Before you scour the internet looking for “cheap electrician contractor insurance quotes” you need to know exactly what to consider before you buy some low cost coverage that doesn’t completely protect you and your business.
Let’s face it, the average insurance agency has no clue what an electrician has to worry about past the dangers of working with electricity. They probably haven’t even considered the fact that each level of electricians have different amounts of work and responsibility, which can open you up to the risk of being under insured if you haven’t had a coverage audit in a while.
So before we try to even think about how much insurance costs for a small electrical contracting business, you need to think about a few things…
So let’s start at the beginning
When most insurance companies think about insurance for electricians they typically don’t know that electricians can be on 3 different levels.
These levels are:
Let’s quickly go into what each level means and how their level of risk differs.
Do Electrician Apprentices Need Contractor Liability Insurance?
As an Apprentice, you are working and studying under the other 2 levels of electricians. You are paid for the work you do and you typically are covered under the insurance of the business that you Apprentice under.
Many apprentices make the mistake of thinking they don’t need to have any coverage whatsoever. Well, that’s simply not the case. An Apprentice needs to consider the individual needs they have and what they stand to lose.
For example, what would happen if your employer doesn’t cover your tools? Your tools are your business and you can’t work without them. You may need to consider how much you have invested and make a plan to cover yourself from that lose.
You may also need to consider if you will be doing any side work for family, friends and neighbors.
Let’s imagine that your buddy from across the street asks you to have a quick look at a light switch that has been acting up. One thing leads to another and a small fire starts, which causes damage to some of your neighbors belongings before its extinguished.
Who do you think is responsible for the damages?
In this scenario, having liability coverage can protect you from having to pay out of pocket for mishaps like this.
It would be wise to speak to a commercial insurance professional.
Now that we have gone over what an apprentice has to consider, let’s compare the next two experience levels of an electrician.
Journeyman vs Master Electrician
First, let’s look at the Journeyman
What is a Journeyman electrician?
Journeyman electricians are electricians who have completed their apprenticeship training and are licensed either locally, statewide, or nationally.
What does a Journeyman do?
A Journeyman may work with electrical wires, fixtures and control systems in commercial, industrial and residential buildings, but typically do not design the initial electrical system for a building, which is usually done by a master electrician.
A Journeyman can also install lighting and security systems or connect transformers, circuit breakers, switches and outlets, inspect and test the integrity of existing wiring systems.
Can a Journeyman Electrician Be Self Employed?
Once licensed, a Journeyman can work independently or as an electrical contractor. He or She can also supervise an Apprentice in a firm.
A Journeyman cannot pull permits, which means that they will need to have a master electrician on many jobs to supervise.
Even still, a Journeyman electrical contractor needs business insurance to protect themselves from certain liabilities.
In many cases, he or she is going to be hired as an independent contractor by a master electrician and will need a more basic amount of coverage. In others, the Journeyman may be self employed and will need to cover much more risk though a Business Owners Policy.
What Do Master Electricians Do?
A master electrician has been proven to perform well in the trade consistently for a number of years and is licenses as a master electrician, which means that they have a high level knowledge of the National Electrical Code or NEC.
They are responsible for all of the work done on any site they supervise.
Only a master electrician can pull permits and can only be registered with one contracting company at a time.
in some states, a common practice is to lease a master electricians license while not registered with a company.
The master electrician essentially inspects, advises and pulls permits for the work to be done in exchange for a fee.
However, the risk is potentially losing the license all together for poorly handled work or it may even be illegal in your state.
What Insurance Does An Electrical Contractor Need?
The very basics of business insurance will be needed in most cases for any electrical contractor past Apprentice.
These 3 basic types of coverage will get you started if you are a Journeyman or a Master electrician. As an Apprentice who does side work for close friends and family you should consider your need for general liability coverage.
Additionally, all 3 levels should at least consider their need for the following
These additional policies can help you protect yourself fully from a loss of income or equipment that may happen.
How much does electrical contractor liability insurance cost?
As you can see from this article, the cost of liability insurance isn’t the only thing to be considered. Each level of electrician has completely different needs to consider.
The answer to each unique risk you will face as an electrical contractor is to know what coverage you need for your specific business.
We want you to spend wisely on your coverage because we know that 75% of U.S businesses are underinsured. We don’t want you to be one of them.
The best way to make sure that you have the right coverage for your business at the best price is to call and get a coverage audit.
We can tailor your insurance quote to your business and compare over 30 different insurers to make sure that you get the best rates.