contractor's insurance?

To you welding contractors out there: What's the best way to get insurance for yourselves?

I do part time, after hours welding on a contract basis. Since this is not my main source of income (it hardly covers the cost of maintaining my equipment), it is difficult for me to justify purchasing liability insurance for my work. On the other hand, I know all it would take is one person to say, "Well, I paid that guy to do it!" and I'd be f*cked.

I contacted Allstate (my current vehicle insurance provider) about getting contractor insurance for myself, and they wanted something in the neighborhood of $10k per year because I had a welding machine and a cutting torch. Damn! I might make $3k a year doing my little side jobs, so there is no way I could justify that!

Should I just quit, and tell everybody to go away? I love doing this, and it is great stress relief after starring at a computer screen for 8 hours.

Any ideas? Did I say the wrong thing to the insurance company? Is there a secret phrase?

What are my other options? Should I declare myself as a sole proprietorship or limited liability business, or would that help?

Regards, ~Joe

formatting link

Reply to
Loading thread data ...

Please post when you find something out. thanks

Reply to

I'll only share from my experience. I was a steel erection contractor in the State of Nevada for nine years. Started off as a garage operator, as you.

When I got my contractors license, liability insurance was difficult to find at an affordable price. I finally found it through the company that wrote my surety bond, and it was with a European company. It was reasonably priced in the 80's at about $400 per year. That was for one million dollars liability. It was required for me to enter any commercial property where they actually kept track of such things, and got me jobs I would have otherwise not have gotten, and other companies missed. At the end, I serviced 275 commercial properties in Las Vegas.

Fast forward to today.

Your worst nightmare is starting a fire or causing injury. You NEED a sizeable insurance policy to CYA.

That being said, if getting insurance isn't cost effective, then you must limit your market. You just can't do the risky jobs. Stick to stuff you can pick up and deliver, and not have to weld on site.

Just as with getting a contractors (or any other) license, it opens up new market niches that you couldn't do before. But then, it also expands your business, and it sounds like you want to keep this as a sideline rather than a main job.

It's just like going out there and driving a car without adequate insurance. DON'T DO IT! Even if you structure yourself legally to prevent catastrophic loss, there's the civil courts where you can be judged against with LESS evidence. And there's the pain of living with your conscience if you burn someone's house down or injure someone.

You're playing with fire here. Be careful.



Reply to

Some companies specialize in contractor insurance. A specialty contractor insurance policy should only cost around $800 - $1200 per year. That should cover light construction and architectural detail. It all depends on your liability. If you are welding 4 story steel structures, then it will cost a lot more.

ABANA has a small business insurance carrier that works with them to supply insurance for members.

Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler

Up here in Canada my professional association OACETT offers liability insurance to certified members (those who pass its professional certiciation tests at a reasonable price. but because they certify electronics civil and manufacturing technologists (machinists tool and die and mechanical technologists all would fit in scope along wilth over 50 000 other members int he province they can leverage that

Reply to

Anybody know if there is something like this in the states?

I'm not a full-time welder, so I d> Up here in Canada my professional association OACETT offers liability

Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.