Builders and contractors working in California know very well that the cost of doing business here can be challenging, to say the least. But what exactly are the top challenges facing contractors that may have some surprising solutions? Number one on the list may surprise you…
5: The Technology Gap.
Technology is outpacing almost every sector of the building industry. Even one generation ago, our fathers never could have foreseen the path that construction technology would take, from mobile apps for project management to high-tech lasers that map and measure a room almost instantly. Fortunately, if there is a device for the job, someone has created a video tutorial about how to use it. Between YouTube and Google, you can find and instantly learn about the newest devices – and how to use them.
4: Finding (and keeping) a Good Crew.
Workers’ compensation carriers consider that employees making a higher wage should be subject to a rate reduction in a number of prevalent construction classes. The logic is that the higher the wage, the more experienced the employee (and less likely to have a work comp claim). Ask your agent what the wage threshold is for 2018, and consider raising your top crew members to that wage. Not only will you get a substantial reduction in the cost of your work comp, chances are you will have secured a long term employee.
3. Safety and Compliance.
OSHA isn’t the only entity you have to pay attention to in California for occupational safety and compliance. Did you know that your liability insurance carrier likely has a laundry list of safety related issues that you need to be doing to ensure that claims will be properly covered? So before you get up on that roof (or send your crew up there for that matter), talk to your agent. Make sure you’re following the protocols expected within the terms of the policy so that if there is an injury or a claim, there won’t be any other unexpected surprises awaiting you.
2. Outbidding the Competition (and still making a profit)
When you bid that job, you thought of everything. The materials, the man hours it would take to get the job done right, even the cost of gas to get the crew there. But oftentimes contractors will forget to build in the most important cost of all: the insurance. So you bid that job to win out over five other guys, and then you see the fine print on the contract. I need a $5,000,000 liability policy??? What are all these endorsements going to cost me? How am I going to make a profit now?
Don’t get caught in this all-too-common predicament. Determine ahead of time the portion of the policy’s cost that should apply to the job. An experienced contractor insurance specialist should help you determine this every year, so that you know EXACTLY how much to build into each contract based on the gross sales or the duration of the work.
1. Finding an Insurance Agent who understands Contractor’s Insurance!
You look in the phone book, or you ask a friend, ‘Where do you get your work comp?’ The answer often yields the names of business insurance agents who may be familiar with insuring their neighborhood bar, but are not familiar with the unique challenges of the construction insurance industry.
You need an agent who knows what certificate compliance means to your bottom line. You need someone with relationships with virtually every provider of bonds, general liability, and work comp in the state (and beyond) so that when they shop for insurance, they are able to price shop and compare every viable option. And most importantly, you need someone that can cut through the jargon and explain the ‘why’…why you need it, what it does to protect you, and how to build the costs into your jobs. This is what we do at Contractor Solutions Insurance. Give us a call today and an experienced agent will go to work for you right away.