Build, Don’t Break: A Comprehensive Contractor’s Insurance Guide to Insuring Building Projects

contractor's insurance

If you’re a contractor in Oregon, you have to juggle a lot of responsibilities. You’re trying to produce a good finished product, while staying up to date on building codes and managing a successful business. So, what if an accident happens?

What if a ladder slips, and one of your employees or the homeowner is injured? Or a flash flood that wasn’t in the weather forecast for today destroys thousands of dollars worth of siding set to be installed tomorrow? How about if one of your work trucks is overloaded with gravel when someone ahead of you suddenly slams on their breaks?

Getting the right contractor’s insurance is a necessity to protect you from the unforeseen events that can totally derail your business. Construction is a dangerous business. The construction industry had the second highest rate of fatalities out of any industry in 2022.

Aside from staying on top of safety standards, don’t you think it would be crucial to protect your business from the financial disasters that can occur following an accident? This guide will help you understand what insurance options to consider, and our dedicated team at Ashland Insurance, Inc. can help you navigate the intricate process of getting the policies you need!

contractor's Insurance

Understanding the Types of Contractor’s Insurance

It is essential to understand the various types of insurance that are relevant to insuring building projects before delving into the specifics of choosing your policy. Contractor’s insurance in Oregon should include:


  1. General Liability Insurance: This type of policy covers you against property damage or bodily injury. It would cover legal fees, medical expenses, and property replacement or repair up to the policy amount.
  2. Workers Compensation Insurance: Workers compensation insurance is designed to cover employees in the event they are injured on the job. Coverage would include medical expenses, lost wages, disability, and re-employment assistance. Workers compensation is mandatory for employees, but may not be required for leased workers or temporary staff if they are covered by their employing agency.
  3. Builder’s Risk Insurance: Builder’s risk insurance covers the structure, material, and equipment on a construction site against damage, disaster (including flood and earthquake), theft, or vandalism. Also called “construction insurance,” while it is not a mandatory insurance in Oregon, it is an important protection to ensure that your projects run smoothly and are not at financial risk if the unexpected comes up.
  4. Professional Liability Insurance: Professional liability insurance protects the contractor and client from errors, omissions, and negligence of the services provided. Since this type of coverage is focused on protection mainly in planning, design, and engineering of construction projects, it is not necessary for projects that are strictly labor or manual work.
  5. Commercial Auto Insurance: Commercial auto insurance can cover any vehicle used for business purposes, including vehicles owned by the company, leased or rented vehicles, and employee vehicles. This type of coverage protects against accidents and liability. It also covers disaster, theft, and vandalism, since Builder’s Risk Insurance does not cover vehicles.

contractor's insurance

Legal Requirements for Contractor’s Insurance in Oregon


To be in compliance with CCB regulations in Oregon, you must meet certain legal criteria as a contractor, including insurance coverage. To avoid penalties and unnecessary expenses, you should understand these essential requirements:


  1. Licensing: To run those building projects, you gotta be legit. That means getting a contractor’s license from the CCB. They’ll make you jump through some hoops, like training, exams, and paperwork. You will also have to file your business, submit a surety bond, and register for taxes. But hey, it’s all to ensure things are done right..
  2. Workers’ Compensation: Workers’ comp is another must-have if you plan on hiring a crew. It covers your employees’ medical bills and lost wages if they get hurt on the job. It’s the law in Oregon, and skipping out can lead to big trouble.
  3. Liability Limits: You gotta have general liability insurance to protect yourself from lawsuits if something goes wrong on the job. Think accidents, injuries – that kind of stuff. You should review the CCB’s guidelines for minimum liability to know what your business actually needs.


contractor's insurance

Selecting an Contractor’s Insurance Provider

So, you’re all ready to get your CCB license and start your business, right? Or maybe you are already operating a successful business, but aren’t satisfied with your insurance policy and rates.

Picking the right insurance company for insuring building projects is key, but how do you know you are choosing the right provider for you? It’s always a good idea to start by getting recommendations from your personal network. After that, here are some things you should look for:

  1. Trustworthy Track Record: Look for insurance providers with a solid reputation in construction. Kind of like how folks look for the right contractor, you should have the right provider supplying your contractor’s insurance. Check their claims handling, customer reviews, and industry knowledge.
  2. Coverage You Need: Not all policies are created equal. Make sure the coverage fits your project, considering things like limits, deductibles, and exclusions to what’s actually covered.
  3. Cost vs. Protection: Compare quotes, but remember, cheap isn’t always best. Prioritize good coverage over rock-bottom prices to avoid potential gaps in protection later.
  4. Financial Stability Matters: Check credit ratings and financial strength ratings from independent agencies. A financially stable company is more likely to pay claims promptly when you need them, rather than leaving you high and dry.
  5. Top-Notch Support: Choose a company with great customer service to assist you when applying for policies, and when something happens that needs coverage. They’ll help you understand your policy, file claims, and navigate any issues that arise.

contractor's Insurance

Tips for Optimizing Your Contractor’s Insurance Coverage

Now that you’ve got your business up and running, you found a provider like Ashland Insurance, Inc. for your contractor’s insurance, and you got all of your policies sorted out, now it’s time to work! When you have your projects flowing, there are some ways to really get the most out of your insurance coverage. Here are some tips to help make those policies work for you:

Stay on top of your coverage: Things change fast. Review your insurance regularly to make sure it fits your current project and any legal updates. There may be times you need to update your coverage limits, endorsements, and exclusions.

Keep good records: Policies, contracts, certificates – file everything neatly. Be sure to include any correspondence with your provider and stakeholders in your documents. This helps settle claims quickly and proves you’re following the rules.

Safety first: Accidents happen, but a safe worksite means fewer claims and lower insurance costs in the long run. Train your crew, implement safety protocols, and follow risk management strategies

Communicate clearly: Everyone involved in the project needs to be on the same page about insurance. This includes clients, subcontractors, suppliers, and any other stakeholders in the project. Contracts should spell out who’s responsible for what to avoid confusion later.

Get expert help: Legal advisors and insurance professionals understand construction law and risk management. They can guide you through complex issues and make sure you’re covered.

Remember, strong contractor’s insurance in Oregon protects your business and keeps your project running smoothly. We have what you need, including all your questions answered. 

541.482.0831 Ashland

541.857.0679 Medford