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If you are a contractor in Washington or Oregon, you know there are events in both life and business you can’t prevent. These events can cause damage to your worksite or workers – no amount of preparation could have stopped them. However, as a contractor, you can make sure you are protected with Washington contractor insurance or Oregon contractor insurance through Vern Fonk. This is one of the first steps to take is order to establish the surety of your business. Because without the proper contractor’s insurance, you may be setting yourself up for unforeseen obstacles in the future.

Contractor’s insurance, also known as construction insurance, is a moving target as the laws change and even the contractor’s themselves evolve into new and different
services. In today’s litigious environment, contractors are finding it difficult to be successful with the increased rick of lawsuits as well as the increased costs of quality contractor’s liability insurance and quality labor.

We realized that an independent insurance broker could neither understand their contractor’s client needs nor stay current on their ever changing exposure without specializing in insuring contractors. Having the right insurance broker is key to the success of any contractor’s business. That’s why Vern Fonk contractor’s insurance has a dedicated and focused approach to meeting the needs of every Washington construction business and Oregon contractors we insure. Many of our contractor liability insurance policies are as low as $500 per year.

What Is Covered, What Is Not

Contractor insurance generally has three parts to it, a schedule to cover you, a schedule to cover the company or person you are contracted to and a schedule to cover any member of the public affected directly by your work as a contractor. In each of the categories, there is a full protection option available from Vern Fonk against accidental damage caused to equipment and property and full liability protection covering medical, legal and compensation costs. Contractor insurance typically will not cover negligent acts or errors that are deliberate. Nor will they provide extended coverage if you demonstrate a pattern of consistent, negligent behavior. Other than those two major exclusions, contractor insurance is typically very comprehensive as it gives you and the company that has offered you the contract, a safety net that otherwise would not be available.

Specific Contractor Liability Insurance Coverages

Contractor general liability insurance goes by many different names, but serves the one purpose of providing coverage that fits a specific need. Here are some common types of coverage:

  • General contractor insurance – As a general contractor, you take the lead on construction projects, making you the prime target should something go wrong. Holding a general contractor liability insurance policy is a critical part of being a responsible party, and is mandatory if you wish to be awarded construction contracts.
  • Subcontractor insurance – Subcontractor liability insurance is no different than general contractor’s liability insurance, in that it provides coverage for construction professionals. Subcontractors cannot rely on piggybacking on the general contractor’s policy, so they need to have, and are often times contractually required to carry, their own policy.
  • Electrical contractor insurance – As an electrician, you are responsible for properly wiring residential and commercial buildings, where the margin of error is slim and the liability potential great. Carrying the right coverage is vital and a requirement in order to be able to work in this industry.
  • Handyman insurance – As a handyman, you might not be a licensed contractor, but you are still responsible for doing all sorts of smaller, residential construction projects. This means your liability exposure can be great, necessitating a handyman insurance policy that provides the liability and property protection you desperately need.
Other Construction Insurance Considerations

Having a construction general liability insurance policy is a given, but what other types of coverage should you consider? Depending on what your business does, and what type of exposures it has, coverages will vary from the basic to specialized policies tailored for a specific need. Some policy examples are:

  • Surety Bonds – As a contractor, you are often times required to have a surety bond to ensure you perform, per the contractual requirements. If you fail to perform, then the surety bond provider will make a payout to your client, covering their financial losses up to the bond limit.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance – If you have work vehicles you use in your construction business, you need a commercial automobile policy. A personal automobile policy will not cover your commercial use vehicles, so a commercial auto insurance policy is required.
  • Workers Compensation – If you have a certain number of employees, then most states will require you to carry workers compensation insurance coverage. This pays for employees who are injured on the job. There are some exceptions that allow certain companies to not carry this type of policy, but most companies with employees need workers compensation coverage.

The above examples of commercial insurance are just some of the many types of coverages available. The bottom line is that Vern Fonk will make sure your business and your employees are protected.

Resources For Oregon and Washington Contractor’s Insurance

The best online sources of information for what is required to work as a contractor in Oregon and/or Washington are the websites of the contractor regulatory agencies of those states. Included in their information are the general liability insurance limits and the bond limits contractors are required to carry.

The information link to the Oregon Contractors Construction Board is
http://www.oregon.gov/CCB/Contractor_Help.shtml

The information link to the Oregon Landscape Contractors Board is
http://www.oregon.gov/LCB/licensing.shtml

The information link to the Washington Bureau of Labor and Industries is
http://www.lni.wa.gov/TradesLicensing/Contractors/HowReg/default.asp

For information regarding Oregon Workers’ Compensation Insurance, go to the Oregon Workers Compensation Division web page at
http://www.cbs.state.or.us/wcd/

In the State of Washington, Workers’ Compensation Insurance can be obtained only through the state. It is not available from insurance agents. For Washington information, go to
http://www.lni.wa.gov/

Oregon contractors insurance is something that every construction contractor should have. In fact, Oregon law demands that all contractors carry liability insurance before they are licensed. All coverage must also be current in order to maintain a license. Liability insurance protects any third party injured or seeing damage as a result of a contractor’s activity or at a contractor’s work site.

Oregon law requires building contractors to carry general liability insurance, which includes
products and completed operations coverage. The state Construction Contractors Board (CCB) will not issue or renew a contractor license without proof of insurance. Coverage limit requirements vary depending on the license category. Many contractors carry coverage in excess of CCB’s requirements.

Washington and Oregon Business Insurance Vern Fonk Provides

In addition to contractor’s insurance, you can rely on Vern Fonk for other insurance related to your business:

  • Commercial Auto Insurance
  • Commercial Trucking Insurance
  • General Liability
  • Umbrella Insurance
  • Business Insurance

The above examples of commercial insurance are just some of the many types of coverages available. The bottom line is that Vern Fonk will make sure your business and your employees are protected.

Contact Vern Fonk for Washington Contractor’s Insurance and Oregon Contractor’s
Insurance

When it comes to contractor’s insurance, the key is finding an agent that not only understands your industry, but also is
willing to educate you on what protection you need in place to limit your exposure. That’s where Vern Fonk shines. At Vern
Fonk, we take the time to understand what kind of contractor’s insurance you actually need, how much coverage you want,
and the most competitive rates to adequately protect you.

If you need contractor’s insurance, call Vern Fonk TODAY or get an online quote.

Washington State clients, please call our Washington Commercial Department at 206-859-4894. Oregon clients, please
call our Oregon Commercial Department at 503-445-4947.