Top 5 Insurance Headaches For Roofing Contractors

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In all my years of business, I’ve never once met a roofing contractor that was happy or eager to talk about their insurance or risk management program. I think we can all agree that most roofing contractors see, at best, insurance as a necessary evil, as an annoyance they’d rather not deal with at all and, at worst, insurance people are crooks. You’ll never get a claim paid and you just shouldn’t trust the insurance industry at all. I don’t know where you fall on the spectrum here, but in this video we’re going to talk about the top five insurance headaches that roofing contractors face and what you can do about them. We’re going to get started right after this.

Hey folks, James Jenkins here, thanks for joining me. My company has the privilege of being part of both RCAT and NTRCA. We have well over 100 roofing contractors as clients. I thought it might be a great opportunity to present this video to you as real value instead of just some generic sales pitch about we’ll save you money or telling you about some sort of coverage or carrier that we can deliver to you. There are three kinds of selling. There’s selling based on price, which in my opinion has virtually no value in the marketplace, it’s nothing but a zero sum game. You don’t want to sell based on price in your business, we don’t either.

There’s selling based on product, which is a little better than selling on price. But, only marginally because selling based on product, all of the other people in the marketplace that have access to the same product that you do. There’s no unique value in selling based on product, whether that’s a GAF shingle or some other side of things in your business. In the insurance world, selling based on product is talking about coverage, deductibles, carriers, claims, service, underwriting, ease of use, and stuff like that. I don’t see any value in that, which is why we are focusing in this video, and just about everything that we do in the marketplace, about the problems that we help our clients solve.

1. Certificate Hassles

For the roofing contractors watching this video, the top five insurance headaches that you face in your business, we’re going to tackle them right now, starting with number one, certificate hassles. Getting an insurance certificate from your agent fast and easy so you can present it to whatever third party is asking for it, especially if you’re doing commercial roofing. That, from what the people that we have talked to and asked about, “Hey, what are the problems that you face with your insurance program?” Getting a certificate fast and easy or having the ability to generate your own certificate on demand. People want that. That is something that we have listened and brought to market for you.

The solution for this hassle is simply to work with an agent that is leveraging technology and innovation to give you the roofing contractor the ability to generate certificates on demand whenever you need them for any third party, whether it’s a client or an upstream contractor or some sort of compliance verification. With RiskWell, you can generate on demand certificates whenever you need them and if you need special language in the description box, a simple email to our service team will get that turned around in one business day or less.

2. Uninsured Contractors

The second insurance hassle for roofing contractors is dealing with the problem of uninsured subcontractors. We all know what it looks like. When you want to hire a sub, you also want to save money on low cost. You don’t want to be having some top shelf sub eating into your profits so you might want to go with a day laborer, an uninsured sub, someone who can get the job done at a lower cost, but there’s always risk to that. Making sure that your subcontractors are insured appropriately so they don’t bring their exposure into your insurance program and increased your insurance cost, that’s something that a lot of roofers are struggling with.

The solution is to work with an agent, work with an office that has thought about the problem of uninsured subcontractors and can deliver you a solution within the confines of your insurance program priced accordingly so that you can take that off of your plate and not worry about once in a while having an uninsured subcontractor. There’s definitely a lot of value in making sure the majority of your subs are insured because you don’t want to be taking someone else’s problem, someone else’s lawsuit onto yourself if you’re not passing the cost onto them, because at the end of the day it’s all about that profit, right, that net operating income.

With RiskWell, with our insurance program for roofing contractors, we have taken into account the needs of the uninsured subs and we have provided for that with a variety of solutions to make sure you don’t have anything to worry about there.

3. Nasty Audit Surprises

Number three, nasty audit surprises. Whether it’s general liability or it’s work comp, we’ve all been there. Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a bad audit situation with an insurance program where you get to the end of your policy term or a few weeks after and you get that letter in the mail that says, “Hey, you owe us more money from last year’s policy.” That happens to a lot of contractors, right?

