How Plumbers Can Get The Best Insurance
Looking for plumbers insurance for your business?
Not sure what the best insurance options are?
In this video and post, I’m going to go over the basics and give you some ideas on how you can get the best insurance for your plumbing business.
I want to explain two big topics for plumbing contractors:
The first is what insurance coverages most plumbers need.
And second, how you can secure the best insurance for your plumbing contracting company.
What are the most common insurance coverages that plumbers need?
tops the list of the insurance coverage you need as a plumber. Commonly called GL, this policy will protect your company from claims which allege some form of bodily injury or property damage from the work you perform for a customer or from other third parties. Common claims relate to water damage from hookups that fail and damage a customer’s home and if that home is in a multi-family condo the potential damages to a neighbor downstairs.
Most contractors purchase their GL coverage within a BOP or Business Owners Policy which can include coverage for:
for materials, supplies, tools, equipment, and other personal property stored in your shop or office.
For materials and tools that are stored in your work trucks.
To protect your money and securities from fraud, embezzlement, theft, and other perils
Some insurers will write umbrella insurance within the BOP policy, some write it as a separate policy.
The purpose of umbrella insurance is to provide an extra or excess layer of liability protection over and above your general liability and auto liability policies.
I believe every plumbing contractor should purchase an umbrella because it is a cost-effective method of adding higher limits of protection.
The next common policy is workers compensation when the plumbing company has employees, and after that is
Business Auto Insurance
Business Auto liability coverage should be written for limits of $1,000,000. I know that commercial auto rates are high but I don’t recommend insuring business autos on a personal auto policy to save money. Doing so creates a coverage gap for your company.
Conversely, I don’t recommend putting your personal private passenger vehicles on your commercial auto policy. It’s going to be more costly – regardless of the tax write-off – and second, you don’t want potential family member driving records or claims to infiltrate your business policies.
Cyber is a policy that’s not often discussed for contractors is cyber insurance. My recommendation is to look at cyber insurance seriously.
If you do business digitally – and this can include your billing system, your quick books, your customer lists, etc. you run the risk of a breach or hack that can compromise your data.
Or worse a ransomware attack that seizes control of all your data and only unlocks it after you pay a ransom.
How do you secure the best plumbers insurance coverage for your contracting business?
Well, you’re obviously starting online like a lot of businesses do. You’re doing your research, you’re looking for qualified experts before you’ll start making calls.
In fact, recent studies show that business owners do about 80% of their research before they contact a seller. The internet gives us the ability to find the best choices out there before making a decision.
During your research, you will see a lot of insurance brokers with long quote forms that ask a ton of questions but don’t return a quote after you fill them out.
I’m not a big fan of quote forms. You’re doing a lot of work and no one has asked you what’s most important to you? Or what’s driving you to seek alternatives online?
If you’re like me, I’m not giving up my personal information to anyone, without speaking to them first.
You’ll also likely see more modern technology-enabled insurance sellers that may say they can save you 30% and get the whole process done efficiently online in 10 minutes or less. P
Push a button to get a quote and answer a few questions and bang – you’ve got a quote.
That’s great. But what concerns me here is that there’s no expert guiding you on what to purchase, what insurance company to purchase it from, or what limits of protection you should have.
You become the de facto insurance expert and if things g sideways there’s no one to blame… but yourself of course, and that’s not a great feeling.
So, what’s the answer?
In my opinion, you need to work with an expert skilled insurance broker who has wide access to the insurance marketplace and can guide you in your buying decisions, as well as make recommendations for you and offer you choices.
As I said, I’m not a big fan of filling in forms or online buying. Yea, it’s quick and easy – but is it right?
So, how do you find that expert and a skilled broker?
Good question. I’ll be honest and say that there are a lot of good brokers out there. I’ll also say that there are tons more that wouldn’t qualify as skilled or expert.
Here’s the key. Can you get a sense from an insurance broker’s website if they’re friendly, capable, likable, and trustworthy?
Do they have informational videos like this where you can get a flavor for what they’re like?
Do they focus just on commercial insurance – or are they a jack-of-all-trades?
If you find one or two brokers that you think you like – then make a call and talk to them.
Do they enjoy working with plumbers? Do they represent several insurance companies that love writing plumbers? Do they ask you the right questions during that call? Do you have a sense of confidence in speaking with them?
If so, then engage them! If not, then move on to the next brokers until you get the feeling that this is someone you’re going to enjoy working with.
A word of caution.
Do not engage more than one broker at a time. You may think that having multiple brokers out there getting you quotes is going to give you leverage. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.
It creates confusion and a mess.
When you finally settle on a broker you want to work with, give them all the details they’re looking for. Don’t hold back or sugarcoat things. The more information that broker has, the better job they’re going to do for you. You also should tell them what’s most important to you.
Here’s the bottom line:
You want to work with an expert skilled broker, who represents multiple insurers who like plumbing contractors.
They should have an excellent support team that is there through the year to answer your questions, issue certificates in a timely manner, and give you guidance and advice as well.
That broker should have a risk management system to help you control claims and manage risk.
They should be proactive to tell you what you need and why you need it and offer options. Most of all you should like the broker you’re dealing with, and have a level of trust and confidence in them.
If that all comes together, you should be on your way to achieving the best insurance program for your plumbing business.
Oh, and by the way, my firm has all those attributes and I’ve got 40 years of experience and 4 professional designations that credential that expertise. And, I’d love an opportunity to work with you!
Have other questions or thoughts you’d like to discuss? Reach out, let’s connect. Click below to get started. I love solving insurance problems for business owners of all types and work with plumbers across the country so let’s chat.