It is amazing how the government will say that the cost of living has not increased substantially. This is because they do not take into account three of the most expensive consumer products when calculating the rates: food, gas and non-core CPI measures. Instead of calculating the CPI by including home prices, housing costs are calculated by rental rates. For sure, it is complicated. But complicated or not, all contractors know that bids must be low in order to secure contracts and prices for goods and services are increasing. This is quite evident in the cost of fuel which can fluctuate from one week to the next depending on turmoil overseas and natural disasters here at home. A contractor can make an educated bid today but costs may increase next week and the whole project can be in the red.
Pennsylvania has chosen to give back to contractors by allowing insurance dividends to be paid on contractors’ policies. Some states have already had this program in place. It is not unusual to see a dividend of 16% and this is real money that the contractor can add back to the bottom line.
What this also means is that an excavating contractor can actually get the insurance he needs rather than what he can afford at one given time. We all know that general liability insurance is mandatory across the board. Some GC’s and property owners require a minimum amount of liability and the excavating contractor who has won the bid has just so much time to provide proof of insurance. If there is an excavating contractor who has jobs going simultaneously, it is advantageous to have a policy that covers all new work as it comes in – rather than having to write one policy for each job.
There are coverages that an excavating contractor may not know is available or that his insurance agent has not been proactive in describing. PALICA has a link on their website http://www.pennsylvanialica.com/which shows the benefits of becoming a member in addition to the dividend program and lower costs on insurance. It also give you a link to an agent with United Fire Group which underwrites every type of insurance for the excavating contractor.
Samples of the additional coverages that are available include:
Business Owner’s Insurance: For the excavating contractor this combines property, liability and crime protection. It includes a variety of enhancements that offer protection for many aspects of your business such as data processing, security breach and identity theft services, employee dishonesty, money and securities. Equipment breakdown covers the cost to repair or replace mechanical, electrical or pressure systems that suffer a breakdown.
Contractor’s Errors and Omissions: Customers depend on their jobs being completed on time and on budget. But, no matter how careful you are, mistakes can happen. You need the coverage to protect your business from losses caused by defective materials or faulty workmanship. These types of losses can have a devastating impact on your production, profitability and reputation.
The (E&O) offers unique coverage to protect you against four important coverage exclusions in a standard general liability policy: Product Exclusion, Work Exclusion, Professional Liability and Product Recall Exclusion.