How to Get Independent Contractor Insurance in Ontario
An independent contractor can be either a self-employed person (i.e. professionals and tradespeople) or a business that is contracted by another entity to perform work. Just like larger companies, independent contractors are faced with various risks.
Larger businesses that hire independent contractors may have insurance policies that do not have independent contractor coverage. In fact, independent contractors can be excluded from the commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy of the company that hired them. This is why getting independent contractor insurance in Ontario is a must.
Complete independent contractor insurance can also provide protection for the vehicles, equipment, and other physical assets that independent contractors rely on.
Read on to learn more about independent contractor insurance in Ontario and how you can set one up for yourself or for your business. Let’s get started!
What is Independent Contractor Insurance?
Independent contractor insurance is a broad term that describes insurance plans or insurance bundles that are intended to protect independent contractors. This type of insurance can be for self-employed individuals or for businesses that independently enter into a contract with another entity.
As such, this independent contractor insurance Ontario is available for a variety of industries and professions, including the following:
- Excavating contractors
- Masonry contractors
- Painting contractors
- Independent contract engineers
- Independent contract architects
- Interior designers
- Accounting independent contractors
Do Independent Contractors Need Insurance?
Independent contractors face risks very similar to those of larger companies. This is true for self-employed independent contractors and for independent contractors that enter into contracts with larger companies. For the latter, there is no guarantee that larger companies will include the independent contractor as an additional insured—unless this arrangement was worked out between the two parties.
A few examples of risks faced by independent contractors include the following:
- Independent contractors can be sued for poor workmanship, delays, negligence, and/or consequent damages.
- Independent contractors working in construction and related trades usually need to bring their own equipment, which can be damaged or stolen on busy job sites.
- Independent contractors who have a physical location are in danger of loss and business interruption in case of theft, natural disasters, and the like.
How to Get Independent Contractor Insurance in Ontario
Method 1: Get Your Own Insurance
It’s highly recommended for independent contractors to get their own insurance. In fact, most contractors and professionals are required to have a commercial general liability (CGL) or Errors and Omissions (E&O) policy, respectively.
Typically, insurance is required for high-stakes industries wherein losses, injuries, or damage can be caused by mistakes or negligence. In addition, bidding on contracts for the government or institutions will typically require insurance. In these cases, insurance is necessary to protect consumers and the general public.
If you’re looking to get your own insurance plan or bundle, here are the main steps you need to take:
1. Know the Different Insurance Types
Are you a contractor in construction or skilled trades? Are you a professional practicing accounting, engineering, or architecture? Based on what line of work or industry you are in, the kind of insurance that you need adapts to that.
As a general rule, at the bare minimum, contractors need CGL insurance and professionals need professional liability insurance (also known as Errors & Omissions insurance). However, it’s recommended that professionals like engineers and architects get both CGL and professional liability insurance.
That about covers the bare minimum aspect of insurance. If you want full protection for commercial vehicles, heavy mobile equipment, the course of construction itself, or your commercial property and its contents, there are specialized types of insurance for each.
2. Set Your Goals (Budget and Coverage)
Nobody knows your business as well as you do. Even when you eventually speak to insurance professionals, they will still ask you what your goals and preferences are and how much of your budget you can allot to insure your business.
3. Find a Trustworthy Insurance Brokerage Firm
Working with a trustworthy insurance brokerage firm that is fully independent will expose you to a wide variety of options for independent contractor insurance in Ontario. This is as opposed to working with an insurance agent who will be obligated to only endorse the insurance products of the company (or set of companies) that they’re working for.
Method 2: Become an Additional Insured
For contractors that are not legally required to get their own insurance (e.g. interior designers or painters for small projects), there is an option to become an additional insured. This option is only available if the contract is with a company that has an existing insurance policy.
Becoming an additional insured means that you can make claims on a policy that is set up for another entity. However, having additional insureds on a policy causes the premium to increase. A client company can decide to include your business as an additional insured, depending on your unique situation and arrangement.
Get Independent Contractor Insurance That You Can Count On
Contractors Insurance is a leading provider of independent contractor insurance. We can customize an insurance plan or bundle to target the unique risks of your business. So whether you’re a self-employed contractor, a small business, or an independent contractor professional, we’ve got everything you need. With our award-winning services, you will get a customized insurance policy or insurance bundle that’s worth every cent!
Our dedicated team also gives you a completely hassle-free insurance experience. We provide assistance for all your insurance needs—whether you’re negotiating premiums for independent contractor insurance in Ontario, following up on claims, or updating your policy.
If you have questions for us or would like to get a free quote, please feel free to contact us!BACK TO ALL ARTICLES