Protect against claims that might bug your business
The evaluation of insurance coverage is an important part of annual planning. Insurance companies who don't offer specially designed programs for the pest control industry may leave their clients bugged by claims.
There are certain types of insurance coverage important to provide pest control companies.
Pest control operators have a unique exposure due to the type of work they perform for their customers. Typically, general liability policies do not cover real or personal property that is being worked on or in the care, custody, and control of pest control operators. Make sure your policy removes this exclusion and provides the coverage up to the policy limit.
Even programs designed for the pest control industry have some gaps and limitations on what operations will or will not be covered. If the specific operation is not shown in the policy, it is excluded. If the pest control company starts performing new operations, such as treating for bed bugs, they may not have coverage for these jobs. Other insurance companies may not cover damage that turns up when treatment was done on a small portion of the property rather than the whole building. Verify that your policy provides coverage for all of the operations you are licensed for, and approved by the state.
Pollution is a huge exposure when you are talking about coverage for a pest control company. Whether it is a spill from their equipment, an overspray of product, or a traffic accident when the chemicals spill from the truck, the exposure is there. The word scares people and many carriers want to exclude or limit the coverage that is provided for pollution. Small limits may satisfy the regulators in the state, but realistically, pollution spills and clean up can be expensive and the proper coverage and limits should be in place for adequate protection.
Now that the housing market is starting to rebound, more pest control operators are doing more inspections and many may not be properly insured and protected. Low limits, high deductibles, limited time to report a claim after an inspection are common pitfalls the pest control company may not be aware of until it's too late and the claim had been reported.
Pest control businesses should purchase umbrella coverage to pay for losses that may exceed their policy limits. Catastrophic loss such as a death, a major chemical spill, an injured worker or an auto accident can cost more than the typical million dollar policy limits. Be cautious when purchasing umbrella coverage to assure the higher limits are in place for all your coverage, especially pollution, inspections, auto, and worker's compensation.