Fence Installation Insurance
Fence installation insurance is an essential coverage to have if you operate or are looking to start a fence installation business.
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Whether your sphere of work is on small homesteads or massive farms or commercial properties, all homes, farms and most businesses have fencing needs of some kind.
This level of demand makes the fencing business highly lucrative, but it’s got some built-in risks as it can cause both injury and damage to third parties.
In this guide, we will detail some ideas on how to start a fence installation business, the essential parts of fence installers insurance, the different coverages available to you to start your business on the right track.
How to start a fence installation business?
The primary job of fencing contractors is to install temporary and permanent fences, screens, gates, and all the other types of barriers on commercial, domestic, agricultural and any other properties.
With that said, here is a practical yet comprehensive guide on starting and operating your fence installation business.
Research your target market
Before creating a plan for your fence installation business, it is very important to assess your competition, and the target market.
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Doing this will help you gauge the volume of work that is potentially available, what you can do better to serve the market, and how you can gain an edge over your competition.
With regards to customers, you should note that your potential customers likely to use your services would be landowners, homeowners, businesses, and public sector organizations.
There are also certain organizations such as sports clubs, charity and conservation trusts that may require fencing services too.
Domestic fencing needs include multiple different types of fencing and walling, starting from traditional wire mesh setups to ornate fencing and trellis tasks.
As a new fencing business, you probably will not be able to serve your entire state, which is why it is a good idea to explore areas near you, and pay special attention to the areas with a large number of houses with gardens and backyards.
Keep track of the more popular fencing and walling materials in each area, general condition of the homes, and the types of people who reside there.
Fencing services are also needed for commercial, agricultural and industrial premises such as supermarkets, hotels, schools, etc.
To jumpstart your business, you may want to approach a few potential customers that you feel may need new fences or their current fences repaired.
You can then leave your business card with potential customers, so that they can get in touch with you when they are ready to use one or more of your fencing services.
Once you have determined your potential customer base, check out online portals to see the number of fencing specialists available in each respective area.
The last thing you want to do is serve an area that is oversupplied with existing fencing contractors.
When researching the competition, pay attention to the services and prices they offer, and possibly even the wholesalers they use to source their materials.
Create a business plan
There are several factors to consider when creating a fencing installation business plan, starting with your budget to pay for leasing of a commercial location, vehicle(s), tools, and materials required for your business.
Speaking of which, if you will be leasing property for your business, you may want to explore commercial insurance options, because this type of coverage will cover the cost of your contents such as tools, in the event of theft.
Next, make a list of the services you wish to offer, including those you specialize in.
Some examples of services offered by fencing installation companies include setting up wooden, wire and mesh fencing, and temporary fencing for building sites and outdoor events.
For the start, you may want to focus on services that are not offered by your competition, so that you become the go-to provider for those respective services.
For example, if your rival offers concrete sectional fencing and not hazel-woven fencing, you should offer and promote the latter to gain a strong foothold in the market.
And given that fences are prone to damages caused by natural disasters including storms and earthquakes, you may want to decide to offer a fencing maintenance service. This type of work will bring in guaranteed income each month or year and include a 24-hour emergency fence fixing service.
To wow your prospects, you may also want to offer a range of attractive value-added services such as a fence designing service, free surveys and estimates, and/or a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
Since you are providing fencing related services, there’s the need for a toolbox loaded with expensive tools.
Drills, levelers and other such equipment is not cheap, and can add up quickly to your start-up costs, so get a list together of the tools required to do the job right.
Apart from tools, you will also need a vehicle to get to and from job sites.
You can use your personal vehicle at the start, but must beware of the possibility that your car insurance doesn’t cover the loss of contents and damage if the vehicle is used for business purposes.
Here’s the way to ensure that your vehicle is insured for both its own value, and the valuable contents, by a proper commercial vehicle insurance package.
Most car insurance companies do not cover the theft and damage to vehicles used for business purposes, which is another big reason you absolutely need fence installation insurance.
Set your work rate
Your goal as a fencing installer is to make the most money possible out of each job, without compromising the quality of your work.
Furthermore, your rates should be very competitive in this fierce marketplace, as people are always looking for the “best deal” and quality of work.
The average cost of setting up a fence for a typical home ranges from $2000 – $3000, which is a number you need to consider when determining the quotes for your services. Adding to this, there may be other costs involved depending on the project such as obtaining the necessary building permits, which could cost anywhere between $500 to $1000+.
Add to this the cost of materials, which can vary depending on where you buy them, but is typically between $5 and $19 per linear foot for a simple wooden fence.
