Insurance coverage for HVAC Contractors in Ohio

Posted by Matt Simon on Jul 7, 2016

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors perform a variety of work in both residential and commercial projects.

Often highly trained, these contractors can perform anything from small repairs to complete new construction projects, which can result in being exposed to a variety of risks.

It’s stressful enough to keep track of installation and maintenance schedules for your clients and employees.

So it’s probably safe to say, the last thing you want to worry about are potential legal issues, accidents, injuries and natural disasters.

A solid insurance program would help alleviate the stress of unforeseen accidents so you can spend your time focused on your building your business.

Like any other business, HVAC contractors need a variety of insurance coverages to ensure their operation is protected. Additionally, rules and coverages can vary from state to state, so understanding Ohio HVAC insurance is essential.

Commercial General Liability Insurance

If you run an HVAC business, then a Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance policy is a must, as it would protect when lawsuits or financial losses occur.

A typical CGL policy provides coverage for claims of bodily injury or other physical injury, personal injury (libel or slander), advertising injury and property damage as a result of your products, premises or operations.

For example, one of your employees installed a new HVAC unit in an assisted living facility for seniors. The system wasn’t installed to specification, which caused mold growth in a portion of the residences.

As a result, the facility had to relocate several patients during the repair and renovation of the moldy building materials. A claim for clean-up costs and property damage was filed. Without a CGL policy, your HVAC business would be paying for the damages out of pocket.

As a safeguard against liability, CGL enables you to continue your normal operations while dealing with real or fraudulent claims of negligence or wrongdoing. CGL policies also provide coverage for the cost to defend and settle claims.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial Auto Insurance is another important policy that all Ohio HVAC businesses must consider because you’re relying on vehicles to get you from one client to another.  Doesn’t matter if you have one truck, or a fleet of 100, you still need Commercial Auto Insurance.

The trucks or trailers that you’re using to haul your equipment should be insured. A Commercial Auto Policy can be used to insure vehicles for:

  1. Liability – this would protect the business owner in the event of an at-fault accident where the owner, or any employees, caused injuries to others while driving a company vehicle
  2. Physical damage to the vehicles owned by the business if they’re involved in an accident, stolen or vandalized
  3. Or both Liability and Physical Damage

For example, one of your employees is on his way to a new job.  He rear-ends a vehicle, nothing major, but once the driver sees your business name on the truck, you’re now looking at a lawsuit for damages to the vehicle as well as injuries suffered. 

With the right Commercial Auto policy, you would have coverage the vehicle damages, the injuries suffered as well as the legal costs you would incur, allowing you to continue operations as usual.

Contractor’s Equipment Insurance

In addition to the vehicles that you’re using to haul equipment, you’ll also need to insure the equipment.

The standard Commercial Property Insurance policy provides coverage for your equipment, but it’s only covered while it's on your premises.

For an HVAC business that routinely has most of its equipment away from its office premises, this creates a problem.

In order to protect these types of items that are regularly off your premises, you need an Inland Marine policy (also known as a Contractor's Equipment policy or floater).   

For example, an employee who had his truck vandalized also had several air conditioning units and equipment stolen from his truck.

An Inland Marine policy would cover those costs even though it didn’t occur on your business premises.  A Commercial Property policy would not provide coverage.

Conclusion

Finding the best insurance policy for your HVAC business in Ohio, and figuring out the types of coverage needed to protect your business, can be confusing, time consuming and difficult.

However, the right insurance protection is still critical to the success of your business.  Without it, you're one claim away from being out of business.

And remember, not all policies are created equal.

You probably wouldn’t go to your eye doctor instead of your dentist if you were having a toothache, right?  Just because they’re both doctors doesn’t mean they have the same skillset.

Just the same, you need an Insurance Advisor that understands your industry, your risks of loss, and how best to protect you and your business.

We can help.

We know the industry, we understand your needs, and we work with multiple insurance companies so we can deliver the insurance solution that’s perfect for your business, and your budget.

When you have confidence in your business insurance, you have greater peace of mind knowing that you can keep working to generate revenue, even when disaster strikes. 

To get started on your customized solution, contact one of our Licensed Advisors, or Request a Proposal and we’ll get to work right away.

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