Artisan Contractors are smaller operations that work in a variety of settings. They may be involved on large construction projects under the direction of general contractors, operate in smaller residential projects, specialize in installations or work on renovation or remodeling projects.
Artisan contractors are involved in many types of specialties such as plumbing, electrical work, minor excavation, landscaping, heating, air conditioning, painting, roofing, dry-walling, carpentry, remediation services, asphalt/paving, etc. These operations need a full complement of insurance services, such as general liability, inland marine (to protect their tools/equipment), workers compensation, commercial auto, excess liability and commercial property.
There is no standard definition of an artisan contractor. They are typically defined according to an individual insurance company's underwriting rules. The factors typically considered are:
- The number of employees
- Contractor's role in projects (general vs. sub-contractor)
- The amount of net income
- Size and number of projects or work sites
- Type of projects
- Growth of the particular operation
Construction is a hazardous business under the best circumstances. Artisan exposures are tricky because their small size means fewer premium dollars, yet many of their loss exposures are the same as much larger construction operations. A new artisan contractor often means an inexperienced contractor and the inexperience usually results in a higher number of losses.
Artisan contractors need knowledgeable insurance professionals to help them identify their protection needs, especially in the areas of handling exposures to the contractor's tools and equipment. Complete information must also be developed concerning losses that may occur on their customer's premises and damage a contractor may cause to property that belong to third parties, but which is in the contractor's possession or control.
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