As a general contractor in Florida, you are responsible for managing various aspects of construction projects, including overseeing subcontractors, ensuring work is completed according to plan and on time, and managing potential liabilities. Having the right insurance coverage is crucial in protecting your business from unexpected losses and lawsuits. With so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the right one. To assist in your search, we have evaluated a number of insurance providers and selected the top 5 best general contractors insurance providers in Florida. Our criteria for selection include comprehensive coverage, affordable rates, and positive customer reviews.
- 5 best general contractor insurance companies in Florida
- Are general contractors required to be licensed in Florida?
- Are general contractors in Florida required to have insurance?
- What insurance coverage general contractors in Florida must have:
- Are there any different insurance requirements for a commercial general contractor vs. a residential general contractor in Florida?
- Are general contractors required to be bonded in Florida?
- How much does general contractor insurance cost in Florida?
- How Florida general contractors can find cheap coverage
5 best general contractor insurance companies in Florida
Many insurance companies offer general contractor insurance in Florida. Each has their own focus, advantages, and disadvantages. Finding the best company for you is all about finding the company that meets your needs the most. Here are the 5 companies that we recommend with their pros and cons for your consideration.
- NEXT: Best for affordable liability coverage and excellent digital experience
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing several quotes
- Smart Financial: Best if you prefer working with experienced agents
- InsurePro: Best for affordable short-term coverage
- Simply Business: Best for finding low-cost contractor coverage from reputable carriers
NEXT: Best for affordable liability coverage and excellent digital experience
NEXT is a specialty insurance provider that focuses on providing affordable liability coverage for small businesses, including general contractors. NEXT is a newer carrier, just founded in 2016. They started by offering general liability insurance for all types of contractors and they offer the coverage completely online. The whole purchasing experience only takes a few minutes. They use AI to automate a lot of data gathering in the back-end.
As they grow, they have expanded their product suite to include other coverage that general contractors may need such as commercial auto insurance.
- Comprehensive liability coverage for general contractors
- Affordable and competitive rates
- Great digital experience, from getting quotes, buying policies, or managing the policy, and filing a claim
- Download certificate of insurance within minutes after purchasing
- Other coverages that general contractors may need such as commercial auto insurance are also available
- Limited coverage options. Not all coverages that general contractors may need are available with NEXT
- Lack of personalized services through agents
CoverWallet: Best for comparing several quotes
CoverWallet is another online insurance broker that allows customers to easily get and compare quotes from multiple insurers. They offer a variety of coverage options, including liability, workers’ compensation, and commercial auto insurance. CoverWallet has built a great quote comparison experience, making it easy for general contractors to compare several quotes online
- Able to easily compare multiple quotes, a user-friendly website, and quick and easy online application process
- Partner with top-tier carriers
- Comprehensive digital capabilities from getting quotes, buying policies, and managing policies completely online
- Online quotes may not be available for some coverage. Sometimes you have to call to discuss quote options
- CoverWallet doesn’t handle claims. You have to file a claim directly with the carrier
Smart Financial: Best if you prefer working with experienced agents
Smart Financial is a brokerage firm that specializes in providing insurance for small businesses, including general contractors. They work with experienced agents to help customers find the right coverage at an affordable price.
Smart Financial believes that an experienced agent can help general contractors understand the coverages they may need and find the right coverage at the most reasonable rate.
- A wide network with experienced agents who have worked with thousands of general contractors
- Offer a wide range of coverages that general contractors may need, making it easy to buy everything in one place
- Partner with 30+ carriers, making it easy to find the right coverage at the reasonable rates
- Limited digital capabilities
- You have to work with an agent on phone. If you prefer doing everything online, this may not be a good option for you.
InsurePro: Best for affordable short-term coverage
InsurePro is an online insurance broker that specializes in providing short-term coverage options for small businesses, including general contractors. You can choose to buy coverage for a few days or a few weeks.
They offer a variety of coverage options at competitive prices, making them a great choice for those looking for cheap, short-term coverage. If you don’t need a traditional annual policy, InsurePro can help you save a lot of money.
