If you’re a contractor, you need to think about insurance more often than when you send your annual or six-month premium in to pay for coverage. Insurance is an important part of your business, and it should be given serious consideration like any other major component. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, you should be well aware of all the relevant features of your coverage, and you should have a good insurance broker who’s looking out for your best interests. Here are some other points you should always be aware of about insurance.
Different Jobs, Different Premiums
It will probably be a waste of money for you to be paying the same premium for all the workers in your company, unless every one of them does exactly the same kind of work. But if you have some employees who are strictly a roofing crew, and others who are HVAC specialists, the premiums you pay should be specifically tailored to their pay rates. Workmen’s Compensation rates are calculated based on hourly pay, so it can make a big difference.
Avoid State Insurance Funds
When you started up your contracting business, you may have been obliged to obtain insurance through a state fund, but that isn’t necessarily the case now that your company has been around a while. If you’re like many other contractors, you may have found that state funds are the most expensive, while providing the worst service. If you have an insurance broker, ask him/her to shop around for better insurance.
Limit Small Claims
While it is necessary to handle all employees’ complaints about injury, filing a formal Workmen’s Compensation claim for every little bruise and cut is going to end up costing you higher premiums in the long run. In most cases, it’s probably better to handle relatively minor injuries out-of-pocket, by sending workers to an occupational medicine clinic.
Check for Discounts
Many insurance companies offer discounts and other little perks in exchange for your patronage. Some of these can involve free professional services that your company can take advantage of, so it’s always worth looking into.
Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Broker
This can be one of the most important points about obtaining and maintaining your insurance policy. Having a good relationship with your broker will give you a better chance of staying informed about everything relevant to your policy, and he/she will be more likely to go the extra mile for you to find the best coverage. It’s much better to have a broker who is your advocate, rather than someone you talk to once a year.
Don’t Overlook Safety
One of the best ways of keeping Workmen’s Compensation claims manageable is to make sure that compliance with safety training mandates is part of your company routine. It’s to your advantage to have all employees well informed about safety methods and equipment, and to create a culture of safety at your work environment.