Plumbers provide a vital service for homeowners and landlords in Texas. Almost 40 percent of American homes have three or more bathrooms. Add in the kitchen, laundry room, garage and garden and that’s a lot of sinks, toilets and showers to keep up and running. While you keep everybody’s bathroom functional, it’s important to also look out for your own interests. Having the proper type and amount of insurance is a big part of safeguarding your business.
Insurance isn’t just for covering your mistakes as a plumber. It covers a huge range of variables that you can’t necessarily foresee, and that may not be your fault. What if you’re working on a kitchen sink in a residence, and a child comes barreling through the kitchen, slips on a wrench, falls, and breaks a wrist? Even if not your fault, you could still face an expensive lawsuit.
A couple in Galveston sued a plumber for water damage to their home, apparently owing to shoddy plumbing work. In a similar situation, a Dallas plumber was sued for breach of contract breach of express warranty, and negligence, when a customer claimed the company left them with a house full of leaky pipes. Without adequate insurance, these lawsuits could devastate their business.
Other risks to your business include loss or damage to your tools and vehicles, and accidents on the job which leave you or your employees unable to work.
The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners requires all master plumbers to furnish them with a current certificate of insurance. Plumbers must carry general liability insurance for claims of property damage or bodily injury, with coverage of at least $300,000 in a one-year period. Plumbers must carry insurance coverage for all types of plumbing they do under their license. For example, liquefied petroleum gas plumbing or medical plumbing could carry different insurance burdens.
General Liability Insurance. This broad type of insurance covers many scenarios, including the most common liability claims that plumbers encounter. Bodily injury and property damage due to the policy holder’s negligence may be covered by general liability insurance. General liability insurance also covers legal costs.
Professional Liability Insurance. This type of insurance covers poor results that are your fault, or the fault of your subcontractor, apprentice or less experienced employees. If a client files a negligence claim against you, this professional liability insurance will cover at least some of the cost.
Commercial Property Insurance. If your tools and supplies are stolen, damaged, destroyed or vandalized, commercial property insurance provides coverage.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Some of a plumber’s daily tasks can be dangerous, such as soldering pipes and even driving to job sites! If you or an employee is injured or gets sick while on the job, workers’ comp covers many medical and hospital costs, funeral costs and missed earnings.
Commercial Auto Insurance. This type of insurance protects the vehicles you make service calls in, as well as injuries you and your passengers may sustain while inside a work vehicle. Commercial auto insurance also covers legal defense costs if other involved parties sue you for medical expenses or damages in an accident.
In addition to the minimums required by the State of Texas, your customers might require higher limits of general liability insurance, or more specific forms of coverage. Carrying more than the absolute minimum helps you stand out as a professional in the plumbing field.
Hettler Insurance Agency
4432 S Loop 289
Lubbock, TX 79414