Why is it Important to Choose a Roofer with General Liability Insurance?
MAY 25, 2020 UPDATED 12:00PM Cst
Installing new shingles? Putting on an entirely new roof? Fixing a leak? There are lots of things that you can hire a roofer to do, but without general liability insurance, you could be putting yourself at risk. Here’s why:
Did You Know?
— In construction, roofers have the 5th highest death rate.
— Approximately 50 roofers die each year on the job.
— Falls are the most common cause of roofer related deaths, followed by electrocutions, transportation-related deaths, and heat exhaustion.
— Injuries are also common in roofing, including brain injuries, amputations, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and back injuries (to name just a few).
Not only are workers at high risk of injury, but there’s a lot of things that can go wrong on a roofing job. These include, but are not limited to:
— Improper installation of underlayment resulting in damage and leaks.
— Failure to install proper ventilation systems.
— Improper installations of chimneys, valleys, dormers, skylights, and other roofing aspects that can lead to leaks.
— Failure to follow correct methods and guidelines.
— Improper installation of shingles (poor alignment, improper nailing, etc.) that can lead to shingle blow-off, damage, shingle delamination, and other roofing concerns.
Of course, these are just a few of the many things that can go wrong on a roofing job. This is why it’s so important to select your roofer carefully. You want to choose someone that is trusted and who is both professional and experienced. But just as important – you want to choose a roofer that has general liability insurance.
What is General Liability Insurance?
To put it simply, General Liability Insurance is a type of insurance that covers general business risks. While this type of insurance is of utmost importance for roofers, it’s a type of insurance that every professional business should have. Should a business ever be held legally liable for bodily injury or property damages related to the job, General Liability Insurance can help to cover the costs.
In terms of roofing, General Liability Insurance will cover liabilities related to:
General Liability for bodily injury helps to cover any on-site injuries of customers, employees, vendors, maintenance personnel, delivery personnel, or other people visiting the place of business. In case an injury does take place, General Liability insurance will help to cover the costs of lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
As we discussed above, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong with the installation of your roof. Not only that, but other property may receive damage in the process. In the case of property damage, general liability insurance can help to cover the costs.
Why is this relevant to you?
While trees offer pleasant shade, they can be your worst nightmare when a large storm rolls through the area. The slight gust can send a tree straight toward your roof. Contact a tree trimmer and follow their recommendation.
It’s obvious as to why General Liability Insurance is vital for a roofing company to have, but why does this matter to you? Because if a roofing company or general contractor doesn’t have general liability insurance, the costs to cover damages could fall on you. Not only could you be held responsible for any injuries that take place on your property, but if the roofing job doesn’t go as expected, it will be up to you to cover the cost of repairs and damages.
How much Coverage Should my Roofing Contractor /Company have?
The truth is, there is no set amount that a roofing contractor or company should have because each company is unique in their needs. A company that has 100 employees, for example, will need more coverage than a company that has ten employees. Similarly, a company with ten employees will need more coverage than a general contractor. This is because the more employees that a company has and the more jobs that they take on, the more risk they may have exposure to.
You want to look for a roofing company that has a bare minimum of a $2 million insurance policy. Anything less than this may not be sufficient to cover any damages that may arise. Still, while $2 million is the bare minimum, most companies should carry at least a $5 million policy.
Is it a requirement for Roofers to have General Liability Insurance?
It depends on which state you live in. In some states, like Texas, General Liability Insurance is required by law before you can start up a roofing business. In other states, the laws are more flexible.
Remember, however, that even if General Liability Insurance is not a requirement, it’s a strong recommendation. If a general contractor or roofing company does not have this type of insurance, it’s best to move onto the next. All professional companies will invest in General Liability insurance to protect themselves, even if the law does not require it.
Are there any other types of Insurance that a Roofer should have?
Yes. While there are many different types of insurance that a roofer or roofing company can choose from, there are two that they should always have. The first is General Liability Insurance. The second is Workers Compensation.
Workers Compensation helps to provide compensation to workers who sustain injuries on the job and who are unable to return to work. While this doesn’t have a direct impact on you as the customer, it does reflect the values of the company you are hiring. Avoid any company that does not protect their workers with Workers Compensation.
In conclusion, you shouldn’t hire a company if they don’t have General Liability Insurance. You should rethink a company if they don’t provide their workers with Workers Compensation Insurance. “Do you have General Liability Insurance?” should be one of the first questions that you ask a roofing company before you hire. If the answer is no, you need to move onto the next. Otherwise, it could be you who is left liable for injuries or damages on the job.