- Quick and easy online application process
- You can buy coverage for a day, a few days, or a few weeks
- Very affordable rates for short-term coverage
- Coverage is from reputable carrier partners
- A relatively new brokerage firm, lack of a historical track record
- Other complicated coverages that general contractors may need may not be available yet
Simply Business: Best for finding low-cost coverage from reputable carriers
Simply Business is an online insurance broker that specializes in providing insurance for small businesses, including general contractors. As a brokerage firm, Simply Business parthers with 30+ reputable carriers who only only have excellent financial strength ratings, but tends to offer low-cost coverage as well. Simply Business focuses on helping its customers find the cheapest coverage from their carrier partners.
- Easily compare quotes from multiple insurers
- All coverages that general contractors may need are available with Simply Business, making it easy to buy all coverages in one place at an affordable price
- Partner with 30+ reputable carriers, giving general contractors enough options to choose from
- Good customer satisfaction rating on trustpilot
- If you prefer a particular carrier that Simply Business doesn’t partner with, you need to look elsewhere
- It may take a bit longer than going directly to a carrier of your choice since Simply Busines has to pull quotes from several carriers to find the cheapest one.
Are general contractors required to be licensed in Florida?
Yes, general contractors in Florida are required to be licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). It is a state agency responsible for regulating various industries and professions in Florida, including construction and contractors. The DBPR oversees the licensing, examination, and regulation of contractors, and ensures that licensed contractors meet certain standards of practice and follow state laws and regulations. The DBPR also provides information and resources to help contractors stay compliant and maintain their license.
The process to get licensed as a general contractor in Florida includes the following steps:
- Meet eligibility requirements: To be eligible for a Florida contractor license, you must be at least 18 years old, have a minimum of 4 years experience in the trade or related field, and pass a competency exam.
- Take the exam: The Florida Contractor’s Examination is administered by Pearson VUE and covers both business and law and the trade for which you are applying.
- Submit an application: After passing the exam, you must submit a license application to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).
- Provide proof of insurance: You must show proof of Workers’ Compensation insurance if you have employees and liability insurance with minimum coverage of $300,000 per occurrence.
- Pay fees: Pay the required fees, including the initial license fee and background check fee.
- Obtain a Florida Contractor License: Once your application is approved, you will receive your Florida contractor license and be able to legally perform contracting work in the state.
Note: The licensing requirements and process may change, it’s always best to check the DBPR website for updated information.
Are general contractors required to have insurance in Florida?
Yes, general contractors in Florida are required to have insurance. Specifically, they are required to carry liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $300,000 per occurrence, and Workers’ Compensation insurance if they have employees. This insurance protects the contractor and the public from financial losses due to accidents, injuries, or damages that may occur during the course of a construction project. Having insurance is also a requirement for obtaining and maintaining a Florida contractor license.
What insurance coverage general contractors in Florida must have:
General contractors in Florida are required to have the following insurance coverage:
General liability insurance
General contractors in Florida must carry liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $300,000 per occurrence to protect against claims arising from bodily injury or property damage that may occur during the course of a construction project.
Workers’ compensation insurance
If the contractor in Florida has employees, they must carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job.
These insurance requirements help to protect both the contractor and the public from financial losses in the event of accidents, injuries, or damages that may occur during the course of a construction project. Failure to have the required insurance can result in fines, legal action, and the loss of a contractor license.
In addition to liability and workers’ compensation insurance, general contractors in Florida may also need the following insurance coverage, depending on their specific needs and the nature of their work:
- Builder’s risk insurance: Builders risk insurance covers damages to buildings and structures under construction, as well as materials, equipment, and supplies.
- Umbrella liability insurance: Commercial umbrella insurance provides additional liability coverage above and beyond the limits of the general liability policy, and may be necessary for contractors with a high risk of liability.
- Professional liability insurance: Also known as errors and omissions insurance, this type of insurance protects contractors against claims arising from professional mistakes, such as design errors or construction defects.
- Commercial auto insurance: If the contractor uses vehicles for business purposes, they must carry commercial auto insurance to cover damages and liabilities arising from vehicle accidents. Personal auto insurance won’t cover them.
- Surety bonds: General contractors may be required to obtain surety bonds as a condition of bidding on and obtaining certain types of construction contracts.
It’s important for contractors to assess their specific needs and risks to determine which types of insurance coverage are necessary for their business. Consulting with an insurance agent or broker can help to identify the right coverage options.
Are insurance requirements for residential general contractors in Florida different from those for commercial contractors?
