While HVAC contractors constantly respond to other people’s emergencies, like a furnace that fails on a cold winter night or an AC unit that breaks down on a hot summer day, they also need to be prepared for catastrophic events that could impact their business. One way they can do this is by securing the appropriate HVAC contractors insurance coverage.
Along with the exciting challenges of HVAC work, there are many occupational hazards. From the job’s long hours and heavy equipment to the potential exposure to harmful chemicals, dangerous gases, harsh weather conditions, and powerful electrical components, HVAC work can lead to a serious injury or property damage. Following proper security measures and HVAC safety standards typically helps minimize these threats, but costly mishaps can still happen. It’s essential to have the appropriate HVAC contractors insurance coverage to help safeguard your business and all your hard work from the financial repercussions of an unexpected accident.
What kind of insurance do you need for your HVAC business?
There is hardly a dull moment when you work as an HVAC contractor. Today, you might be troubleshooting and doing repair work; tomorrow, you may be making sure electrical circuits are fit for an upcoming residential or commercial installation; and the next day, you could be setting up a new climate control or refrigeration system. In addition, a slight miscalculation or misstep can lead to a serious issue and, sometimes, even a life-threatening situation.
The team at Austin works with South of Boston HVAC contractors to make sure they have the appropriate insurance coverage for their distinct protection requirements. The following five coverages are typically what we recommend as a solid foundation for a reliable HVAC contractors insurance solution:
- Commercial General Liability is essential protection for HVAC contractors, regardless of the size or scope of their business. It is also often required by a client before they will hire you. This important coverage provides peace of mind to both you and your clients, because it typically helps pay for expenses related to an injury sustained by a client or property damage to a client’s home or belongings resulting from HVAC work performed by you or your employees. Commercial general liability coverage generally aids with medical payments for injured parties; repair costs for property damage, including losses caused by installation problems or moisture; and legal defense fees if a client sues you.
- Professional Liability provides coverage for HVAC contractor liability concerns that are not typically included in commercial general liability insurance, primarily the possibility that you or an employee could make an unintended error while performing HVAC services for a client. Even if you don’t feel that you’ve done anything wrong, a disgruntled customer may still end up suing your company for alleged or actual errors in HVAC design, incomplete work, misrepresentation of skills, inaccurate advice, and more. Whether a client’s complaint is unproven or upheld, having professional liability insurance can provide you with invaluable financial protection. It typically helps you pay for legal fees incurred as part of a lawsuit and, if you are found responsible, any resulting settlements or judgments.
- Commercial Auto is an important piece of the insurance solution for virtually every HVAC contractor because it protects the trucks and vans you and your employees use every day to get to jobs. Driving to and from clients’ homes and businesses daily heightens the risk of being involved in an at-fault traffic accident. This type of situation can result in substantial property damage, including damages to other people’s vehicles and medical expenses for other motorists injured in the crash. While Massachusetts mandates minimum insurance requirements for commercial vehicles, there are several additional coverages that you should discuss with your insurance professional to make sure you have the right protection for your fleet as well as your bank account.
- Workers’ Compensation is mandatory for Massachusetts HVAC contractors who have employees. This is true even if you have just one employee, an employee who only works a few hours a day, or an employee who is a family member. Given that tens of thousands of work-related injuries and illness are reported by HVAC contractors every year, the fact that this type of coverage is required is in your best interest. Workers’ compensation insurance typically pays the medical bills and payroll costs if an employee is injured while working for your HVAC company. Even sole proprietors may want to consider this coverage because it could help them out financially if they ever go down with a work-related injury or illness. Work with your insurance agent to determine if workers’ comp is a benefit you need and, if so, how to get affordable coverage.
- Commercial Property protects your brick-and-mortar HVAC establishment and the belongings you keep in it. Whether you own a building, lease commercial space, or have a home workshop, an unwelcome event such as a fire or break-in can leave it in ruins and cause substantial damage to the items you keep there, including your HVAC tools, maintenance equipment, safety gear, inventory, computers and tablets, and more. Commercial property insurance typically helps you pay for expenses related to structural repairs and for replacing business belongings that are ruined due to a covered event.
These five insurance coverages address some of the most common liability risks HVAC contractors face. However, depending on the makeup of your specific business, you may want to enhance your HVAC insurance with one or more of the following options:
- Cyber Liability
- Contractors’ Errors and Omissions
- Commercial Umbrella
- Tools and Equipment
- Inland Marine
- Surety Bonds
Austin Insurance will help you build a complete HVAC Contractor Insurance solution to cover the distinct risks of your industry and operation.
The best way for us to accomplish this is to meet you in person so we can familiarize ourselves with specific aspects of your business property, vehicles, employees, and more. These are some of the factors that will help us determine what HVAC insurance products you may require and which insurance companies will match up with those needs and offer the most competitive rate.
Often, the most economical way for a small- to medium-sized HVAC business to get comprehensive insurance is by bundling several coverages into one convenient and more affordable policy, called a Business Owners Policy (BOP). A standard BOP for an HVAC contractor generally includes commercial general liability and commercial property insurance, two essential coverages for your HVAC business. In addition, these bundled policies also typically provide—or can be customized to include—coverage for cyber liability, employment practices liability, business interruption, professional liability, and more.
The Austin team is here not only to help protect your HVAC business but also to support its growth. As our client, you will have access to a highly responsive, self-service online client portal where you can request a certificate of insurance, review your current policies, report a claim, and much more. For your convenience, this portal is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are dedicated to making the insurance process easy and efficient for HVAC contractors and all our business insurance clients.