General Contractor Insurance in Florida

The risks involved in running a General Contractor business make it essential that you take out proper General Contractor insurance in Florida to protect yourself in case some unforeseen and unpredictable event occurs and you are left facing the possibility of a large, maybe even business-destroying, loss.

General Contractor Insurance in Florida, FL

Every General Contractor business in Florida has its own particular and special features that you know best.

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We can help you to judge what kind of insurance, and what levels of cover you should be considering, and give you a rough guide to how much it can cost your business based on our experience with other businesses like yours in Florida that are also facing the same risks.

Does your business in Florida qualify as a general contractor for insurance purposes?

We understand that no two contractors in Florida work in exactly the same way. One contractor may be totally focused on a single kind of contracting, such as Plumbers or Electricians.

Some others may share a broad range of activities, like Solar panel contractors who also act as Roofing contractors. However, even these contractors in Florida have some special needs.

There are some similarities in the risks these businesses face in Florida, and some special kinds of risk for which either a particular form of insurance is required, or a higher level is needed because of an elevated risk.

You will see throughout this article that we have provided links to our expert analysis of the insurance needs of contractors of all types. You will learn a lot more detail about your general contractor insurance needs from those articles, once you have read about what is special for your business location in Florida.

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What kind of insurance should every General Contractor in Florida have?

General Liability Insurance for Contractors in Florida

The contractor industry in Florida always carries a higher degree of risk that accidents can happen that injure third parties or cause some damage to their property.

Doing your work in a customer’s home or office in Florida can involve bringing tools, material and equipment onsite, and disrupting the normal flow of movement.

General Liability insurance is often known as “trips and falls” insurance, because that describes the most common reason that people sue you.

If you are working in a room and a member of the family trips over some equipment you placed nearby, or you are laying piping in a garden and while you are working elsewhere a person steps onto a plank that covers the hole you have just dug and it breaks, then they can have a claim against your business for damages and injury.

This means that if any casual visitor to a place where you are working, or a member of the household or company where you are doing a contracting job, claims that they were hurt by your presence, or that something of theirs was damaged directly as a result of this, you need protection from the claim.

Commercial Auto Insurance for General Contractors in Florida

Commercial auto insurance protects the vehicles contractors in Florida need to do their job.

It is important to remember that the vehicle insurance laws in Florida make it essential that every vehicle that is being used for business activity has special commercial vehicle insurance to cover third-party liability and accidents. 

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Remember as well that ordinary private insurance is invalidated any time you use a private auto for some business activity in Florida.

This includes picking up material from suppliers, delivering finished goods to customers, and moving your workers around between worksites in Florida

Tools and equipment insurance for General Contractors in Florida

Your tools and equipment are probably the most important assets that your business has. You not only have invested a lot of money to buy and maintain them, but your business can’t operate without them.

So if they are stolen or lost, damaged in a fire, vandalized or dropped, the best way to be able to quickly replace them is to have full tools and equipment insurance ready to take up the cost.

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General Contractor Bonds in Florida

In Florida you may need to be bonded by the Florida licensing board to be able to work as a contractor on state projects. The bonds require special insurance covers, such as:

  • Surety bonds – issued by your insurance company saying it protects your assets
  • Construction bonds – guaranteeing your performance when bidding
  • Commercial bonds
  • License and permit bonds

When you need a contractor bond, you should be talking to your insurance agent or insurance broker in Florida, who will be aware of the specific requirements.

Professional Liability Insurance for General Contractors in Florida

Errors & Omissions insurance covers risks related to your performance as a contractor. This is why professional liability insurance is necessary for businesses like yours that are providing services to customers in Florida.

Professional Liability insurance is necessary for a general contractor, especially if you are working as a subcontractor for other companies.

Your contract probably specifies standards of work, dates of completion and all the other expectations of the main contractor. In this case, the level of risk is much higher than for ordinary contracts, because there may be built-in penalties for non-performance.

You may be unable to finish the required contract because of reasons entirely outside of your own control.

For example, if you are a Glazier working on a large building site in Florida installing the windows, and a fire in the window-frame manufacturer’s factory destroys the stock you had on order, you can be sued not just for the delays, but also for the consequential losses that the main contractor suffered.

This can involve you in a court case over many thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Insurance is equally necessary because by undertaking a contract from a customer, you are expected to perform the work with due diligence.

For example if a customer in Florida has engaged your company as a Carpenter to build a room extension, or to upgrade all the security in the home as a Locksmith, it is not always possible to get precisely the result that your customer specified and that you promised, despite your best attempts to achieve this.

Some of the more important services that need building contractors’ insurance quotes include:

Commercial property insurance for General Contractors in Florida

If your business owns or leases some commercial space, then it is essential that you take out commercial property insurance against the normal risks that all buildings face, such as from natural events like hurricanes, flash floods, earthquakes, storm damage and so on.

As well, man-made damage such as fires and vandalism can damage the property and even completely demolish it. If you have taken out a mortgage on owned buildings, or have a lease, you will have to take out commercial property insurance, or to combine the property insurance with General Liability insurance under a Business Owners Policy (BOP).

