Artisan contractors include many occupations that involve skilled work with their own tools in a variety of settings, generally at a customer’s premises. They include many contracting specialties such as plumbing, electrical work, minor excavation, landscaping, heating, air conditioning, painting, roofing, dry-walling, carpentry, remediation services, and asphalt/paving. They also include a broad spectrum of skilled service providers, such as interior decorators, piano tuners and exterminators. As smaller operations, artisan contractors typically work on large construction projects at the direction of general contractors, operate in small residential projects or work on installation, renovation or remodeling projects.
This group has special insurance needs; coverage for equipment and tools that are often moved around and for the value of work done for a customer until it is finished. They also need a full complement of insurance services, such as general liability, inland marine (to protect their tools/equipment), workers compensation, commercial auto, excess liability and commercial property.
There is no standard insurance definition for an artisan contractor; the class is defined according to an individual insurance company’s underwriting rules. Companies consider elements such as number of employees, the contractor’s role in projects (general vs. sub-contractor) and net income in deciding how to frame policy offering.
Artisan exposures can be difficult to underwrite. Small size means less premium dollars, even though loss exposures can be the same as larger construction operations. It is even more difficult for new artisan contractors because if they are inexperienced it may result in a higher frequency of losses. Even with these issues, there are many companies offering Artisan Contractor policies often with different provisions.
Artisan contractors in Washington need the advice and assistance of an experienced Washington business insurance agency to help them identify their protection needs, especially in the areas of handling exposures to the contractor’s tools and equipment. Complete information must also be developed concerning losses that may occur on their customer’s premises and damage a contractor may cause to property that belong to third parties, but which is in the contractor’s possession or control.