The insurance requirements for residential and commercial general contractors in Florida are generally the same. Both types of contractors are required to carry liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $300,000 per occurrence, and workers’ compensation insurance if they have employees. However, the specific insurance needs of a contractor will depend on the size and scope of their projects, as well as the risks they face. For example, a commercial contractor working on a large, complex project may need more extensive insurance coverage than a residential contractor working on smaller projects. It’s important for contractors to assess their specific needs and risks, and to work with an insurance agent or broker to obtain the appropriate insurance coverage.
Are general contractors required to be bonded in Florida?
No, general contractors in Florida are not required to be bonded by state law. However, in some cases, contractors may be required to obtain a surety bond as a condition of bidding on or obtaining certain types of construction contracts. Surety bonds are a type of financial guarantee that ensure the completion of a construction project according to the terms of the contract. They can also provide protection for owners or project stakeholders in the event that the contractor fails to fulfill their obligations. In Florida, surety bonds may be required by government agencies, private owners, or other entities, so it’s important for contractors to check the specific requirements of each project they bid on or work on.
What does bonding cover in Florida?
Surety bonds in Florida cover the completion of a construction project according to the terms of the contract. If a contractor fails to fulfill their obligations, such as by abandoning the project or failing to complete the work in accordance with the contract, the bond provides financial protection to the project owner or other stakeholders. The surety company that issued the bond will investigate the claim and, if it’s found to be valid, will take steps to complete the project or pay compensation to the affected party. The purpose of a surety bond is to provide assurance to the project owner or other stakeholders that the contractor will fulfill their obligations, and to provide a means of recourse if the contractor fails to do so. It’s important for contractors to understand the terms and conditions of the surety bond they obtain, and to make sure they have the financial and technical ability to complete the project according to the terms of the contract.
How much does general contractor insurance cost in Florida?
The average cost of a $300K general liability insurance policy for general contractors in Florida is $115 per month, or $1,380 per year. This is the most common insurance policy that almost all general contractors in Florida have.
Most general contractors in Florida pay between $94 to $1,320 per month for their general liability insurance. It is a wide range because liability insurance cost for general contractors varies significantly depending on several factors that we are discussing below.
If general contractors also have workers comp and commercial auto insurance, they will pay more. Below are the average costs of these coverages for general contractors in Florida:
|General contractor insurance coverage||Average costs in Florida|
|General liability insurance||$115 per month|
|Workers comp insurance||$176 per month per employee|
|Commercial auto insurance||$184 per month|
|Builders’ risk insurance||1-3% of the project value|
Keep in mind that these are just the averages. Your rates will be different. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or work with brokerage firms like Simply Business or Smart Financial to find the cheapest rate for your business.
What factors affect the general contractor insurance costs in Florida?
There are several factors that can affect the cost of general contractor insurance in Florida. These include:
Type of construction
The type of construction project that the contractor is working on can have a significant impact on the cost of insurance. Projects that are considered to be higher risk, such as those that involve working at height or with hazardous materials, will typically require more extensive coverage and therefore cost more to insure.
Project size and scope
The size and scope of a contractor’s projects can have a significant impact on the cost of their insurance. Larger, more complex projects tend to have a higher risk of liability and Workers’ Compensation claims, so the cost of insurance will generally be higher for contractors working on these types of projects. On the other hand, contractors working on smaller, less complex projects may have lower insurance costs.
Business structure and history
The business structure and history of a contractor can also affect the cost of their insurance. For example, contractors with a long history of successful projects and a strong reputation may be able to negotiate lower insurance costs, while new or inexperienced contractors may face higher insurance costs due to the increased risk they pose.
Insurance coverage limits
The amount of insurance coverage a contractor chooses will also affect the cost of their insurance. Generally, higher coverage limits will result in higher insurance costs, while lower coverage limits will result in lower insurance costs. Contractors should carefully consider their specific needs and risks when determining the appropriate level of insurance coverage for their business.
Location and business conditions
The location and conditions in which a contractor operates can also have an impact on the cost of their insurance. For example, contractors operating in areas with a high risk of natural disasters, such as hurricanes or floods, may face higher insurance costs due to the increased risk of damage to buildings and equipment.
In addition, the company that provide the insurance also play a role in the cost, each company have different pricing strategies and policies. It’s always wise to shop around and compare rates from different insurance providers before making a decision.
How Florida general contractors can find cheap coverage?
