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The category of artisan contractors, also known as casual contractors, includes many occupations that involve skilled work with tools at the customer’s premises. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, roofers and tree surgeons are some of them. Also included are diverse other skilled service providers, such as interior decorators, piano tuners and exterminators.
Special insurance needs of this group include coverage for equipment and tools that are often moved around and for the value of work done for a customer until it is finished.
For many artisan contractors, the most cost effective and efficient way to obtain property and liability coverage is with a Businessowners Policy (BOP) especially tailored to their needs. Although marketed under a variety of names, these policies will typically have provisions similar to the BOP's.
The BOP covers real estate and other property that your business owns that is located at the described business premises. If your business rents or leases its premises, the BOP provides coverage for tenants' improvements and betterments. These are fixtures, alterations, installations or additions that you have put into the space that cannot legally be removed from the landlord’s premises.
Your biggest personal property loss exposures, however, may involve valuable machinery and equipment that moves around from job to job and is not covered by the standard property insurance. Such movable property is insured by contracts that insurers call "floaters."
An installer’s floater covers all kinds of machinery and equipment during transit, installation and testing at a customer’s premises. Even building materials may be covered, but the more usual coverage is for equipment or machinery that only contractors install, such as heating or air conditioning. The policy can be written to cover a single job or on a reporting form, meaning that you provide the insurer with information about each new contract you undertake.
A tools and equipment floater covers the insured property wherever it is used and may include such items as hand tools, power drills, hoisting machines and power pumps.