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Bid and Performance Bond

How do I get a Bid and Performance Bond?

Fill out the application on our applications page for Bid and Performance Bond.  We have a new pre approval software that can you get you an immediate response for bonds under $200,000.

Commercial Vehicle Coverage

How do I get a Bid and Performance Bond?

Fill out the application on our applications page for Bid and Performance Bond.  We have a new pre approval software that can you get you an immediate response for bonds under $200,000.

Can I have more than one company insure my vehicles?

Never have more than one company insure your vehicles at any moment. If you do you lose coverages that might have otherwise apply. Automatic newly acquired vehicle coverage is one thing you lose. Also the deductibles from both companies are added together before paying you on any covered loss.

Should I have the same or different coverage plans for my vehicles?

Each vehicle should have the exact same limit of LIABILITY coverage.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage’s can vary as much as you wish. Coverage can be purchased as split or combined single limit for the Liability Section of a Policy.

If the limit is split it usually follows one of these formats:
15/30/5, 15/30/10, 25/50/25, 50/100/25, 50/100/50, 100/300/25, 100/300/50, 250/500/100.

Each of these numbers are units of a thousand dollars, so the first one reads $15,000 / $30,000 / $5,000. Limits are usually abbreviated like this by insurance brokers.

The first of the three numbers means how much the insurance company might pay out to ONE PERSON.


The third number indicates the amount of PROPERTY DAMAGE the company might pay in an accident. Property is anything other than people. Several examples are vehicles owned by others, livestock, tools, clothing, etc.

What does Collision Losses in my policy refer to?

Collision Losses under this section of your policy refers to damage to your vehicle regardless of whose fault it is. Unless you go through the other party’s insurance you must pay your deductible regardless whose fault the accident was. You may get it reimbursed from your company, but if it was the fault of another and he had insurance, you probably would do better to go directly through his insurance company.

What does comprehensive mean?

Comprehensive: An insurance term to mean just about anything except a crash (and that would be collision coverage). It includes potential losses like falling aircraft, flood, theft of the car, vandalism…It is a very comprehensive list.

What does UM stand for?

UM is a common abbreviation for Uninsured Motorists Coverage. It will pay to you and passengers in your car, for medical injuries and other associated financial losses in the event any of you are injured, the accident was the fault of another and that person was “hit and run” or just had no insurance.

What is Commercial Vehicle Coverage?

Commercial Vehicle Coverage is the limit of liability you must have to satisfy State law is sometimes regulated by vehicle weight. If the gross weight exceeds 10,000 lbs then you must carry at least $750,000 of coverage per occurrence in California. A company prefers (or may insist) that you carry commercial (rather than personal) coverage on a vehicle, especially if any of the following is true:
•   The vehicle is EVER driven by employees.
•   You have signs on the vehicle
•   You EVER have an employee in the vehicle.
•   You require a certificate of insurance showing that you have commercial coverage for your vehicle.
•   The primary use of the vehicle is for commercial purposes.
•   The vehicle is not normally used as a personal vehicle (e.g. a dump truck)
•   The vehicle is very heavy and not considered a personal or recreational vehicle.

Which is better, Split Limit or Combined Single Limit?

Some people prefer the combined limit because an accident could be a case of your liability for only damaged property, or only bodily injury, but just to one person. You only have one limit (not three) to be concerned with. Split limit coverage is usually cheaper to purchase.

Why Do You Need Commercial Vehicle Coverage?

It will pay your legal liability if you hurt someone or damaged/destroyed some of their property with your commercial vehicle.

Other Limits of Liability Coverage can be shown as Single Limit (or Combined Single Limit) Coverage. Limits are shown like these: 100,000 300,000 500,000 1,000,000 2,000,000 5,000,000

General Liability

Is there a penalty for underestimating your premium that you are getting quoted?

No penalty for underestimating at the time your estimated premium is quoted. You’ll pay based on the minimum premium stated when you buy the policy, increased by payroll or gross receipts you report at each audit period.

What are the most common types of coverage written in California?

Most common types of coverage written in California are:
•   FULL OCCURRENCE Under the full occurrence form you have coverage for claims which occur during the policy coverage period yet may not be discovered for years later.
•   MODIFIED OCCURRENCE, and CLAIMS MADE. Under Claims Made, the policy will cover you for claims reported during the specified time limit defined in the policy. Usually the policy will exclude coverage for events which occurred prior to policy inception. You have a limited time after the conclusion of the policy to purchase “tail-on” coverage which will extend the reporting period for another year.

What is General Liability?

