Types Of Unique Liabilities Artisan Contractors Are Exposed To

4 Types Of Unique Liabilities Artisan Contractors Are Exposed To

Real Estate 6 Mins Read April 4, 2024 Posted by Ankita Tripathy

Artisan contractors form an integral part of the construction industry, specializing in specific crafts such as plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, and more. While they bring expertise to various projects, their line of work isn’t without its unique set of liabilities.

From unexpected accidents to contractual disputes, artisan contractors often find themselves exposed to a range of risks that demand meticulous attention and strategic management. Let’s delve into a few distinctive liabilities that artisan contractors encounter in their day-to-day operations.

1 Worksite Hazards and Occupational Risks

Worksite Hazards and Occupational Risks

Artisan contractors frequently operate in dynamic and physically demanding environments, exposing themselves to a myriad of worksite hazards and occupational risks. Whether scaling heights to install electrical wiring or navigating confined spaces for plumbing repairs, the potential for accidents looms large.

As reported by Patch, an electrician was recently injured on duty in Suffolk County. This was a typical case of bodily injury, where the harmed or injured party needed to seek urgent medical care. Such falls, electric shocks, chemical exposures, and bodily injuries are just a few examples of the perils artisan contractors face.

According to Commodore Insurance, inadequate safety protocols, improper equipment usage, and lack of training amplify these risks. This emphasizes the need for stringent safety measures and compliance with occupational health standards. Otherwise, these professionals might consider taking legal action against their employers. 

2 Professional Errors And Omissions

Artisan contractors are relied upon for their specialized skills and expertise. Yet, the risk of professional errors and omissions remains inherent in their line of work.

From faulty installations to design inaccuracies, even minor lapses can snowball into costly repercussions. Just last year, as reported by the NZ Herald, an electrician failed to remove a wall switch to check the wiring. This resulted in the death of a worker, who was working at the same property, a few weeks later.

Implementing robust quality control measures, adhering to industry best practices, and maintaining meticulous documentation are vital strategies to mitigate the risks associated with errors.

3 Property Damage And Third-Party Claims

Property Damage and Third-Party Claims

The nature of artisan contracting work often involves interfacing with clients’ properties and existing structures. Despite utmost caution, accidents leading to property damage are not uncommon. 

As reported by The Center Square, the property damaged doesn?t need to have to be of the client. In a lot of cases, the damaged property can belong to someone else entirely, which can lead to even more trouble. A misplaced drill causing structural damage or electrical work triggering fires ? these scenarios underscore the potential for property-related liabilities.

Moreover, third-party claims arising from alleged property damage or consequential losses further compound the challenges artisans face. Mitigating such risks demands proactive communication, diligent risk assessment, and securing comprehensive liability insurance coverage to safeguard against unforeseen liabilities.

Artisan contractors often operate within the framework of contractual agreements, outlining project scope, deliverables, timelines, and payment terms. However, disputes arising from contract breaches, scope ambiguities, or client dissatisfaction pose significant legal liabilities.

Failure to meet contractual obligations, deviation from agreed-upon specifications, or disputes over change orders can escalate into legal battles, draining resources and eroding profitability. To navigate such challenges, artisan contractors must prioritize comprehensive contract vetting, transparent communication, and proactive dispute resolution mechanisms to mitigate legal liabilities.

What Insurance Coverage Do Artisan Contractors Need?

In the above section, we discussed some of the core liabilities of the artisan contractors. Indeed, they work in an environment that is filled with risks and uncertainties. This is where the need for protection becomes paramount. Therefore, in this section, we discuss some of the protective shields, which we refer to as insurance coverage, that can help them. They include:

  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • General Liability insurance
  • General Liability Insurance 
  • Cyber insurance 
  • Workers Compensation Insurance

Now let us understand them in detail so that you can have a better idea of the insurance coverage:

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance

The general liability insurance does not entirely cover up the faulty workmanship claims. However, you need professional liability insurance to fill these gaps. 

The faulty workmanship claims can indeed be cost-intensive. 

If you do anything wrong, you may be dragged into the court. That time, you need the protective shield in the form of an attorney. Also, you will have to spend money on lawyers’ charges and the cost of defending the lawsuits. Moreover, you may have to bear the hefty compensation. This is how you may turn out to be your own liability.  

Ultimately, at this point in time, the professional liability policy steps in. Yes, you will get an attorney who is going to defend you. However, the insurance policy will majorly safeguard the property. 

General Liability Insurance For Artisan Contractors 

The artisan contractors work at the client’s property. In that case, they require the services of general liability insurance. It covers different claims:

Injury to someone- For instance, a client falls on your toolbox while inspecting his/ her work. In that case, you may have to bear the burden of compensation. The policy can help you out. 

In addition to it, there are some other insurance where you may need the help of insurance coverage. They may be damage to someone’s property, personal injury, and others. It is where the insurance claim can help you out. 

Equipment Insurance

As an artisan contractor, your tools are your most cherished possessions. This is where you need the insurance coverage. This may include your on-site tools, laptops, and mobiles. Moreover, this insurance covers the moveable things in your office. It could be from the chairs to the potted plants. 

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers' Compensation Insurance

You must have workers’ compensation insurance if you have an employee in your house.  

The workplaces are filled with risks and uncertainty. It may be that your worker slipped and fell from the stairs and received injuries. In that case, the insurance cover will compensate on behalf of you and save your expenses. In addition, the insurance may help you pay the legal fees if you have to fight it against your employee (hurling a lawsuit against you). 

Cyber Insurance 

You have your own website and use email to transfer money online; in that case, you need cyber insurance. This is because, for a small business like yours with lower cash in hand, there is always the risk. Cybercriminals are always ready to pounce on your online credentials and create havoc. Therefore, you need this insurance. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who are artisan contractors?

Artisan contractors are skilled tradespeople specializing in various construction tasks such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, and masonry. They typically work on smaller-scale projects and often possess expertise in specific crafts, delivering high-quality craftsmanship to clients.

Why do artisan contractors need insurance?

Artisan contractors require insurance to protect against potential risks and liabilities associated with their work, such as property damage, injuries to workers, and lawsuits. Insurance helps safeguard their businesses and ensures financial security in case of unforeseen incidents.

What are the common work-related risks artisan contractors face?

Artisan contractors face risks such as on-job injuries, damage to property, and liability for mistakes or defects in their workmanship. They may also encounter risks related to weather conditions, equipment malfunction, or unforeseen changes in project scope or requirements.

In conclusion, artisan contractors confront a diverse array of unique liabilities that demand vigilance, adaptability, and strategic risk management. From worksite hazards to professional errors, the challenges they encounter underscore the multifaceted nature of their profession. 

Artisan contractors can protect their businesses, improve resilience, and maintain quality amidst construction challenges by identifying, assessing, and mitigating liabilities.

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Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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