Your daily work can involve moving, hauling, and hoisting of clients' very expensive property. These activities can be performed in areas that expose the general public to risk. These activities can be performed in areas that can potentially impact valuable real estate. The bottom line is the very nature of your work that deals with large and heavy loads is highly risky. This is why you need insurance.
Even if your contract does not mandate insurance, you need insurance to cover the liability that exists with each job. One serious accident without insurance will cause a tremendous impact on your company's financial health. Without insurance, it could even mean that you must cease contracting.
General Liability Insurance
While general liability insurance coverage may be adequate for your company, you should consider additional rigging and crane coverage often offered by insurance carriers. This additional coverage is tailored to your business activities and could even be available from your current insurance company.
You should first determine if your current insurance broker offers rigging and/or crane insurance. If not, then your insurance company may be able to work with a special underwriter who does. In any event, here is what you can expect when seeking additional, special coverage. Purchasing this insurance most likely will involve:
- Completing a special application
- Providing a company overview that emphasizes rigging safety practices and polices
- Providing company financial information and a current balance sheet
- Listing the types, makes, models, and values of all major rigging and crane equipment
- Submitting copies of company standard subcontractor contracts and rental agreements
- Indicating your last five (or possibly more) contracts, including the value of the lift
- Providing details of any past significant monetary claims
- Indicating your workers compensation insurance experience modification factor
The Special Application
The special application can be quite detailed. Be prepared to provide, in addition to the typical general company information, detailed information concerning:
- Estimates of payroll and gross receipts broken down by work classification and labor type
- Percent of work self-performed, let as subcontracts, or performed as a subcontractor
- Percent of contracts in major industrial fields such as utilities, marine, oil fields, etc.
- Degree of manufacturing or fabrication that is performed
- Extent of crane, hoist, or rigging equipment rental to customers or clients
Most insurance companies offer a multitude of coverage options. Your broker can best determine the right fit for your particular rigging activities. Here are some of the options that are typically offered:
- Per project coverage ◦ “On-hook” (loading, unloading, transporting) liability Including third party loss of use
- Crane boom collapse and over-the-road overweight coverage
- Pollution coverage, including transit exposure
- Coverage for leased and rented equipment
The rigging industry is faced with unique risks. Your company is no different; material effects on your company's balance sheet hinge on the proper approach to risk management. Special crane and rigging insurance is just one way of managing your company's risk in today's highly litigious environment. “Going bare”, the term coined for not having any coverage or inadequate insurance coverage, should not be a financial, strategic, or operational consideration.