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What insurance do I need for my carpentry business?


carpentry business insurance

Carpentry business insurance. It might not be the tool you use the most but it’s an essential piece of kit. Measure twice, cut once, the saying goes. Trouble is, when you have paying clients, one small slip up can end up costing you a lot more than a complete remodel.

But when there are so many different policies out there, it can be tricky working out which ones you actually need. To help you, we’ve put together a simple guide to carpenters’ insurance. Read on for a run-down of the coverage you need to protect your bank balance, your equipment and your staff.

What insurance policies do carpenters need?

Whether you’re a contractor or head up your own crew, there are some policies you shouldn’t be without:

General liability insurance
Professional liability insurance (E&O)
Workers’ compensation insurance (if you employ anyone)

And others which are nice to have:

Equipment insurance
Cyber insurance

General liability insurance for carpentry businesses

Do you work on-site at your clients’ properties? Do customers visit you in your workshop?
If the answer’s yes to either of these questions, you need general liability insurance. Why? Because the tools of your trade are sharp. And no matter how careful you are, accidents can happen.

Imagine a client trips over your router cable, breaks a leg and needs hospital treatment? Without general liability insurance, you’ll have to pay their medical bills. And legal costs if they sue.

Or perhaps you drop a chisel, smashing a priceless antique vase. Without general liability insurance you’ll have to find the money to replace it.

Or what if a customer overhears one of your employees bad-mouthing them and decides to sue? You’ll have to hire an attorney, pay legal costs and compensation, too, if the case goes against you.

General liability insurance for carpenters protects your business from the cost of claims for:

• Injury to someone (other than you or an employee)
• Damage to someone’s property
• Personal injury (slander/libel).

If someone claims for injury to themselves or their property, your policy can cover medical bills, repairs or replacement costs, legal fees and compensation due. Even if the case is groundless.

Professional liability insurance (E&O) for carpenters

Do you charge clients for your carpentry service? If the answer’s yes, you need professional liability insurance (or errors and omissions as it’s also known). It protects your business from the cost of faulty workmanship claims.

Say a client claims the parquet you laid isn’t level. Or that the window frames you made and fitted are leaky? You’ll have to fix the problem. Or pay up if you can’t. And if the case goes to court, you’ll have to hire an attorney and pay legal fees and compensation if you’re found at fault.

If a client claims you made a mistake, or your work was faulty, and it cost them money, professional liability insurance can pay your legal fees and compensation. Even if there are no grounds for the claim.

Workers’ compensation insurance

Most states require you have workers’ comp insurance, even if you only employ one person. As penalties can be severe, it’s best to check your state’s requirements. But it’s a policy you want to have anyways.

Why? Because it protects you from the cost of workplace injuries, which can be extremely painful for a small business owner. And in your line of work, accidents are a daily hazard. Sawdust flies, wood splinters, and glass shatters.

If one of your employees gets injured and needs hospital treatment and time off work to recover, workers’ comp insurance can cover medical bills and lost earnings. What’s more, if the case goes to court, no matter who’s at fault, it’ll protect you from the costs involved in a lawsuit.

Right, that’s the essentials covered. Now, what about those nice-to-haves?

Equipment insurance

Do you own your woodworking tools and equipment? Do you take them to jobs with you? We’re guessing the answer’s yes. Then you should think about protecting them with business personal property insurance.

Let’s face it, your tools are more likely to get lost, stolen or damaged when you’re out and about. And while you’re saving up to replace them, how will you do your job? You might even lose a client in the meantime.

Business personal property insurance protects your portable equipment from loss, theft or damage. Including mobiles and laptops. If you have a home office, it covers everything moveable there too. From your desk chair to your potted plants. Pretty handy, huh? What’s more, you can just add it on to your general liability policy. Simple as that.

Cyber insurance

Do you use email to deal with clients? Do you have a website for your business? Do you transfer money online, say, to suppliers?

If the answer’s yes to any of these questions, you should seriously think about buying cyber coverage. Because tech’s great until something goes wrong. And these days cybercriminals are getting smarter.

It’s not just a case of hackers holding your website to ransom. Email and money transfer fraud are on the rise. And as a small business with less cash to spare for tough cyber defenses, you’re an easy target.

Cyber insurance doesn’t just provide the financial support to recover from an attack, you’ll also get 24/7 technical support to deal with it. So you’re back on your feet and in business again fast.

Carpentry business insurance cost

How much you’ll pay for your insurance varies from business to business. The price depends on things like:

• the size of your firm
• where you’re based
• the limits you choose.

There are ways you can save money. For example, if you choose to pay a bigger deductible (the amount you’ll contribute if there’s a claim) your premium will be lower. Just be sure you can actually pay that amount if it comes to it.

As for how much cover you’ll need, it’s best to over-estimate. Think: “What’s the worst that could happen?” Then pick a figure you can realistically afford.

Our general liability policies start from $42 a month; our professional liability policiesfrom $71. But if monthly instalments don’t suit, you can pay in one lump sum, or every quarter. Choose a payment plan that works for you.

Carpentry business insurance quotes

Still not sure what insurance you need? You’ll find more information over on our website. Or call us at 978.344.4215. We’ll be happy to talk you through your options and get you the right coverage for your business. Fast.
All set? Get your quote online now.

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