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Commercial Auto Insurance for Roofers

Commercial auto insurance for roofers is a distinct and particularly interesting category of coverage. Roofers have unique coverage needs based on the vehicles they drive, the equipment and materials they carry, and the places they go in their trucks. Some roofers are employees of larger companies, but many are self employed contractors getting paid by the square and covering their own vehicle expenses. This article mainly deals with the auto insurance needs of those self employed contractors; although it has to be pointed out that roofers working for a company as employees also need to address their commercial auto insurance needs if their trucks are being used for work purposes.

Roofing Contractors Auto Protection

If you are a subcontractor working for a larger roofing company, chances are you use all of your own tools and equipment to do the job. And there is an equal likelihood that you use your own truck to get to the job and to pick up materials as needed. As a self employed contractor, you already know that you are essentially a company in and of yourself. More than likely you carry your own liability insurance and other essential forms of coverage to protect you in different circumstances. All of this is necessary as a contractor because the relationship you have with the company you do work for is different by nature than it would be if you were an employee.

One of the reasons many larger roofing companies hire roofers as contract laborers rather than as employees is to cut costs. They do not have to worry about providing tools and equipment, paying for trucks and fuel, or dealing with large liability insurance premiums. As a contractor, your responsibility for commercial liability coverage does not end with your general liability and workers compensation policy that is probably required by the state in which you live. You must also protect your vehicle, your tools and equipment you haul to the job, and even your personal and business assets against liability claims that could occur out on the road. A commercial auto insurance policy is essential for roofers who use their own vehicle for work. There are several reasons for this, but they all boil down to protection.

The Importance of Commercial Insurance

Commercial auto insurance plans provide the kind of coverage you will never get in a personal auto policy. For one thing, they include levels of coverage that a personal policy cannot touch. The most pertinent example is in liability protection. This is (or ought to be) the single biggest area of concern for roofers insurance wise when they are out on the roads in their trucks and vans. When you are hauling around heavy equipment like picks and ladders, or hauling heavy loads like pallets of shingles or ice and water shield, you run the risk of doing great damage in an auto accident. Vehicles that are loaded down in this way have greater stopping distances, and they impact other vehicles more severely when accidents do occur.

You also have the nightmarish prospect of having to worry about a ladder or some of the materials you're hauling falling off the back of your truck and striking another vehicle. Imagine the damage and potential injury that could cost. The simple fact is that roofers need higher liability limits than most drivers because of the unique loads we carry to and from the job.

Personal Insurance Inadequate for Roofers

With only a personal policy, you run the risk of having a claim denied in the event of an accident. Your insurer is going to look at the situation and make a ruling based on the use of the vehicle. Think about how easy it is to tell that your truck is used for work. You probably have a ladder rack full of picks and ladders. There are likely several tool belts and a tool box full of tools in the back, along with compressors, hose, and who knows what else. A work truck is as plain as day to an insurance adjuster. You need to be covered with a commercial auto insurance plan, because if you get into an accident loaded up like this, your claim will most certainly be denied and you could even be canceled by your insurance provider.

The good news is that for most roofers who are simply one man operations and only have a single truck or van to insure, a commercial auto policy for roofers is not as expensive as you might think. Get online and get some prices from different providers in your area, and you'll see that as a contractor, a commercial policy is a great investment. The assurance of coverage and the higher available liability limits make the additional cost well worth paying.


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