While it is important to have liability insurance, there is no legal amount of coverage you must have to operate within the legal guidelines of your license as a contractor. If you do residential work your customers are less likely to ask for proof of insurance than if you deal with more savvy commercial clients.

What is the annual premium based on?

The annual premium can be based on either payroll or gross receipts. If the premium is based on payroll the company will consider any payroll you have pay to a payroll service. If your rate is based on gross receipts the company considers a total of everything, including subcontracted costs, material, etc. The final price is subject to audit. The company can readjust the final price if your gross receipts or payroll have changed from your initial estimate.

What is the Definition of Bodily Injury & Property Damage?

This section of a policy defines certain covered losses and excludes certain losses. An example of a covered loss under Bodily Injury could be “trip and fall” accidents. Property damage claims relate to damage to physical objects (an example is a building)

What is the Definition of Deductible?

The amount you are required to pay out of the total cost of a claim against your policy; above which the insurance company will pay to the limits of that section of your policy.

What is the Definition of Each Occurrence?

The total amount shown as a limit of this coverage establishes how much the insurance company is obligated to pay on your behalf for each incident which leads to a claim made to the company under the terms of your policy.

What is the Definition of Fire Damage Liability?

The maximum amount the company will pay on your behalf, if you negligently cause a fire which damages a building you lease or rent for your business.

What is the Definition of General Aggregate?

This is the limit the insurance company will pay on your behalf for any number of claims during the policy period. The most they will pay on one loss cannot exceed the Occurrence Limit.

What is the Definition of Medical Expense?

The limit the company will pay for medical bills incurred by a person injured on your premises, regardless of whether or not your organization was at fault for causing the injury. If your business is deemed to be negligent, the responsibility falls within the limit of bodily injury portion of coverage.

What is the Definition of Owners & Contractors Protective?

If you have this coverage option you can be protected against liability for actions of other independent contractors and subcontractors Including liability due to your failure in supervising the contractor’s work.

What is the Definition of Personal & Advertising Injury?

This coverage affords protection against claims such libel, slander, defamation of character or invasion of privacy (personal Injury) and claims alleging written or publicized offenses of the above examples.

What is the Definition of Products & Completed Operations?

The limit of this coverage is the amount the insurance Company is obligated to pay on your behalf based on policy coverage. This coverage extends protection to you during manufacturing or contracting operations. An example would be if you installed something incorrectly and caused damage.

License Bond

Why do I need a license Bond?

If a claim against your bond is paid, it will be both expensive and difficult for you to obtain future coverage for at least three years, whether you repay the bond company or not.

Workers Compensation

Do you have to respond to each company request for a report of payroll and why?

Yes. If you do not:
•   The company will estimate an extremely high payroll figure for you.
•   Bill you for their estimate of payroll-based workers’ compensation premium.
•   Cancel your policy mid-term for “Non Compliance” with the terms of the policy.

How are Rates established?

Rates are stated for each separate vocational class. The rate can change dramatically if your employees are paid more than a certain rate (usually around $19 -$21 per hour.)Sometimes payroll can be structured to take this into account.

How do I get Worker's Compensation?

It is easy to buy. After a four minute conversation with an insurance broker, you’ll be far down the road to having your own policy.
It is easy to control its cost. Because the rate is based on your payroll figures.
It is easy to factor in the cost of Work Comp into your bid.

How do you select temp helpers for a construction project?

How to Pick-Up Guys by Home Depot. The competition is tough. Insurance cuts right into your profits. What about “Day Laborers” that you just pay cash at the end of the day? Stiff fines and penalties are levied by the government if you are caught. So the only answer follows:
•   Check their papers to make certain they are “legal”. If you can “tell” who is and isn’t, so can an inspector if he comes onto the job site.
•   Put them on the payroll and pay the payroll taxes. Even if it only for one day!
•   Look for a labor pool in your area where they take care of the taxes and such expenses. This releases you from the filing requirements of employment taxes.

How long are Policies written for?

Policies are written for one full year. So if you think you won’t be hiring any employees for the rest of the policy period, there will be no extra charges added for payroll beyond the minimum premium as stated in the policy.

Should I be concerned with insurning myself?

You wouldn’t be reading this right now if you were not concerned with insuring yourself against the chance that you wind up on the wrong end of a lawsuit. Remember, a “day laborer” can put in a claim against your Workers Comp…even if you don’t have the insurance!! Attorneys advertise to find these guys and, after the dust settles, you could end up working for your “day laborer”.

What classifications are there for miscellaneous task positions?

There is no classification for people who “do a little of everything”. Some companies offer a classification called construction clean-up. Other companies may ask you to break down how much electrical, carpentry, janitorial, or other specific duties they do.

