Artisan Contractors: Job Outlook, Risks

Topics: Small Business

Summary: The surge in home renovation projects has kept artisan contractors such as plumbers, painters, interior designers and more very busy. Learn more about artisan contractors, what injuries they can get on the job and why these types of businesses need to have insurance coverage.


What is an  Artisan Contractor?

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted small businesses across the country, with many companies closing permanently in the past year. However, some industries, such as home workout companies, delivery services and hardware and home improvement stores, have thrived in the past year.

In particular, home renovations escalated throughout the pandemic, leading to a large boom in demand for general and artisan contractors. A 2020 survey by Porch.com, a home remodeling platform, found that more than three-quarters of all U.S. homeowners said they did some sort of home improvement project during the pandemic. The same amount of people said they plan on taking on a new project in the next year.

After adjusting to the immediate change of working and learning from home at the beginning of the shutdowns, families discovered that while “together time” is great, they still needed private spaces for work and school or places to escape to after work. Kitchen and bath remodeling projects, backyard decks, pools and landscaping updates have all seen a surge in the past year. These home improvement projects add value back to the home while also improving the quality of life for the homeowners and their families.

What is an Artisan Contractor?

Artisan contractors are businesses with skilled workers who perform their jobs with tools on a customer’s premises. These types of contractors are focused on one or two parts of an overall project. Examples of the diverse group of occupations under the artisan contractors include:

Risks for Artisan Contractors

Artisan contractors work in labor-intensive industries where they are often required to conduct business at different locations, which exposes them and their employees to specific risks, including accidents or injury. Contractors also may have a “duty to warn” their customers of potential hazards when they are called to service a specifically identified matter, such as reporting on defective parts that could lead to injury.

COVID-19 workplace safety requirements add more potential risks for artisan contractors. They needed to make quick adjustments to their safety protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including mask-wearing, temperature checks, self-reporting procedures and social distancing. Also, artisan contractors who work on larger construction sites need to be aware of local coronavirus safety requirements.

Injuries for Contractors

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 data, the most common non-fatal workplace injuries are:

• Sprains, strains and tears
• Soreness or pain
• Cuts, lacerations and punctures
• Bruises and contusions
• Fractures

The toll of repetitive motion, the dangers of operating machinery and the vulnerability of being exposed to hazardous or toxic chemicals are common risks that artisan contractors face. Based on a U.S. Department of Labor report, there have been 8,300 reported injuries in 2019 for artisan contractors with various injuries listed from skin disease to respiratory illness, poisoning, hearing loss and other issues.

The 2019 Department of Labor report also found that specialty contractors could miss work from an injury anywhere on average anywhere from 3-24 days based on the type of work. For example, electricians can miss on average eight days with an injury, while plumbers can miss on average 18 days and painters 21 days.



Insurance for Artisan Contractors

Artisan contractors need insurance coverage for injuries to the body, damages to the client’s property or a third party, personal injury, advertising injury or any type of action taken against a competing operation. Artisan contractors should have property, general liability, commercial auto and workers’ compensation coverage. In most cases, property and general liability insurance can be combined in a businessowners policy (BOP). Artisan contractors can have unique insurance needs, including coverage for equipment and tools moved between different job sites, and these needs may not be covered under standard property insurance.

Workers’ Compensation for Artisan Contractors

Regardless of what you do in your line of artisan work, if you have employees, it's most likely a requirement of your state that you carry workers' compensation. Even if it's not a mandate, having this type of insurance coverage may be advisable. With artisan contractor workers' compensation insurance coverage, your business can have immunity against a lawsuit filed against your business by an employee due to a work-related accident or injury.

Workers’ compensation insurance will cover a portion of an employee’s wages until they are able to return to work, pay for medical expenses for diagnosis and treatment of the employee injuries and cover the costs of ongoing care, such as rehabilitation.



AmTrust Offers Artisan Contractor Insurance

Artisan Contractor insurance can give contractors peace of mind in knowing they are getting coverage against a variety of hazards and risks. AmTrust has tailored insurance solutions to safeguard your small business whenever unfortunate situations arise. Learn more about artisan contractors' small business insurance solutions by contacting us today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.
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