Why do plumbers need workers’ comp insurance?
Running a plumbing business or even a one-man shop comes with liabilities. Plumbing and piping professionals are prone to injury and accidents in workplaces; thus, they need insurance coverage to handle the financial aftermath of a possible injury and maintain their business’s stability.
This is where workers’ comp (a common term for workers’ compensation) comes into play. It covers medical fees, lost wages and other factors of plumbing work-related injuries like slips, falls, hearing damage, suffocation and eye injuries. Any incident during the installation and preparation of pipes and plumbing essentials could potentially lead to property damage and legal action.
To help you fully understand your rights and ways to protect plumbing and piping businesses, let's dig into all things you should know about aspects of insurance and potential blind spots in a risk management/insurance program before considering it.
Plumbing class codes
When you are thinking of getting a quote, your business class code is important. A code assigned by the National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) or some state agency reflects the level of risk and activity involved in a work line.
Within the plumbing industry there are many classes of risks; thus, several different class codes as well. Some common codes are:
5183-Plumbing NOC and drivers
1711-Plumbing, heating and air-conditioning
8111-Plumber’s supplies dealer and drivers
How much does plumbing insurance cost?
The cost of insurance is based on size, scope and involved risks. Of course, opting for an overly priced insurance policy is not always the right choice, but those at the lower end of the price range often have hidden exclusions that create gaps in standard coverage. Thus, be careful while selecting an insurance policy and have a detailed discussion about exclusions with your insurance provider.
For large plumbing and piping companies that cover commercial workplaces, the premium package can push well over $100,000/year. For such reputable companies, the insurance policy is an inclusive package that includes, safety control, auto schedules, legal clarity, return to work programs and more.
What does workers’ compensation insurance cover?
To figure out if a certain insurance policy is the right fit for you, here are a few things you should question about. What a workers’ comp covers will help you decide if you want to get a quote or not. Regardless of whether you are a one-man shop or an organization, plumbing insurance and workers’ compensation is necessary in both cases.
General liability insurance, also called Commercial General Liability (CGL), is a recommended insurance for plumbing professionals and can protect the business from not just injuries but also other business claims. Such claims can arise if a customer gets injured after the work you have done in their facility (residential or commercial) or if their property gets damaged during your work. A general liability policy should protect you from:
Let’s say while installing a new kitchen sink, you or your employee forgot to tighten a connector and the customer has to deal with water leaks. This, in turn, damages the customer's floor. A general liability policy should cover such types of property damages and protect you from spending your profits on such compensations.
Personal injuries are basically indirect damage. They are not caused by the work you do, but by the relationship you have with your client. For example, one of your employees talks ill about a customer, and that customer sues your company for slander or unprofessionalism. General liabilities resolve such issues (within the limits of your policy). Discuss the extent of personal injury coverage with your agency in detail to know your advantages beforehand.
You fix a shower but forget to fix the pipe properly. It falls on the customer and they get badly bruised requiring medical attention. The customer claims that you are responsible. A liability policy can cover the cost of treatment and medication for you.
Ongoing and Completed Operations
When considering an insurance policy, it is important to discuss the extent of ongoing as well as completed operations insurance. The majority of policies are detailed about ongoing operation policies but not completed operations.
This includes bodily injuries and damage that occurs to you and your employees at the job sites. This includes any damage sustained by the client or client’s properties.
This includes liabilities that your work can cause after the project is completed and in the client’s use. Once the job is completed, plumbing employees can be held responsible for physical injuries and property damage caused by the products used and work done by the plumbers. This coverage is extremely important because although small issues can be resolved between the two parties, bigger issues may lead to legal actions.
Most plumbing businesses, big or small, have specific transportation gear. Usually, a truck or van that transports the team and relevant tools and equipment. These vehicles are used to travel from job sites frequently, automobile exposure can be significant. An accident of such a vehicle can drastically hamper workflow and loss of life as well. Accidents of such commercial vehicles are often very damaging and standard auto policies are not enough to cover the damage. It can cover vehicle damage, whether by collision or some other cause.
Your employees are usually in direct contact with work pace variables. Thus, if an employee gets hurt, your company might have to deal with a workers’ compensation claim. Some common sources of on-site injuries include cuts, head blows, scrapes, sprains, strains, etc. Employees are on working days and are repeatedly exposed to these dangers which can risk business costs. The nature of danger depends on the nature of work. For example, welding work is more dangerous compared to fixtures as it adds exposure to fire, burns, fumes, vapors etc. Thus, a complete workers’ compensation helps your company deal with the financial requirement of treatment and keeps your workers safe.
Plumbing is physically active work that involves tools, worker experience and a dynamic working environment. To ensure that a business does not suffer losses, a good workers’ compensation and liability policy is necessary for small and big service providers. By considering the above-mentioned points, you can judge and select the right insurance for you.