What’s the difference between roofer’s insurance and carpenter’s insurance?

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Believe it or not, insurance plays an important role in determining which roofing contractor you should work with, as a lack of coverage may mean trouble for your repair or replacement job. If something goes wrong mid-project, roofers insurance will ensure your home is protected at no additional cost to you or your contractor. Additionally, accidents resulting from improper roof installations are fully insured, preventing you from having to pay any medical costs out of pocket. But with so many insurance options on the market, it can be difficult to tell which contractor is appropriately covered.

The truth is, there is a significant difference between roofing insurance and other forms of coverage, such as carpenter’s insurance. While both have access to workers’ compensation and liability policies, roofer’s insurance is uniquely tailored to the tough working conditions that roofing contractors experience. To give you a better idea about the differences, let’s take a look at each type separately.

Carpenter’s Insurance

This insurance type can be tailored to the needs of a wide range of carpenters and tradesmen, including framers, flooring contractors, furniture markers and more. Every woodworking profession comes with unique risks and working environments, which will dictate the coverage a carpentry business requires. For example, professions that perform decorative work – like finish and trim contractors – are less likely to experience serious injuries or accidents than structural carpenters. Insurance companies determine policy needs by reviewing the operational details of each business, such as the type of work they perform, the number of workers they employ, and the specific risks their employees are exposed to. Some common policy options include:

  • Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance: This group of policies protects carpenters from lawsuits and financial loss following an on-the-job accident or injury. Standard coverage encompasses claims of physical injury, property damage and dissatisfaction with a finished project. CGL policies cover legal costs and help contractors pay for damages and settlements if an accident occurs.
  • Contractor’s Equipment insurance: Many woodworking professionals are required to travel on-site to complete their work, which can put their tools at risk if they’re ever left unattended. This policy type covers the cost of replacing everything, from hand tools to specialized tools, in the event of loss or theft.

While many of these coverage options overlap with the operational needs of roofing contractors, they do not take into account the specific risks that roofers contend with. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, roofers face the highest risk of nonfatal falls to a lower level compared to all other occupations, occurring at a rate of  86.9 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. This partially accounts for why roofing contractors have their own category of insurance, as many of the risk factors are exponentially higher for their profession.

Construction roofer

Roofer’s Insurance

Roofing is a particularly dangerous business, as it often requires contractors to spend a good deal of their time working at high elevations and standing on pitched inclines. In fact, roofers were ranked the fourth most dangerous job in America within the 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report, produced annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One reason is that roofing contractors must perform a wide range of physical activities to get the job done, including climbing up ladders, lifting heavy equipment and materials, and kneeling for long periods of time on steep-sloped roofs. As a result, the frequency of slips, trips and falls is much higher than in other professions, though most injuries are non-fatal. There are a variety of policy options available to roofing businesses, such as:

  • General Liability insurance: Much like CGL coverage, this policy type protects roofers against claims of physical injury and property damage sustained by non-employees, though it’s uniquely tailored to the operational challenges of roofing work. Most policies include coverage for “completed operations,” whereby the insurance company will pay for any additional repairs stemming from improper of negligent roof replacements. General liability insurance also covers legal fees in the event of a lawsuit.
  • Business Interruption insurance: This supplemental policy option covers any lost revenue that results from the temporary halt of business operations due to certain perils, including things like fires and wind damage. The insurance company reimburses roofers who lose income while their business is unable to operate, though certain restrictions do apply. This type of coverage benefits homeowners by financially supporting their chosen roofing contractor if something were to interrupt a project mid-completion.

Insurance guidelines for roofing contractors vary on a state-by-state basis. Massachusetts requires roofing businesses to obtain a license from the State Board of Building Regulations and Standards for certain projects. For example, the Construction Supervisor License is required for many large-scale projects – a “Restricted License” allows roofers to work on one and two-family dwellings, while an “Unrestricted License” is needed for structures up to 35,000 cubic feet.

Why homeowners should ask about roofing insurance

Selecting a qualified and fully insured roofing contractor is the best way to safeguard your home and health during a replacement or repair project. Roofing insurance protects both you and your roofing contractor in the event of an accident, which can save you time and frustration if something goes wrong. Seasoned contractors know the value of comprehensive coverage, as it allows them to create a safe working environment and secure their customers from the impact of accidental injury and property damage.

At Flynn Roofing, our expert team of professionals benefit from the security and peace of mind that comes with an extensive roofer’s insurance policy. This allows our contractors to utilize their full expertise and experience to complete your roofing project quickly and safely. Our customers can rest assured knowing that their personal and financial well-being are protected by proactive coverage and individualized service.

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