Contractors can save on insuranceEvery contractor wants their business insurance rates to be as low as possible. Here are some tips to help contractors save on insurance premiums. 1. Shop Your Rates Insurance companies are dropping rates for contractors more than any other class of business.  Call us; we will compare your insurance policy to other policies that are available to find you the best deal on general contractor insurance. 2.  Document Everything Take photos of your building or remodeling project as the work is being done.  This is the best proof of contractor workmanship and will not only make a great “look book”, but it could save you from questionable lawsuits. For employees, create an employee contract with expectations and guidelines for all employees.  Document employee reviews and provide written warnings. Make sure to have the employees sign these documents to use as proof of their acknowledgement.  This can help you with L&I claims, unnecessary unemployment taxes, and employer related liability claims. 3. Package Your Insurance Policies Place as many policies as possible on the same master policy and have only one umbrella policy.  As long as the ownership is the same, it should be easy to do.  The main policy coverages usually transfer to all locations.  This will save you on insurance premiums and the amount of paperwork you receive in the mail! 4. Run Employee Motor Vehicle Records If you have commercial auto policies, ask us to run MVRs on employees and make employees' driving records a part of their employment requirement.  Do this prior to employment and again annually.  This can decrease your insurance rates and provide opportunity for discounts based on your claims record. 5. Ask for Discounts Most insurance companies offer discounts. Discounts not offered in a previous year may be offered in following years, so be sure to ask for discounts every year. 6. Use Experienced Agents   When your agent knows your market well, they will be aware of new carriers and coverages available.  They can also help you eliminate unnecessary coverage. We are happy to review your coverage to make sure it meets your specific needs. 7. Increase Your Deductibles Self-insure for the small stuff.  Frequent claims increase your rates and disqualify you for preferred carriers and discounts.  Whatever you do, don’t decrease your liability limits to save money.  Paying $2500 won’t sink your business, but paying a $500,000 liability claim could really hurt. 8. Insurance Claims Don’t turn in a $1200 claim when your deductible is $1000.  You could easily lose discounts that would more than pay for your claim.  By increasing your deductible to $2500 you could save enough money to pay the claim out of pocket, keep your loss ratios low and cut your insurance costs for years to come.  When in doubt, talk to us before filing a claim. 9. Implement a Safety Program Madison Avenue insurance can help you find carriers offering “Loss Prevention Programs” to help your business qualify for discounts by making small changes that can lower claims, and add up to real premium savings.  Contact us for a free loss prevention kit. 10. Preventative Maintenance Program Keep your property and job sites in tip top shape!  This will help prevent liability claims and reduce your insurance costs.  Change burned out light bulbs immediately, make sure the parking lot is well lit, change locks, start a neighborhood watch program, re-paint, replace batteries in all of the smoke detectors, get your fire extinguishers refilled annually and make your building secure with key codes.  Keep your job sites free of debris and install fencing on large projects to keep trespassers out.  Start a vehicle maintenance program for all vehicles. Follow these tips you will be well on your way to premium savings. CALL US TODAY at (425) 481-1430 for more information about our insurance programs. Image courtesy of Microsoft Clipart