Yes, Contractors Need Higher Limits Too

// March 7, 2019
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Construction rates have steadily been on the rise since 2011. According to Statista, an organization that gathers and evaluates trends in the construction industry, more than $1.25 billion will be spent on new construction by 2019. With this industry growing exponentially, contractors are in demand to perform a variety of projects in 2019.

The need to carry limits high enough to adequately protect contractors from catastrophic loss is becoming more important in today’s legal climate. With the average jury awards for general liability claims increasing by 10.5 percent each year, businesses face exposures that can quickly exceed a $1 million primary general liability limit.

Take the following claim as an example:

A general contractor hired a flooring company for a condo conversion project. The general contractor did not like the way the floor was laid and asked the artisan to refinish the floor. When the subcontractor completed work for the day, they cleaned up but left debris, tools and finishes in the unit. That night there was a fire. It was alleged that the proximate cause of the fire was spontaneous combustion of the sealant left behind by the subcontractor, resulting in a settlement of more than $3.5 million.

With the emerging trends and severity of claims, it is imperative for your contractor insureds to purchase excess limits. To better protect contractors from catastrophic losses, we increased the size of contracting risks we accept on our Commercial Umbrella and Excess products by expanding gross revenues to $2 million and annual payrolls to $1 million. We offer excess limits ranging from $1 million to $5 million depending on the contractor’s insurance needs and to help them meet their contractual requirements. This expanded appetite improves our ability to consider artisans based in areas with high costs of living, such as New York and California.

Some of our key product advantages available on our Commercial Umbrella and Excess products include:

  • Minimum premiums on large contracting risks such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, painting and masonry
  • No self-insured retention and follow-form defense cost trigger
  • Ability to write over commercial auto, hired/non-owned auto and employers liability
  • We can consider writing over the ISO commercial general liability form as well as approved manuscript forms

With quotes available online, over the phone or through your USLI underwriter, it is easy to take advantage of our competitive minimum premiums and ease of business on your larger contracting risks. Make sure your insureds have the right limits in place to get the job done!


As always, thank you for your support and business.

Contact Kristi Piersol,
Commercial Umbrella Product Leader | 888-523-5545 Ext. 2436

Written by Jacob Dawson
March 7, 2019