If your clients want to add a little pizzazz to their fence, decorative wrought iron and other similar materials can be priced as high as $500 per linear square foot.
To maximize the value of your time and price of your services, you should decide your work hours, which is easy since you are your own boss.
You may choose to work throughout the daylight hours, or regular business hours, but you will probably end up working 9 to 12 hours during the day because not many people want a fence put up in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning.
However, you can increase the rate of the emergency 24-hour services you provide such as repairing fences that have been damaged by storms or inclement weather when you choose to repair them outside of business hours.
Promoting your fencing business
When it comes to promoting your fencing business, you have a sea of advertising options to choose from, both online and offline.
The old-school way is listing your business in print directories or spending a fair bit of cash on large billboard advertising.
There is no shortage of options in terms of online advertising either, and where some options are free, others may cost a fair bit of cash.
Creating a business website is a great way to showcase your credentials and references, but if you are gathering client customer information or selling items via your website, you should buy an e-commerce insurance policy.
Different types of fencing insurance coverages
Since no two businesses are exactly the same, the type of insurance you need can vary greatly.
But there are a few essential types of coverages to explore for your fence installation business.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is the most basic and important type of coverage for your fence installation business.
Sometimes referred to as commercial general liability insurance or CGL in short, general liability insurance protects your business from several different types of risks.
It is mandatory to buy a general liability insurance coverage in certain states if you are running any type of business that could cause injury or damage to third parties and property.
Most, if not all fencing installation businesses choose to buy generally liability insurance right after formation, so you may want to add this to your checklist when creating your business plan.
General liability insurance covers you against any damages or injury caused to others by you or your employees.
The legal and medical costs resulting in bodily harm and/or property damage can put your business in a big financial bind.
And given that there are risks involved when running a fence installation business, buying fence installation general liability insurance should not be considered an option.
General liability insurance will cover risks such as:
- Bodily injury caused to third parties
- Property damage such as if you break a water pipe at a customer’s property when installing a fence
- Medical payments stemming from injury caused to third parties
- Personal liabilities including copyright infringement, false arrest, slander, libel, etc.
Other than the coverage offered by general liability insurance when you file a claim, there is a slew of tangible benefits of your CGL policy.
Having a general liability insurance policy also:
- Builds a good reputation for your business, and shows that you are a serious and secure company that is here to stay.
- Showing your customers a copy of your general liability coverage under your fence installation policy is a great selling feature for your business, as it instills confidence, and demonstrates that you are the right person for the job.
- Helps you get new business, and can make a world of a difference between your and your competitor’s bid.
Even though general liability insurance is considered “comprehensive coverage” there are a few things that it does not cover. These include warranties offered by your fence installation company, damages caused to clients stemming from professional advice you provide, and auto insurance.
However, it is worth mentioning that if you make a mistake when giving professional advice, similar to what would happen if you were a chartered accountant and provide financial information that causes a loss for your clients, you will need errors and omissions insurance to protect you against any claims.
For smooth operation of your fence installation business, you are going to need a vehicle or two.
Therefore, if you use a vehicle to render your fence installation services or use your personal vehicle for commercial purposes, you need to add commercial auto insurance to your fence installation insurance policy.
Commercial auto insurance works a lot like your private vehicle insurance policy, where it protects you against at-fault accidents that cause bodily injury or property damage to others.
It also covers medical payments to cover third-party medical bills, collision damage to your vehicle, and most importantly theft of the contents and the vehicle itself.
Property insurance is geared towards offering coverage against three things for your fence installation business — your building including leased spaces, contents, and contents belonging to third parties.
If your property or the contents inside are damaged due to vandalism, fire, theft, your property insurance policy will cover you for the damages.
Furthermore, materials for customer jobs stored at your property that are damaged or stolen are also covered under your property insurance policy.
What is the cost of Fence Installation Insurance?
The cost of fence installation insurance depends on several factors including the specific services you provide, the state you operate, and the amount of coverage you select.
But to give you an idea, fence installation insurance costs between $50 and $80 per month for a package that includes $1,000,000/$2,000,000 general liability coverage.
You may be able to greatly lower the cost of your premiums if you pay your insurance annually and/or have all your insurance policies under a single insurance provider.
When shopping for the best deal for fence installation insurance, it is highly recommended that you compare quotes online and buy insurance from a reputed provider.
Buying insurance online will help you cut costs on your policy, as there are no middlemen to deal with, and also saves precious time in driving down to brick and mortar insurance agencies.