What do I have to do to Start Coverage?

•   Complete the Application online here.
•   You will be contacted by e-mail, fax, or phone with the price quote.
•   You will be asked to confirm or complete basic facts about your business on an application. You must sign it and return the application with your down payment (which you will see on the price quote we send to you.)
•   Mail or Fed-Ex your signed application and payment to us.
•   We will automatically put your coverage in force soon after we receive the above items from you. (We can delay the start of coverage IF you send a note asking so.)The rates you should be most interested in are the amount per $100 of payroll of each class.

What happens if I leave another insurer without fully paying them?

If you leave one insurer without full payment of the premium, other companies may decide not to insure you. They can find this information easily.

What is the Definition of Employers' Liability Insurance?

This coverage assumes the risk of the insured employer for injuries to employees if the accident occurred within the act of employment. This coverage may cover injuries not covered by Workers Compensation laws. Financial recovery is based on actual or consequential fault of the employer.

What is the Definition of Experience Modification Rating

What is it?

Experience rating assesses whether your company’s claims are greater than or less than average by comparing your company’s payroll and claims history with other California businesses in the same industry.

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau uses your recent policy history to compute the Ex Mod for your business.  This is a percentage factor that affects your current workers’ compensation premium.

If your claims are less than average, your premium is credited and decreased.  If your business has higher losses than the rest of your industry, your premium is debited and increased.

Every business starts with an Ex Mod Rate of 1.00.  Values less than 1.00 reflect a better than average claims history, while values over 1.00 reflect a worse than average claims history.

Who is assigned an Ex Mod?

There is a minimum premium threshold, as set by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.  Once a company achieves that threshold, they are qualified for the Ex Mod Rating.  The plan is mandatory for all qualified businesses within California.qualified for the Ex Mod Rating.  The plan is mandatory for all qualified businesses within California.

What data is used for the Ex Mod Rating?

The Bureau refers to your policy history beginning 4 years and 9 months prior to and terminating 1 year and 9 months prior to the inception date of your policy.

The WCIRB looks at the premium that you paid, the class codes that you used, the frequency of claims, types of claims, and amount paid and/or reserved on your claims during that three year period.

What is the Definition of Experience Rating Period?

it is the time period used to determine an insured’s Experience Rating modification. It is a three year period, going back four years from the employer’s policy anniversary date and excludes the most recent year.

What is the Definition of WCIRB

Acronym for Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau. This body is approved by the California Department of Insurance Commissioner to administer the State Workers Compensation Laws.

What is the Definition of Workers Compensation Insurance?

Insurance against losses from liability imposed upon employers to compensate employees and their dependents for injuries sustained by employees out of and in the course of their employment. It is predicated on the fact of employment. Negligence and/or fault are immaterial factors.

What is the Final Premium based on?

The final premium is based on your final payroll figures. The number of employees is not important. Many contractors, like roofers, have seasonal busy periods, then times when there is less of a need for employees. At the policy conclusion you’ll pay the same for having one regular employee when the payroll comes to $10,000, or if you have no payroll until the last day then hire thirty guys for one day and that day’s payroll comes to $10,000. (Assuming everything else is similar.)

What is the quoted premium?

The premium quoted to you is for an annual policy, but it is only an estimate. Look, first, at the rate being charged per classification (or vocation) like roofing, finish carpentry, plumbing, etc. To fairly compare different proposals the total premium is based on your estimate of total payroll. So the estimated total is nothing more than a guess of what your final bill might look like

What needs Financing?

While almost any premium can be financed, the highest percentage of finance charge is assessed for the smallest balances to be set up into payments.

When do I need to make a Claim?

Do not delay in advising your agent or company of a potential claim. If you wait too long, you violate terms of your policy and may be denied coverage. If you begin to pay for some of the loss, or sign any agreement accepting the responsibility for the loss, you cannot obligate the insurer to pay for the loss. Don’t start paying for a claim unless you are certain that you can handle the claim to its final conclusion. Usually you won’t be reimbursed for any money you paid to the claimant.

When is the best time to change to a different company?

The best time to change to a different company is at its anniversary date, the expiration date shown on the policy. It is a complicated and costly procedure to properly cancel a policy in the middle of its annual term.

When should you request a loss analysis statement?

Every year you should request a loss analysis statement to substantiate your record to any possible new insurer. It is an essential part of good record-keeping. The longer you maintain a record of few or no losses (without a gap of time being uninsured) you will find lower and lower workers compensation premiums being offered to you. The companies look at those numbers very closely. Look to see if you qualify for a safety group. Most carriers have special programs for certain classes of workers.