How would you get through the day today without your tools? For most contractors, business would come to an abrupt halt if their tools suddenly vanished. And what would it cost you to get back on track? Many contractors have slowly built up their inventory of specialty equipment bit by bit. Replacing it all at once could be a huge financial hit.
You can’t operate without your tools, it’s only natural that you want to make sure they’re covered.
You wake up early to get to a new job site. You stop for coffee on the way, and run in, leaving your generator and tools in your truck in the parking lot. When you come back with your coffee ten minutes later, your expensive new generator is gone.
What do you do?
Well, if you’re insured, you call up your agent and file a claim. They help cover the cost and get you back on your feet in no time.
This is just one of the ways you can use your contractor insurance to protect your tools.
What Contractor Insurance Coverage Do You Need to Protect Your Tools?
With the right insurance coverage, you can protect the valuable equipment and tools you rely on to build your business.
Here’s how it works for you in the worst-case scenarios.
#1: Your Equipment Is Stolen From Your Truck
Your tools disappear from the back of your truck. You don’t really care whether they were lost in transit or stolen- you just need to get back to work! Inland marine insurance is designed to protect materials in transit.
Inland marine insurance is what’s known as a floater policy. It isn’t tied to a particular project or location, it goes where the insured property goes.
This means if something vanishes out of your truck, inland marine insurance can help you cover the loss.
#2: Your Equipment Vanishes Off The Job Site
Inland marine insurance isn’t the only policy that covers lost or stolen tools.
If you leave your tools on site while you go get lunch and come back to find them gone, a builders risk policy just may save the day. Builders risk covers projects while they’re under construction. Builders risk can be extended to protect tools associated with the project while they are on site or in storage.
Builders risk and inland marine protect your tools in different ways. To figure out what type of coverage you need and which (or both) of these policies will work best for you, talk to a construction insurance specialist.
#3: Your Tools Are Damaged On Your Truck
You’re driving up a dirt road to get to a construction site and hit a pothole. You hear a clatter from your truck bed, and look over your shoulder to find that your tailgate has popped open and your favorite power tools have hit the dirt.
Inland marine insurance covers property that’s damaged in transit, too.
#4: Your Tools Are Damaged In An On-Site Accident
A fire breaks out in a house you’re building. When the smoke clears, you discover that your tools have been damaged in the fire.
Because builders risk insurance covers damagers incurred during the course of construction. If an accident happens on the job site, you’ll want a builders risk insurance to help you recover from the loss.
#5: Your Blueprints Get Lost or Damaged
Say your blueprints suffer from water damage, fly out the truck window, or get torn in transit.
Good news: inland marine insurance isn’t only for tools.
Many inland marine policies either cover or can be expanded to cover other property. This includes valuable documents like blueprints.
#6: A Client Is Injured Using Your Tools
A customer trips over the cord on your power tool and breaks their arm. You’re using a jackhammer and accidentally take out the wrong sidewalk.
The damage here isn’t to your tools, but to a third party. And lawsuits can spiral out of control pretty quickly. If you’re a small business owner, a lawsuit can cost you your business… tools and all.
If your tools cause damage to a third-party, your general liability insurance can help you out.
#7: An Employee Gets Hurt Using Your Tools
Say an employee is injured using a power tool. They cut themselves, trip and fall, break something.
Whatever the case may be, dealing with the costs of an employee injury has the potential to be just as damaging as dealing with a third-party injury.
If one of your workers is injured using your tools, you’ll need workers comp to help them get back on their feet, and avoid a lawsuit.
Don’t leave your tools and equipment to chance. From your favorite hand-tools to your high value power equipment, you can construct the ultimate safety net to defend your assets from accidents and unforeseen incidents. With the right contractor insurance, your tools are safe.