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Why is Equipment Insurance so Important for the Winter?

Contractors rely on two things to get the job done: their knowledge and their tools. Even the most educated and skilled craftsmen will be unable to get work done if their equipment is damaged or destroyed and if no plan is set for replacement.

These concerns make it crucial to have your tools and equipment covered by an adequate insurance policy. Equipment insurance is especially important during the winter months when hazards increase and correspond to a rise in accidents.

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Changes in the Equipment Industry Over the Years

An Overview of Changes in the Equipment Industry

The construction industry is one fraught with peril and risk, but improved OSHA safety standards and constantly improving equipment and machinery work hard every day in conjunction with better insurance coverage to protect contractors and their workers. Let’s look at the history of changes in the equipment industry and how these changes have affected the business of construction and contracting.

1960s

The 1960s was a huge era in the construction industry. The Interstate Highway System was being built, bolstered by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 and would go on for a full 35 years. High-power, huge machinery was introduced in this era for the first time. New machinery in the ‘60s included high-powered scrapers to move dirt and rock, monster machines like surface mining draglines, huge steam shovels and 360-ton trucks for hauling material. In fact, of all the equipment introduced in this era, only hauling trucks have increased in size.

1970s

The oil crisis of the ‘70s increased demand for coal across the nation, and earth-moving equipment became all the rage. There was a waiting list of up to four years to get hold of large machinery during this era.

1980s

The country was hit by a major recession in the 1980s, which had a stark transformative effect on the equipment industry. In just a few years, many companies went under and others consolidated. In the space of ten years, a lot of companies disappeared from the landscape. The four major manufacturers of earthmoving equipment were Euclid, Harvester, Allis Chalmers and Caterpillars. Today, only Caterpillar remains under its original name.

1990s

In the 1990s, environmentalism became a major social and political movement, and its effects continue to be felt today. A wave of new laws were issued to protect the environment, including those regulating diesel emissions, which brought on many drastic changes in the equipment industry. During this era, new engine technology was developed that still delivered the needed power, but functioned at a much cleaner and more efficient level.

2000s

We are now into the second decade of the 21st Century and the industry continues to evolve and change. The recession of 2008 hit the construction industry hard, and a new model of equipment distribution arose. The focus now is no longer on companies owning heavy machinery, but leasing it as needed. In the 1980s, rental comprised less than 20 percent of the market. Now, over 40 percent of contractors lease, rather than own, their heavy machinery.

changes in the equipment industry

This presents challenges for equipment manufacturers who have to make available a variety of specifications to meet all the diverse needs of the industry at a rental level. This has resulted in fewer optional and luxury features and a greater variety of base-level operations.

Changes in the equipment industry have gone hand-in-hand with changes in the construction industry and the social and financial landscape, and insurance has changed to adapt to these new conditions. If you are looking to upgrade your insurance to the best coverage available, read up on specialized equipment coverage and give us a call for a review of your policy today.


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Who Needs Inland Marine Insurance?

Inland marine insurance for contractors is an often-misunderstood product because of its bizarre name. Basically, inland marine insurance protects the transport of goods across land in the event that damage happens to them during their travels. Whether that damage happens as a result of construction materials shifting after a driver slams on their brakes or when a business van gets in a wreck that destroys thousands of dollars’ worth of tools, inland marine insurance will protect the commercial property of contractors.

As you can see, this product can prevent the huge costs of replacing materials, tools or equipment in the event of an unexpected accident. Prevent a nerve-wracking collision situation from being much worse than it needs to be by protecting the commercial goods being transported at the time.

Why Does Inland Marine Insurance Have Such an Odd Name?

Inland marine insurance’s name comes from a long tradition of financial products in America. Until the construction of the railroads and later the interstate highway system, transportation of goods over land was not nearly as common as it was now. Most “shipping” literally took place on ships.

Marine insurance covered the cargo carried by these ships in case they capsized, a fire broke out or some other incident occurred that could damage the transported goods. Shipping companies and other business people came to depend on marine insurance to reduce the risks of sending valuable goods across potentially turbulent waters.

Businesses that transported their goods over land as opposed to water began to demand that same coverage, especially as locomotives and automobiles made land transportation more realistic. This coverage was referred to as “inland marine insurance” to differentiate it from water-going transport. Even though trucking goods and equipment over land has become much more common, the name stuck.

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What Contractors Need Inland Marine Insurance?