The reason for that is lack of preparation and communication from your insurance agent on the front end when they are building the policy. Then during the policy term, from the beginning of the policy to the end of the policy of making sure that they’re staying in touch with you so that your actual revenue or payroll is trending where it needs to be for the projected. General liability insurance and work comp, and some other lines of insurance products as well are written based on projected revenue or payroll. We definitely want to make sure that your projected and your actual are lining up correctly or you might end up with a nasty audit surprise and potentially many thousands of dollars of additional premium due after the policy is over with risk.

RiskWell, for our clients, we have made a lot of strides into communication during the policy term to make sure that we never have an audit situation where the client was unaware. We’re going to be reaching out quarterly, for roofing and general contractor clients, because we know how much revenue growth can happen during the policy term. You win one or two contracts you weren’t planning on and your revenue might blow up. It’s a great problem to have, right? But it also creates a challenge for the insurance audit situation where you have several thousand dollars of unexpected expenses, but RiskWell can definitely help with that.

4. Missing Coverage For Related Trades

Headache number four, for roofing contractors with your insurance program, is missing coverage for your related trades. We all know there’s not a single roofing contractor on the face of planet earth that only does roofing work. There’s always going to be related trades, from the soft metal to maybe gutters or irrigation like a French drain or fencing or exterior painting. There’s always related trades that are done somewhere in the operation. A lot of agents out there that aren’t familiar with working with roofing contractors all day every day like RiskWell. Your coverage is not going to be written correctly to allow for incidental exposure for other trades, like the ones that we just talked about a second ago.

If you’re working with an agent who understands the roofing world, you’re going to have a program that allows for some flexibility for a small percentage of work done in other trades so your coverage extends to your whole operation and whatever sort of work you are doing. Make sure you’re working with an agent that understands your business, that is writing the right product, that has the right coverage for exactly what your actual operations are. Or you can very easily find yourself in a claim situation down the road on one of those related trades and find out, oopsy, the policy wasn’t written correctly. Now there’s no coverage and your out of pocket costs have ballooned because your insurance agent dropped the ball. We definitely handle that for our RiskWell clients and we’re happy to do the same for you.

5. The Things You Don’t Know That You Don’t Know

Lastly, the fifth and final big insurance headache for roofing contractors is all the small things that fall through the cracks, making sure that the coverage that you didn’t even know you needed is made available to you in the most cost effective way possible. I’m talking about things like installation floater coverage for when you drop materials at a job site but they’re not yet installed. Those materials have already been paid for by your client so they’re no longer your property, they’re no longer your possession. They don’t count as inventory, but if they’re on a job site somewhere you want to make sure that there’s coverage for that.

Additionally, things like rented and leased equipment. How many times have you had to lease a forklift or hire a truck for a large job? Do you have coverage for that baked into your existing program? Probably not. Other concerns like cyber liability and data breach for if there is a hack, there is a breach event in your system, your customer data, their proprietary information is taken by a bad actor by some third party. Does your coverage extend to cyber liability and data breach? Probably not if you’re not working with the right agent and having someone that fully understands your needs.

Last example I’ll give is something that is not as big of a deal for the really small operations out there, but for the large ones it certainly is. And that’s employment practices’ liability insurance. What are you going to do with the accusation of wrongful termination or discrimination in the hiring process or sexual harassment? Have you ever heard of a roofer sexually harassing someone? It happens more often than it should. Employment practices’ liability coverage protects the business from these sorts of employment related accusations.

That’s really all we have time for today, but if any of these five insurance headaches resonate with you it’s probably a great idea to reach out to our team here at RiskWell, to see if a review is a good idea for you and your business. You can reach us at 469-678-8001 as well as Everything that we do is designed around solving problems, fixing headaches and hassles for our clients. You’ll never find us talking about price or product because just about anybody can get you a good price or a good product. That is not a compelling reason to do business with someone in this day and age.

The insurance marketplace is more wide open and more complex than ever. Make sure you’re working with a risk manager, insurance representation that understands your business and is well resourced to deliver you the solutions that you need that are going to drive profitability to your bottom line and decrease hassle wherever possible. That’s it for today, boys and girls. Make it a great day and we’ll talk to you soon.

Please remember, Life Is Risky, RiskWell.


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