Florida general contractors can find cheap coverage by following these tips:
Florida general contractors can save money on their insurance coverage by shopping around and comparing quotes from multiple insurance providers. This allows contractors to find the best coverage for their business at the most affordable price. It’s important to take the time to review the coverage options offered by each insurance provider and to compare their prices to find the best deal.
Review coverage limits
Another way for contractors to lower their insurance costs is to review their coverage limits and consider reducing them if necessary. While it’s important to have enough insurance coverage to protect your business from financial losses, having too much coverage can be expensive. It’s a good idea to consult with an insurance agent to determine the right coverage limits for your business.
Implement safety measures
Implementing safety measures, such as regular safety training and regular equipment maintenance, can lower the risk of accidents and injuries, which in turn can result in lower insurance costs. A good safety record can help contractors to negotiate lower insurance costs, as insurance providers are more likely to offer discounts to businesses with a good safety record.
Bundling multiple insurance policies, such as General Liability and Workers’ Compensation, with the same provider can result in discounts and lower insurance costs. This allows contractors to take advantage of special offers and deals that insurance providers may offer to customers who purchase multiple policies from them.
Maintain a good record
Maintaining a good business history, such as a low number of claims and a good safety record, can result in lower insurance costs for contractors. Insurance providers are more likely to offer discounts and lower rates to businesses that have a good history and low risk of making claims.
Work with an insurance broker
Working with an insurance broker who specializes in contractor insurance can also help contractors to find affordable coverage. Insurance brokers have the expertise and experience to help contractors determine their insurance needs and to find the best coverage for their business at the most affordable price. They can also help contractors to negotiate lower insurance costs and to find special deals and discounts that may be available.
What Florida general contractors should pay attention to when buying insurance
When buying insurance, Florida general contractors should pay attention to the following:
It is crucial for Florida general contractors to pay attention to the coverage limits when buying insurance. The coverage limits determine the maximum amount that the insurance provider will pay out in case of a loss. It is important to have adequate coverage limits to protect the business from financial losses. Contractors should consult with an insurance agent to determine the right coverage limits for their business, taking into account the size and scope of their operations, as well as the types of projects they work on.
Exclusions and limitations
When buying insurance, Florida general contractors should pay close attention to the exclusions and limitations of the policy. Exclusions and limitations specify what is not covered by the policy and can have a significant impact on the contractor’s level of protection. It is essential to thoroughly review the policy exclusions and limitations to make sure that the coverage meets the specific needs of the business.
Cost of premiums
The cost of premiums is another important factor that Florida general contractors should pay attention to when buying insurance. While it’s important to have enough coverage to protect their business, having too much coverage can be expensive. To find the most affordable coverage, contractors should compare the cost of premiums from multiple insurance providers and choose a policy that offers the right balance of coverage and affordability.
Financial stability of the insurance provider
Financial stability is a crucial factor for Florida general contractors to consider when choosing an insurance provider. The contractor should choose a provider with a good financial stability rating to ensure that the provider will be able to pay out claims in case of a loss. The contractor can check the financial stability of the insurance provider by researching their ratings from organizations such as A.M. Best or Moody’s.
When buying insurance, Florida general contractors should pay attention to the claims process. The claims process determines how the contractor will file a claim and receive payment in case of a loss. The contractor should understand the claims process and make sure it is straightforward and easy to follow. The contractor should also verify that the insurance provider has a good reputation for paying claims promptly and fairly.
Reputation of the insurance provider
The reputation of the insurance provider is another important factor that Florida general contractors should consider when buying insurance. The contractor should choose an insurance provider with a good reputation for paying claims promptly and fairly. The contractor can research the reputation of the insurance provider by reading customer reviews and checking their ratings from organizations such as J.D. Power.
Finally, Florida general contractors should pay attention to the customer service offered by the insurance provider. The contractor should look for a provider with excellent customer service to ensure that they will have support when needed. Good customer service can help the contractor with any questions or issues that may arise during the coverage period.
In conclusion, choosing the right insurance company is crucial for Florida general contractors to protect themselves and their clients from potential liabilities and financial losses. The 5 best general contractor insurance companies in Florida are Simply Business, CoverWallet, NEXT, Smart Financial, and InsurePro. Each of these companies offers a variety of coverage options at competitive prices, and it is important to do your research and choose the company that best fits your business needs. Remember to pay attention to coverage options, premiums, financial stability, claims process, and tailor coverage to your business needs.