With very few exceptions, all contractors and construction businesses should carry inland marine insurance. Even if you have commercial auto insurance designed specifically for contractors, the job site materials, tools and equipment you carry may not be covered as part of collision insurance. If these items do happen to be covered, coverage limits often fail to compensate for their full value.

Since materials like stone tiles and tools like plasma cutters can often cost tens of thousands of dollars, ignoring the risk of damaging them during transport can be a huge financial mistake. Most contractors are going to be carrying these items back and forth on a day-to-day basis as they travel from job site to job site or retrieve materials from suppliers. These contractors may not be aware of the limitations of their commercial auto insurance on covering these items. Should one of their employees get into an accident during work, they may suddenly be shocked to discover that thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars are expected to come out of their own pocket.

Do not let this situation happen to you. Any contractors that travel to job sites to perform work — which is nearly all of them — puts their business at risk when they transport materials without inland marine insurance. Find the coverage you need to stay confident and remain afloat even when accidents occur on the way to or from jobs.

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What Kind of Liability Insurance Do Painters Need?

Liability Insurance for Painters

Being a painter may seem like a relatively risk-less job compared to other contractors, but the truth is that painters need just as much protection from liability as any other professional trade. The equipment painting contractors bring in can potentially cause damage to their clients’ home or building while presenting an injury risk to any outside parties who wander on the job site.

Just the nature of needing to enter someone else’s property to perform work puts painters at a liability risk. Cover your painting business from uncertainty and unanticipated disasters by purchasing liability insurance for painting contractors. No matter if you are a specialty painting business, remodelers, a general contractor, a builder or any other type of tradesmen, have your business protected from the problems that can arise during painting.

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General Liability Insurance

The biggest element painters will want to have covered is their general third-party liability. Damage to property is a very real risk any time a painting contractor enters a property with large pieces of equipment. Ladders and scaffolds could easily tumble, ripping up drywall and damaging interior components of walls. Equipment like paint sprayers can sometimes cause electrical shorts in unfinished job sites where electrical systems do not yet have all the needed safety systems in place.

Paint spills are especially a concern. Clients’ carpets and furniture can become soiled in the event of a spill, and when paint seeps under drop cloths the damage only becomes worse. Spare your painting company the cost of replacing an expensive carpet covered in paint boot prints by having the adequate coverage any time you enter a job site.

Injury risks from outside parties are very real, too. A client popping in to see how the color looks on the walls can trip over an extension cord and end up with a broken collar bone. General liability insurance can cover their medical costs in this situation, sparing you from having to pay for the accident out of pocket. Never enter a job site without such protection, or you could be placing your company in a financial hole as a result of one innocent blunder.

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Commercial Auto Insurance for Painters

Painters have a ton of equipment to lug around, and they often manage it by purchasing vans, trucks or large cars capable of hauling their materials, tools and equipment. Driving these company vehicles on a daily basis means risking a collision. No matter how careful your drivers are, others on the road may cause them to get in an accident where they are somehow viewed as at-fault.

Keep your drivers and your vehicles covered with commercial auto insurance for painting contractors. Your liability costs for damage to other vehicles or injuries to vehicle occupants can be handled through an insurer. Many states require commercial vehicle operators to carry higher liability limits than the minimum, so ensure that your coverage is adequate to protect you from legal costs as well as liability costs.

Workers Compensation Insurance

Liability includes covering your own workers from injuries they sustain on the job. As an employer, you no doubt care about the health, safety and well-being of the laborers that help you earn money. Protect them from the costs of injury by providing them workers compensation insurance. You will also be protecting yourself from legal liability in the process since accepting workers compensation claims in most instances waives that party’s right to legal action.

For all these reasons, liability insurance for painters, painting contractors and construction workers who paint can be an invaluable, if not mandatory product to have. Give your workers and your clients confidence by purchasing these liability insurance products from a trusted provider of contractors insurance.

 

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Safety Tips on How to Prepare for an Earthquake

How to Prepare for an Earthquake

An earthquake generally lasts only a few seconds, but California residents can agree that it can be the most terrifying few seconds of a person’s life. Buildings crack and loosen debris, furniture tumbles about, electrical wires can come loose and fires can result. The aftermath of an earthquake can last far, far longer than the brief time it takes to get through the event. However, if you understand how to prepare for an earthquake, you can mitigate some of the serious damage, reduce your liability and save lives.

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