The construction business in Ontario is without a doubt demanding and aggressive. In just a single day, you or your employees could be exposed to a number of risks. Not only could these risks result in a life-threatening injury, but also could result in a major lawsuit. Some lawsuits will not only affect you, but they can affect your family as well. It is probably safe to assume that you are the provider in the household and if you don’t have money coming in how are you going to provide for your family? This is why it is always imperative to make sure that you are covered with the proper insurance polices to the fullest. One such policy that you are going to need is contractors general liability insurance.
What Does CGL Insurance Do?
If you are going to go into the contractor field in Ontario, you are going to need contractors general liability insurance, which is sometimes referred to as contractors insurance. This is a specific type of insurance policy that is not only required by the business laws of Ontario, but it can protect you in a variety of likely situations. The policy will cover you in the event that you or your employees cause bodily harm to a third-party or property damage. It can also offer protection in the event that you post an ad that damages the reputation of a competitor, which is probably something you don’t really have to worry about in the contractor’s line of work.
Understand How Contractors Insurance Works
So, contractors insurance covers bodily harm and property damage on a job site. However, this is still kind of vague. In order to truly understand the policy, you need to know exactly how this insurance works and whether or not you need to have professional indemnity insurance as a contractor. Imagine if you are on a job changing out a heating and air unit in the attic. If you or your employees slip and fall through the attic, this policy will pay to have the attic ceiling repaired.
This policy also covers third-party bodily harm. Say you are on that same job and you have an extension cord plugged up to run a drop light into the attic because there is no electricity up there. If the homeowner walks by, trips on the cord and sustains injuries, this policy will kick in and cover the medical expenses.
It also covers damages caused by misleading advertising claims. For instance, if you post an ad saying that you offer better service than a local competitor, you might end up damaging the reputation of that competitor. As a result it is highly likely that the hurt competitor might try to sue you for hurting his or her reputation. This policy will cover the court costs, lawyer fees, and it will even cover some or all of the damages if you lose the case.
Understand Where CGL Insurance Is Lacking
While it is impossible for the Ontario contractor to get by without contractors general liability insurance, it doesn’t offer coverage for all the risks that you will be exposed to. However, there will be other coverage policies available that can offer the protection that you need. Whatever the situation is, it is important to know what CGL doesn’t cover, so you can get cover your other risks with a customized insurance package. Even though contractors insurance covers bodily damage for the client, it doesn’t not offer you or your employees bodily damage protection. You will need another policy for this.
Contractors general liability insurance also doesn’t protect you against vehicle accidents. It doesn’t protect your place of business in the event that it is robbed or hit by a tornado. It will however protect you in the event that a customer slips and falls in your place of business. This policy will not cover poor workmanship either.
Let’s say you are a carpenter who is fully covered under a carpenter insurance policy and if a customer doesn’t like the job when it is done or you painted a porch the wrong color, you are going to be left with the charges.
What About Subcontractors?
Let’s say you are an independent contractor in Ontario. There will probably be many cases in which you will be working with subcontractors. For instance, if you are installing a new heating and air unit and later discover that the wire leading to the unit isn’t sufficient for the new amperage, you might have to turn to an electrician to run a new wire. When you bring this individual in to do the job, he or she will be your responsibility and you are going to be liable for what they do. They could just as easily cause property damage or physically injure the customer.
Luckily, your independent contractors insurance policy can have added on coverage that offers protection for that subcontractor as well. That being said, most subcontractors you hire will probably already have their own policies, but just in case you know they will be covered under yours, provided they are endorsed (added on) on your policy.
You should always be weary about working with someone that doesn’t have coverage, because it is required by law in Ontario.
Other frequently asked questions before buying contractors insurance
- Do I Need Contractors Insurance to be able to work in Ontario?
- How Much Contractors Insurance Should I Have?
- How Much Does General Liability Insurance For Contractors Cost?
- Are Contractors Required To Have Insurance?
- What Does a Contractors Insurance Policy Cover in Ontario?
- Are the Subcontractors I hire Covered Under My Contractors Insurance Policy?
- As a Contractor Do I Need Professional Indemnity Insurance?
- Do I need insurance even if I am an Independent Contractor?
- How to Become an Approved Contractor for Insurance Company Jobs
Type of contractors we commonly insure
- Cleaning – Residential, industrial and commercial
- Painting – Residential, commercial, and industrial
- Snow plow
- Air duct cleaning