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Property preservation insurance requirements: are you covered?


Man in overalls in front of house with second man and wheelbarrow to illustrate property preservation insurance requirements

Property preservation insurance requirements are pretty straightforward (unlike getting the correct licenses). As a bare minimum you’ll need:

General liability insurance
Professional liability (E&O) insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance (if you have any employees).

Many Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) will check you have general liability and workers’ comp policies before they’ll work with you. And some states require P&P contractors to have errors and omissions insurance (or professional liability insurance as it’s also called). But depending on the way your business operates there are other policies you might need too:

Cyber insurance
Equipment insurance

We’ll get to those later. First, let’s talk about the essential coverage property preservationists need, what it covers and why you need it.

General liability insurance for property preservation

Because you work on-site, repairing and maintaining properties for clients, you need general liability insurance. It 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).

Of course, you’re careful. But accidents can – and do – happen. Imagine an inspector trips over your equipment during a walkthrough and needs medical treatment? Or you drop a drill, chipping a marble countertop. Or a competitor claims your advertisement damaged their reputation?

Any one of these scenarios could end up in a claim against your business. Without general liability insurance, you’ll have to cover the cost of medical bills, or repairs or replacement. Then if it gets to court, you’ll be facing legal fees and possibly compensation, if you’re found at fault.

General liability insurance for property preservation contractors can take care of these costs for you. Even if a case is groundless.

E&O insurance for property preservation

Why do you need this policy? (Aside from if your state requires you to have it, of course.) Because general liability insurance doesn’t cover you for claims you made a mistake, or your work was faulty. That’s what errors and omissions insurance is for.

Imagine you re-key the wrong house. Or a client claims the repairs you did on a foreclosed property weren’t up to standard. You could be sued. In fact, you can be sued even if you haven’t made a mistake.

Even if there are no grounds for a claim, errors and omissions insurance can hire you an attorney and pay your legal fees, plus compensation if it’s due. And as long as your prior coverage was continuous, your policy can be retroactive. So you won’t have to worry about claims arising from jobs you’ve done in the past either.

Workers’ compensation insurance

You may only have one employee. But if you do, you need workers’ compensation insurance. In most states, it’s a requirement.

It’s a must-have anyway. Why? Because it protects you from the cost of workplace injury or illness claims. If you find yourself facing a claim, it can take care of medical bills, replace lost wages and pay legal fees if the case goes to court.

Right. Now you’re straight on which policies you need at the absolute minimum, here are a couple of others to think about.

Equipment insurance

If you take your own equipment and tools to work at clients’ properties (we’re guessing in your line of work, you do) business personal property insurance is key.

It protects your portable equipment from loss, theft or damage. And as well as your tools, it also covers mobile devices like laptops and cellphones. Lose them, or an expensive tool and while you save up to replace them, you might find it hard to work. It could even cost you a job, or two.

Business personal property insurance also covers anything moveable in your office (including if that’s at home). From your desk chair to your potted plants. Add it to your general liability policy, to preserve your peace of mind.

Cyber insurance

If you use email or own a website for your business, cyber insurance is a must-have. It doesn’t just protect you if you get hacked and your website hijacked. It protects you from the cost of cybercrimes like money transfer fraud too.

Obviously, cyber insurance can’t protect you from being hacked or defrauded. But it comes with cyber security training for you and your staff to help boost your defenses. And if you are the victim of a cyber-attack, you’ll get technical, as well as financial support, to ensure your business survives it.

Because for most small firms like yours, it’s not the attack that’ll put you out of business, it’s the cost of recovering from one.

Property preservation insurance cost

The price you’ll pay for your insurance varies from business to business. It’s affected by things like:

• the size of your business
• its location
• the limits you choose.

If you choose a bigger deductible (the amount you’ll contribute towards the cost if there’s a claim) your premium will cost less. Just be sure you could actually afford to pay that amount if you have to.

As for how much cover you need. It’s always best to overestimate. Imagine the worst that could happen, then pick a figure you can realistically afford.

Our general liability policies start at $42 a month. E&O insurance will cost you from $71 a month. But you don’t have to pay monthly. We have quarterly and annual options, so you can choose a payment plan that suits you.

Property preservation insurance quotes

Still not sure what your property preservation insurance requirements are? You’ll find more information on our website.

Or call us at 978.344.4215. We’ll be happy to talk you through your options and get the right coverage for you, fast.

Ready to get your quote? Get a quote online now.

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