Excavator insurance doesn’t just refer to the machines in question. It can refer to the job site, workers, and time to complete the job, which requires excavation. Compared to other contract jobs, excavations tend to be much more high-risk when it comes to injuries and damages.
Needless to say, having good insurance for an excavation project, equipment, and workers will be one of the most important components of the undertaking. All risks considered, finding and putting together the best and most affordable insurance policy can seem like a lot.
The good news is that Insurance Navy comes to the rescue with more accessible excavator and other contractor insurance with a prioritization of lower rates.
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Excavation contractors need insurance coverage
Compared to other contracting jobs, excavation tasks and excavators have a much higher risk rate than them. In fact, it’s been reported that excavator workers and operators are more than twice as likely to be injured or cause damage during a job. At the same time, there are several additional liability risks and damages they run while working at any given site. The witches brew of damages that can occur during an excavation contract job that foremen and managers must be aware of when it comes to insurance are:
- Injuries that workers suffer on the job which is the foremost concern of contract and construction companies as it’s not the safest occupation
- Errors and damage caused by excavators, such as damaging equipment or work in process and accidentally hitting an underground utility like a power or water line
- Illnesses that workers may suffer as a result of exposure to harmful chemicals or pollution while at the worksite
- Injuries that can occur to third parties visiting or passing through the site if they are not trespassing
- Unseen subsurface hazards that can damage equipment or severely impede the job’s completion, schedule, and resources
- A water runoff being worked on could grate and cause similar problems and damages
- Damage and injuries that can be caused by contractor or company vehicles being used for the excavation project
- Vandalism and theft of equipment from the work site
- Legal damages can arise if the excavation or contracting company is sued for a mistake or error during the project
These are just a few examples of what excavator insurance covers
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Important Insurance for excavators
So, that’s a lot of risks and damages to account for. In such a specific context as excavation contracts and jobs, it can seem like a lot of different insurance coverages will be necessary for the policy. However, the essential insurance that an excavation contractor can have are the most common type of commercial insurance. Liability insurance is the most important thing when it comes to this coverage, as you are about to read and find out.
Workers compensation insurance
The most important insurance coverages tend to be the ones that are required by law. Businesses aren’t required to carry much, but workers’ compensation will always be mandatory. As previously mentioned, workers and operators at excavation sites tend to be the most at risk. When working on something like a foundation, grating, trenching, and Levees, there’s literally nowhere to go but down. All fall risks are at least tripled for workers, but that’s the very least of the risks.
As previously mentioned, working in vehicles and equipment as significant as excavators and diggers requires the utmost care and often some degree of training because of everything that can go wrong. Injuries and even disfigurements are reported on construction grounds annually. Illness can also arise from pollution or toxic chemicals in the area or if a gas line is unintentionally struck.
As usual, lost wages, disability, and death benefits are included in excavator workers’ compensation. Any legal fees are also covered if a lawsuit is pursued by an employee. Employees’ lost wages if recovery after a work-sustained injury is required are also included in workers’ compensation.
General liability insurance
Liability is the most important thing for contractors’ insurance policies because they really are liable for anything that can happen to anyone on account of the service they are providing.
For excavators, there are several types of liability insurance coverages that they will need. Of course, there is a general liability that accounts for damages, injuries, and lawsuits from third parties. It also especially helps when a contracting company unintentionally causes property damage while working.
The essential liability insurance for excavators is professional liability insurance. The whole reason for digging in the first place is to complete a hired job.
If a mistake or error is made, then the contracting company is liable for the ensuing damages; they may also get sued in the process. Professional liability, or errors and omissions, insurance covers financial loss and legal fees in these cases. This can also be in the event that the job isn’t done on the projected time and negligence accusations.
Equipment and tools insurance coverage
Machines like excavators and diggers may look like vehicles, but they are defined as equipment by insurance companies despite their limited driveability. Anything with an attached shovel, crane, or drill is labeled as such. This is a good thing because excavation machines can be insured alongside building tools and supplies with equipment and tools insurance specially designed for contractors. A job is as just as good as the tools that get it done, after all.
Any damage and theft of some tools and equipment from the work site are covered. If something as major as an excavator were to break down or get damaged, repairs and even replacements can severely break a budget and set a project back. Similarly, a contracting company can lose money with each passing day without an essential machine or equipment.
That’s why a BOP (business owner’s policy) is another great way to cover equipment while also including liability coverage and business interruption insurance –which insures the contracting company for any lost income as a result of not being able to work for a period of time.
Inland marine insurance
This is another type of insurance that contractors in all areas of construction should include on their policies as well. Since equipment like excavators can’t be driven to work sites, they are usually transported by flatbeds. Inland marine insurance is a must-have when it comes to any damage or accident that occurs while it, along with everything else used for the excavation job, is in transit. This can be the case whether or not the contracting company moves its own equipment.
Special inland marine insurance also exists that will protect any structures and materials produced as a result of an excavation job. This, however, can be a big what-if depending on the project in question since excavation jobs aren’t as much building as they are making room for building to take place. Always check the scope of the job to be sure whether or not such insurance would be needed.
Additional Insurance for excavators
The aforementioned types of insurance cover excavators when it comes to the most common damages and risks they face. But insurance is rarely a one-size-fits-all deal, and some additional coverage may be required for some excavating jobs. Whether or not your specific excavating job will need the following types of insurance is an entirely personal matter.
Commercial auto insurance
If contracting companies that specialize in excavating have their own vehicle or fleet of vehicles for transporting equipment and materials to the work site, it will fall on them to get the proper auto insurance for them, and that would be commercial car insurance. Since they are used for business, car insurance that recognizes them as such will be required by the state.
Aside from basic liability coverage, you will be able to choose additional coverage like collision and comprehensive insurance. Again, machines like excavators will not require auto insurance since they are not driven on the road and are not considered vehicles.
Commercial property insurance
There isn’t much need for property insurance at an excavation site since there isn’t usually a structure or actual property to insure yet. However, some cases where an excavation is done on public land may need property insurance from the contracting company.
Some excavation contractors may already have property insurance on their policies if they elected for a BOP. Still, this insurance never hurts to think about if the company has a stake in the land or project.
How much does Excavator insurance cost?
It’s been reported that general liability for excavators can cost anywhere from $1,100 to $3,100 annually, depending on the coverage limits. Excavator insurance costs a little more than average because of the overall risk.
Unfortunately, excavator insurance isn’t like car insurance in the regard that the safest operators and drivers pay the least. At the same time, this may also be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to insurance expenses since this is the cost of just one coverage.
A BOP is a great way for excavating companies to save on their insurance as they bundle liability, property, and business interruption for a more affordable premium. Workers’ compensation may also cost more than average, given the daily responsibilities of employees.
Excavator insurance from Insurance Navy
With contractor’s insurance like excavators, some are lucky to stay within their budgets, let alone save. At Insurance Navy, we strive to set a new low-cost standard for every type of insurance regardless of who or what they’re by prioritizing budget over risk.
Excavation professionals have enough on their plate with planning, scoping, and the work itself. We’ll save them the headache by finding the best coverage and premiums for them and their projects.
Start today with a free online quote and see what low-cost excavation contractor you and your company may qualify for.