The Basics of Contractor Liability Insurance
If you’re hired on as a contractor, you’re likely there to perform a specific, often specialized, job or service. You may produce a product or maybe you provide advice. If a third party or your client claims you’ve failed to deliver, made a mistake, or cost them financially, they may sue you. Regardless of who’s right, you’ll have to deal with the litigation process.
As a professional, you may be required to purchase Contractors Professional Liability Insurance to cover yourself in case any lawsuits should arise claiming malpractice, negligence or error. Professionals may also be asked by clients or other stakeholders to provide proof of insurance and certain professionals may be required to carry a certain minimum amount of contractors Professional Liability Insurance in order to operate.
What does Contractors Insurance cover?
Contractor Professional Liability Insurance helps cover the legal expenses, damages or settlements for claims that fall under the policy conditions, which exclude deliberate dishonesty, misrepresentation or fraud. As litigation costs can quickly escalate, this coverage is critical if you’re a contractor.
How much Contractor Liability Insurance do you need?
The amount of coverage you need depends on:
- Your industry
- The number of clients you have
- Who your clients are
- The size or value of your contracts
- The potential size of a legal claim that could be made against you
- Your contractual requirements
You can choose between a $1 million, $2 million and $5 million coverage limit. This is the most that will be paid out over the 12-month policy period, regardless of how many claims you make. This includes judgement awards, settlement, and defense costs.
Your deductible will depend on your company’s revenue, ranging from $250 to $1,500 per claim. You’ll need to pay a deductible for each claim, i.e. if you have two claims, you’ll pay the deductible twice.
Keep in mind you won’t be covered for deliberate fraud, dishonesty or misrepresentation and not all scenarios are covered. If you fail to advise your insurance company of a known incidence that could likely result in a claim, you may also not be covered. For example, let’s say you made a mistake that results in a delay for a project. You should let your insurer know, even if it doesn’t escalate to a lawsuit. Sometimes being served comes as a complete surprise, but often you know ahead of time that there is a risk. Communication is key!