General Contractor insurance cost in Florida

Building contractors insurance will depend very much on the level of risk that insurance companies in Florida rank your kind of engagement.

In most cases, other factors will also affect how to find the best general contractor insurance in Florida, such as the size of your operations, your claims history in past years, and the average cost for general contractor insurance that other insurance companies are charging. 

In the table below, we have set out the most important kinds of insurance for your independent contractor insurance cost, as well as estimates of the levels of cover and the probable construction contractor insurance cost.

You should be talking about your needs with reputable insurance agents and brokers in Florida, and “let your fingers do the walking” by using search tools like Google to pick out the most affordable insurance for your business.

There are three main groupings of the levels of risk that field service engineers should be protecting.

 They are based on the associated level of liabilities, the general level of investment in specialized equipment, inventory and tools, and the level of danger involved. We explain more about these groupings now.

Low exposure

Low exposure generally means that the contractor works where the chances of an accident are lower, investment in equipment is less, and consequential losses are not likely.

Some examples of low risk contractors in Florida are:

  • Painters who have much less investment in equipment, and can cause less damage in the case of an accident on site
  • Groundskeepers and Landscapers who are less likely to be working in high-traffic areas where people can cross their paths and be injured
  • Locksmiths who are called out to homes or offices to install or repair door locks and window locks and so need simple equipment and will be unlikely to spend much time onsite.

Level 2 – Medium level

  • Field service technicians working in homes and offices in Florida on a wide range of devices, in response to call-outs
  • Handymen work on high-value electronic and computer devices (for example, computer screens, disk drives)

Highest exposure

Contractors working in more dangerous sectors, such as in elevated positions or in difficult areas, are more likely to cause claims for liabilities.

  • Roofing repairers and Solar panel installers in Florida work in exposed positions high on roofs. They can possibly cause injuries to people walking underneath simply by dropping a tool, or an even greater risk could come if a roof collapses while they are working on it, injuring people and causing much damage. They could face claims that the collapse was due to their negligence or misconduct.
  • Electricians in Florida who are working on high-voltage boards and power lines involve very high levels of risk coming from the possibility of accidental injury and damage, as well as extra professional liability risk coming from them causing power disruptions to businesses.
Cover type Level of cover Likely average annual cost

Lowest risk for general contractors in Florida

General liability $1 million per year, maximum $250,000 single claim $700 – $1250
Professional liability / E & O $250,000 full year, $50,000 single claim with $1000 deductible $900 – $1300
Commercial property Calculated on insurable value (IV) $0.35 – $0.50 per $100 IV
Equipment $10,000 with $500 deductible $350 – $550
Commercial auto Based on vehicle value plus accident – with $500 deductible $1250 – $2400
Business Owners Policy Calculated on property insurable value (IV) plus $1 million liability cover $0.30 – $0.40 per $100 IV plus $500 – $750

Medium risk for general contractors in Florida

General liability $5 million per year, maximum $500,000 single claim $900 – $1500
Professional liability / E & O $1 million full year, $100,000 single claim with $2500 deductible $1200 – $1800
Commercial property Calculated on insurable value (IV) $0.45 – $0.55 per $100 IV
Equipment $25,000 with $1000 deductible $750 – $1250
Commercial auto Based on vehicle value plus accident – with $500 deductible $1250 – $2400
Business Owners Calculated on property insurable value (IV) plus $5 million liability cover $0.40 – $0.50 per $100 IV plus $500 – $750

Highest risk for general contractors in Florida

General liability $10 million per year, maximum $1 million single claim $2500 – $4000
Professional liability / E & O $2 million full year, $250,000 single claim with $10000 deductible $1800 – $2500
Commercial property Calculated on insurable value (IV) $0.55 – $0.65 per $100 IV
Equipment $50,000 with $2500 deductible $1350 – $2000
Commercial auto Based on vehicle value plus accident – with $500 deductible $1250 – $2400
Business Owners Calculated on insurable value (IV) plus $10 million liability cover $0.40 – $0.50 per $100 IV plus $500 – $750

FAQ

What does a deductible mean in costs of general contractor insurance in Florida?

A deductible amount is what you agree to pay on any claim, before the insurance company has to pay anything. It is a way to reduce your premiums. Negotiate this with your insurance agent, broker or directly with the insurance company.

Does a general contractor in Florida have to have Workers Compensation Insurance?

Workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in Florida. If you employ full time, part-time, casual or sub-contract workers more than the specified number, it is necessary to have this cover.

It covers your employees from any injuries or illnesses resulting from work-related events. Each has its own laws, ex: Florida workers compensation laws.

Can a general contractor in Florida take out temporary insurance?

If your contractor business in Florida is seasonal, such as a landscape business that works only in spring and summer, then short-term insurance may be a good choice.

A short-term policy gives you the required cover, for example, the six months when you are most active, but you will have to pay a lower premium because you pay only for the period you need.

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