According to the Alberta Construction Industry profile for 2020, approximately 10% of the province’s workforce is employed in the construction and contracting industries, with 214,000 people working in 2020 and 92.4% of those full time. Some examples of occupations employed in the construction industry are bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, roofers, and steam- and pipe-fitters, and general contractors lead them all.
General contractors have a difficult job. They are the ones responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a construction site, providing all of the materials, labour, equipment and services required to complete a project to the demands stipulated in the contract. They must ensure that work is carried out safely, that deadlines are met, that all the required building permits are obtained, employees are paid, construction waste is managed properly, records are kept, and the quality of work is up to standard.
A lot can go wrong on a construction site, which is why general contractors must also be familiar with their insurance options. A wrap-up liability policy is one of the best ways to cover an entire job site and keep things running smoothly, despite all unforeseen circumstances.
What is wrap-up liability insurance?
A wrap-up liability policy is extremely comprehensive and effective. Wrap-up liability policies cover everyone on the job site at the same time and save general contractors from having to check that all subcontractors and everyone else involved in the project has their own coverage. They bundle all policies into one package, therefore covering several parties all at once.
Wrap-up liability policies come in two separate forms: contractor-controlled policies and owner-controlled policies. Contractor-controlled policies are purchased by the general contractor who is running the project, while an owner-controlled policy is purchased by the owner of the project. Each kind fully covers all of the talented people needed to finish the job. General contractors and owners can also choose to purchase a wrap-up liability policy together, which then becomes a partner-controlled insurance policy.
General contractors often prefer contractor-controlled wrap-up liability policies as they offer higher coverage limits, especially if the contractor has a good history with the provider. They also provide some level of job protection, as the owner may not be so keen to arbitrarily switch contractors mid-project when they have provided their own insurance.
Wrap-up liability policies generally include:
- Commercial general liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation
- Builder’s risk insurance
- Professional liability insurance
- Umbrella commercial insurance
In addition to allowing general contractors the option of easily bundling all of the essential policies together, the benefits of a wrap-up liability policy are many.
- There is less risk of gaps in coverage.
- The claims process is simplified due to only having to file once.
- The bundling of policies allows for savings.
- The worry of having to check all sub-contractors’ policies is removed.
- Higher coverage limits are available.
For those who are hiring a contractor
Before signing on the dotted line for a contract with a contractor, ensure they are carrying valid coverage. Experts suggest following these important steps:
- Confirm that the contractor is carrying insurance before any work begins and request copies of their certificates as proof.
- Ask for a copy of the contractor’s license if hiring someone in a regulated industry (such as construction or home renovations).
- Ensure that the contractor’s insurance policy covers the essentials, including fire, injuries, property damage, and damage to neighbouring buildings.
If the temporary relocation of tenants or residents while construction or repairs are being completed is required, it is also recommended that contractors provide insurance that covers the costs involved with their rehousing.
Contractors insurance in Alberta: Trust Lane’s for all your coverage needs
Lane’s Insurance is a full-service Alberta-based brokerage offering a comprehensive selection of insurance products at competitive rates, along with value-added service and claims support.
We know how important it is for contractors to be able to complete a job without worrying about risks. Contractors have special needs and our agents can help you make sure your business, your employees, and your customers are protected. We are here to keep businesses running and progress continuing.
Additional commercial policies available through Lane’s include commercial auto insurance, commercial property insurance, commercial surety bonds, contract surety bonds, and contractors insurance. Contact us at our Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, and Alberta offices to discuss how we can help your business and you.
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