Plumbing Insurance: Everything You Need To Know

Who needs Plumbers Insurance?


Plumbers know how to be ready for just about anything.

However, running a plumbing business, or even being a one-person shop, comes with certain risks and liabilities. That is why plumbing insurance is vital for keeping your business afloat and successful for years to come.

Plumbing contractors provide much-needed services for both residential and commercial customers alike. However, plumbers have a number of unique risks to consider. In fact, any incident involving installing and repairing pipes or fixtures can lead to major property damage, as well as potential legal action. 

Business Insurance is confusing, time-consuming, and costly.

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These challenges are magnified when you consider that risks related to equipment breakdowns, business interruptions and crime must also be addressed.

The list below provides an overview of these risks and more—helping you identify potential blind spots in your risk management and insurance programs.

What Does Plumbing Insurance Cost?


The cost of plumbing insurance can vary significantly based on the size and scope of the plumbing operation.

For a single-person plumbing operation working on residential homes whose not interested in covering their tools and equipment, general liability policies can range between $750 and $2,500 a year.

It’s important to note the plumbing insurance policies pricing in the lower end of this range are often riddled with exclusions creating major gaps in coverage for the standard plumber. Be careful when purchasing cheap plumbing insurance policies and have a detailed discussion about exclusions with your insurance professional.

For larger plumbing businesses, which often have a fleet of vehicles and/or work on commercial job sites, premiums can push over $100,000 a year and even well beyond that.

Plumbing insurance for these larger enterprises must be built with care and expertise into a well-rounded package that includes safety controls, return to work programs, commercial auto schedules, and much more.

What Does Plumbing Insurance Cover?


In insurance terms, plumbing insurance applies to contractors which install, repair and replace plumbing and piping to connect to water supplies, gas utilities, sewer connections, appliances, sprinklers, and irrigation systems.

Other services the plumbing contractor may provide are retail sales of hardware and even appliances, as well as remodeling services for the kitchen and bathrooms. 

General Liability Insurance for Plumbers


General liability insurance, sometimes called Commercial General Liability (CGL), is recommended for plumbing professionals and may protect your business from another person or business’s claims of bodily injury, associated medical costs, and damage to property.

These types of claims could arise if one of your customers is injured based on work that you have done in a residential home or commercial business. It could also come in handy if a client’s property is damaged by you or one of your employees during an installation job.

Here are some examples of plumbing insurance claims against a general liability policy:

  • Bodily injury: You install a hot water heater and the temperature control malfunctions. A person in the home is scalded, requiring medical attention for burns. The client claims you are responsible. You could be on the hook for medical costs, but your plumbing insurance policy could cover those costs, protecting you and your business.
  • Property damage: While installing a new kitchen sink, you neglected to properly tighten a connection and water leaks into your customer’s home overnight damaging their cabinets and new wood floors. A plumbing insurance policy could cover the costs associated with the property damage, thereby protecting your business.
  • Personal injury: One of your employees is at lunch. He talks to the owner of the shop about one of your clients in a false and unflattering way. The client learns of this discussion and sues for slander. We will cover the subsequent claim, up to your general liability policy’s limits of liability, and pay for an attorney to defend you if necessary.

Situations like the ones tragic and they do happen.

Completed Operations


Completed operations exposures can occur if the plumbing or piping is not properly installed and leaks or water damage occur. This could result in significant property damage. If sewer connections are faulty, leaking sewage can cause bacteria and disease, and additional substantial property losses. 

Environmental concerns need evaluation from the disposal of waste and the old debris that has been removed from the structure. Are proper disposal methods used for the type of waste encountered?

Once a job has been completed, plumbing contractors can be held liable if their work product causes bodily injury or property damage.

While claims of smaller problems can often be resolved with a repair, larger issues may result in legal action.

For instance, if a particular job involves welding piping, a leak could lead to flooding, causing significant property damage for the client. Completed operations coverage can help protect a contractor should these kinds of claims arise.

Commercial Auto

plumbing workers compensation

Because plumbing businesses usually own a fleet of vehicles and employees travel to and from job sites on a frequent basis, automobile exposures can be significant.

Specifically, any time a plumber transports tools or visits a client, the risk for accidents increases.

Just one accident can be extremely costly, as expenses related to vehicle repairs and bodily injuries can add up quickly.

What’s more, if employees use their own vehicle for work, standard commercial auto policies are often not enough.

Workers Compensation


Any time one of your employees is injured on the job, your organization could be subjected to a workers’ compensation insurance claim.

Common sources of on-the-job accidents for plumbers include cuts, scrapes, blows to the head when working in tight spaces and musculoskeletal injuries caused by repetitive tasks, twisting, lifting, sprains and strains.

Normal, everyday tasks related to working under sinks or carrying equipment can lead to accidents and, in turn, increased costs for your business.

Burns from the welding operation can occur both at the yard site and job site. If welding is done in small, confined locations, additional exposure exists to fire, fumes and vapors. Cuts and amputations can result from the cutting of piping and plumbing.

Fumes and vapors from the adhesives can cause eye, skin and lung irritations. Ventilation is important. If the contractor does any excavation to connect to utilities or to install sprinklers and irrigation systems, potential losses from digging and trenching could occur. 

Crime Coverage


Plumbing contractors face several crime exposures, particularly if valuable equipment or tools are left unattended at the worksite, which may attract thieves or vandals.

Thieves (including your employees) can rob an office or worksite at any time, targeting cash or valuable supplies.

What’s more, with worksite locations changing on a regular basis, it’s difficult to consistently keep valuable items and customer payments under lock and key.

Property Coverage


Property exposures depend upon the work done by the contractor at his own premises. Some contractors have facilities to construct their own piping, so cutting and welding would be done at the yard site.

In those cases, fire exposures may be high. Welding has exposure from the storage of tanks of gases that must be handled properly to avoid loss. 

Other fire concerns are from the storage and cutting of the piping and fixtures that may be plastic and pose exposure to toxic fumes should a fire occur. Plastic plumbing and piping use adhesives that may be flammable.

Handling and storage of flammables need good controls. If repair work on vehicles and equipment is done in the building, fire hazards may be much higher. 

Plumbing Contractor’s Equipment


Plumbing contractors regularly transport equipment, tools, and supplies to and from worksites.

As such, any property that’s unique or valuable, in transit, in your temporary care, stored at fixed (but movable) locations or used to transfer information represents inland marine exposures.

Materials and tools can be damaged in transit from shifting loads or traffic collisions; at the worksite from a collision, being dropped or poor weather conditions; or loss from theft, potentially creating costly losses.

Why do Plumbers choose Rogue Risk?

  • Preferred pricing options: We with best-in-class insurance carriers who understand the plumbing business and are hungry to add new clients.
  • Custom-tailored insurance: We specialize in plumbing businesses like yours and tailor coverage to the risks in your specific operation.
  • Claims responsiveness: When a claim is reported, our carrier partners immediately assign a dedicated claims representative to assist you.
  • Surety Bonds: Rogue Risk can handle all your bonding needs from start to finish.
  • Passion for convenience: We know you’re busy, so without sacrificing service or quality of products, we set up our agency to be convenient for you and your schedule.

If your current insurance professional has never addressed these issues with you before, then I’d encourage you to reach out to us at Rogue Risk, today.

I hope this article helped you better understand plumbing insurance.

Thank you,

Ryan Hanley

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