The excavation industry works primarily in excavation, grading and demolition to prepare sites for new building construction. Jobs that fall under this umbrella include blasting, building demolition, foundation digging, concrete breaking and cutting for demolition, foundation drilling, dirt moving, and land clearing. If you are an independent excavation contractor or own a business that does this type of work, you will want to be sure to protect your business’s financial interests with a suitable excavation insurance portfolio.
Disasters caused by accidents at excavation job sites can be quite costly. It is therefore very important that your business be covered by the right liability insurance policies. Some liability insurance types you will want to discuss with your independent insurance agent include the following:
- Commercial general liability insurance (CGL): This covers you against most instances of property damage or third-party injuries caused by your employees while on the job. As with any insurance policy, there may be exclusions, such as subsidence damage or demolition damage. Be sure to discuss these concerns with your insurance agent. It is likely that the general contractor who hired you to do excavation work will require that you have them named as an additional insured on your CGL for the duration of the job. In the same manner, if you hire subcontractors to work under you, you should require them to add you to their coverage. That way, coverage is complete all the way up the line of responsibility.
- Commercial auto liability coverage: Excavators typically have a large fleet of heavy machinery vehicles, such as dump trucks, backhoes and 18-wheelers, to transport machinery to and from the job site. These vehicles need to be covered with a commercial auto insurance policy. Because these trucks are typically very large and heavy, they can cause a great deal of damage in the event of an accident, so the policies to cover them have higher liability limits than typical auto insurance policies.
- Employment practices liability coverage: You may want to consider adding this coverage to your excavation contractor insurance portfolio. It protects your business if a current or former employee sues for a perceived illegal business practice, such as wrongful termination or discrimination.
If your excavation contracting firm includes demolition as one of its services, safety factors will play a big role in your insurance coverage. Demolition creates numerous exposures for your business, as there is an increased risk of injuries and property damage to the public.
In many cases, injuries and property damage caused by demolition jobs may be specifically excluded by the insurance company on a standard general liability policy. However, some insurance companies may be willing to include demolition insurance coverage provided that the insured agrees to meet certain terms and conditions related to safety protocols.
If you need demolition insurance, your independent insurance agent can help you find insurance companies that are willing to provide it. Bear in mind, however, that safety is paramount, and failure to meet the safety protocols and conditions set forth by the insurance company can cause you to forfeit your coverage in the event of a tragic accident. Your insurance agent can provide you with more information about demolition contractor insurance.