Plumbing contractors provide much-needed services for both residential and commercial customers alike. However, plumbers have a number of unique risks to consider. In fact, any incident involving installing and repairing pipes or fixtures can lead to major property damage, as well as potential legal action.
These challenges are magnified when you consider that risks related to equipment breakdowns, business interruptions and crime must also be addressed. The list below provides an overview of these risks and more—helping you identify potential blind spots in your risk management and insurance programs.
Because plumbing businesses usually own a fleet of vehicles and employees travel to and from job sites on a frequent basis, automobile exposures can be significant. Specifically, any time a plumber transports tools or visits a client, the risk for accidents increases. And, just one accident can be extremely costly, as expenses related to vehicle repairs and bodily injuries can add up quickly. What’s more, if employees use their own vehicle for work, standard commercial auto policies are often not enough.
Property—including your tools, equipment, supplies, signage and similar items—plays a key role for your business. And, in the event of a loss caused by fires, theft or vandalism, your business can suffer major financial damages. For instance, should a fire break out in your storage area, your firm could lose thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment in an instant. What’s more, a single incident can affect multiple aspects of your property, compounding costs and downtime for your business.
Once a job has been completed, plumbing contractors can be held liable if their work product causes bodily injury or property damage. While claims of smaller problems can often be resolved with a repair, larger issues may result in legal action. For instance, if a particular job involves welding piping, a leak could lead to flooding, causing significant property damage for the client. Completed operations coverage can help protect a contractor should these kinds of claims arise.
Plumbing contractors depend on a variety of different equipment to complete work on commercial or residential property, potentially creating significant equipment breakdown exposures as a result. Because plumbers use specialized equipment to complete a job, replacing damaged tools can cost contractors valuable time and money. Moreover, plumbing contractors can experience business interruptions or even lose contracts as a result of an equipment breakdown.
Continuity is critical in business, and there are few things more important than continuous revenue and cash flow, particularly for small or midsized businesses. A single brief business interruption can be costly for an organization and may even lead to serious reputation damage or long-term closures. Common interruptions for plumbing contractors can include natural disasters, fires and vandalism.
Plumbing contractors regularly transport equipment, tools and supplies to and from worksites. As such, any property that’s unique or valuable, in transit, in your temporary care, stored at fixed (but movable) locations or used to transfer information represents inland marine exposures. Materials and tools can be damaged in transit from shifting loads or traffic collisions; at the worksite from collision, being dropped or poor weather conditions; or lost from theft, potentially creating costly losses.
Plumbing contractors face several crime exposures, particularly if valuable equipment or tools are left unattended at the worksite, which may attract thieves or vandals. Thieves (including your employees) can rob an office or worksite at any time, targeting cash or valuable supplies. What’s more, with worksite locations changing on a regular basis, the level of risk a roofing contractor faces is in constant flux.
Any time one of your employees is injured on the job, your organization could be subjected to a workers’ compensation claim. Common sources of on-the-job accidents for plumbers include cuts, scrapes, blows to the head when working in tight spaces and musculoskeletal injuries caused by repetitive tasks, twisting, lifting, sprains and strains. Normal, everyday tasks related to working under sinks or carrying equipment can lead to accidents and, in turn, increased costs for your business.
For More Information
While the proper risk management practices can reduce certain exposures, no system is 100% effective in ensuring an incident-free workplace. As a result, it’s all the more crucial to work with a qualified insurance broker to not only assess you exposures, but secure the appropriate coverage as well. To learn more, contact Seubert & Associates, Inc. today.
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