while working with brokers provides personalized advice and access to exclusive rates and coverage options not available online. Therefore, the best option depends on your preference for convenience or personalized guidance.

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