Who are the best New York contractors liability insurance companies of 2016?

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Short answer, it depends. There isn’t a one size fits all insurance company for contractors.

Different trade types and size contractors all have different insurance companies that best fit their needs.

In New York contractors liability insurance is constantly changing, one day a carrier is great, and the next they aren’t taking new clients.

I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to work with a broker who is regularly working with New York contractors.

A generalist agency that does little contractors insurance is not the best place to trust your construction firm.

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Before we start naming the best, it is important to answer why the contractors insurance market is so limited in New York.

New York is home to a unique set of laws commonly referred to as labor law or scaffold law. Therefore, many insurance companies refuse to write policies for any sort of contractor in the state of New York. Even fewer companies want to write policies for any sort of contractor operating in or based out of the 5 boroughs.

The scaffold law is the reason general liability insurance for contractors in New York is 10 times or more the rates paid in any other state.

Ultimately it comes down to making sure your business is the best in class from a risk standpoint to be the most desirable to the insurance companies


Who is the best New York City Contractors Liability Insurance Company?

If you are looking for the best liability insurance company for your NYC construction company, you are probably going to be surprised to find the insurance company isn’t one of the big insurance companies.

While Liberty Mutual and The Hartford are all great companies, they are no longer willing to insure the general liability needs of NYC contractors.

For Larger NYC Contractors,

Who: At this moment the best insurance company for larger New York City contractors is State National.

Now you are probably wondering “who is State National? Why have I never heard of them before?” State National typically targets contractors with greater than $5M in receipts.

They are also a fairly new company for starting in 1973. Regardless of the age of the company, State has written over $1 Billion in premiums in 2014. State National headquarters are located in Dallas, Tx but they provide coverage throughout the 50 states. They are also A rated by AmBest the insurance industries independent rating board.

State National is kind of like the big little secret for New York Contractors.

Why: Out of all the insurance companies available why State National? State National is the clear choice for offering the best coverage available. They offer not only full contractual liability or scaffold law coverage. But they also offer increased 2M / 4M limits which are starting to be a requirement on many projects.

State also includes all the primary-non-contributory, and blanket additional insured endorsements required. They can even cover both residential and commercial contractors. With or without height restrictions.

Also as part of the insurance policy you will receive a risk transfer session with a State National attorney to review and make recommendations specifically for your business.

In short if you don’t want your insurance policy to be full of exclusions, State National is the way to go.

For Smaller NYC Contractors,

Who: Arch Insurance Company is the best choice for smaller NYC contractors.

Arch targets accounts generating less than $25,000 in liability premiums. Another newer company to the insurance industry starting in 2001.

Arch is a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ. (symbol ACGL) Arch does offer solutions globally, and has offices located across the globe. The main US office is based in nearby Jersey City, New Jersey. The companies mission is to “provide our insureds with superb coverage and claims handling…” In my experience Arch has done a great job delivering on their mission.

Why: Arch offers very broad coverage terms for the smaller contractor. Offering full labor law coverage, 2m/4M limits, blanket additional insured and primary non-contributory wording.

However, Arch does have strict guidelines that can make qualifying for a policy more challenging than some insurance companies. Arch also has some forms and exclusions that are company specific, while not typically a problem it does require review and discussion.

Cost: What’s the best NYC contractors liability insurance going to cost me?

Well that is a very tough question to answer. In short New York City Contractors large and small pay some of the highest general liability premiums in the US.

Expect the cost to be a slightly painful, but not completely out of line from the lesser quality options available.

Bottom Line – Both Arch and State National charge a fair premium for the coverage provided.

Who is the best liability insurance company for New York Roofing Contractors?

Roofers in New York can have a tough time finding the right coverage, and far too often purchase policies providing little to no coverage for roofing exposures. Just like any contractor a thorough review of your policy with a qualified broker is important.

Who: Roofing Contractors that want the best coverage have one clear choice Admiral Insurance Company.

For those of you that haven’t heard of Admiral they are a global insurance company founded in 1974 specializing in difficult-to-place high risk commercial insurance.

They are also a publicly traded company as a member of the W.R. Berkley Corporation. With headquarters located in Mount Laurel, NJ Admiral is very familiar with the unique exposures of New York. Admiral is also rated A+ rated by AmBest the insurance industries independent rating board.

Why: Admiral is one of the few carriers providing comprehensive general liability for New York roofing contractors both large and small.

Many commonly required endorsements such as blanket additional insured, per project aggregate, blanket waiver of subrogation etc… can be included.

Cost: What is the best roofing liability insurance going to cost?

The premiums are fair compared to other roofing insurance company premiums. The policies from Admiral are rated on gross sales which are easy to keep track of for audits but currently the minimum premium for Westchester County is $45,000, it is lower for contractors based upstate.

Who is the best New York trade contractors liability insurance company?

Trades Contractors have many options; lots of insurance companies want to be the first choice for you. Don’t fall for the marketing gimmicks, just because your business isn’t “high risk” doesn’t mean you should be any less diligent in searching out the best coverage for your business.

Any construction risk in New York is high risk.

Who: Liberty Mutual is a leader in the insurance industry dating back to the early 1900’s when the company was founded.

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Liberty Mutual has grown to be the second largest insurance company in the US. Liberty is a mutual company which means all policy holders are shareholders in the company, Liberty has also maintained an A rating by the insurance rating board since the early days of the company.

Why: Liberty uses their size to offer broad comprehensive coverage at a fair premium.

With many coverage enhancements included on the standard contractors liability policy it is clear why they are a leader in trade contractors insurance.

Liberty Mutual also offers commercial auto, workers compensation and umbrella liability to provide a single insurance company for select risks.

Cost: what is the best trade contractors liability going to cost me?

By working with only the best risks, Liberty Mutual is able to offer a very fair cost for those contractors that qualify.

Who is the best New York environmental contractors liability insurance company?

Environmental and Restoration contracting firms need comprehensive unique coverage. Water, and mold cleanup are exclusions found on most standard liability policies. Knowing what is and is not covered by your policy is crucial.

Who: The best package solution for environmental contractors is from Markel Environmental.

Markel Corporation is a publicly traded company with headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. The company was founded in 1930 and is focused on hard-to-place specialty risks. Markel is also A rated by the insurance rating board A.M. Best and has been since 1992.

Why: The lines are often blurred where general liability ends and environmental liability starts with general liability and pollution liability on one policy, Markel makes it simple. The environmental package policy includes coverage mold and asbestos remediation contractors, in addition to many coverage enhancements designed to protect the business.

Cost: What’s the best environmental coverage going to cost?

Markel charges a fair and competitive premium. With the total cost being similar to other policies but with the broad coverage Markel is known for.

Who is the best New York home builders liability insurance company?

Home-builders often ask why their insurance is so expensive and even sometimes why they need coverage when all their sub-contractors have insurance.

The simple answer is the ultimate liability ends with the general contractor. Regardless of the fact that most home-builders perform no construction work.

Who: ProSight Specialty based here in New York is a proven leader in the home building market place.

While being new to the insurance market having been in 2009 ProSight has been featured in Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in America. ProSite also maintained an A rating by A.M. Best with the rapid growth.

Why: ProSight has a unique rating for home builders based on the number of new home starts vs the typical sub-contractor cost rating. They also include endorsements every home builder should have. Coverage was created from the start to meet the unique needs of home builders.

Cost: What is the best Home Builders insurance going to cost?

Premiums vary based on the average cost of the homes you build, typically there is a cost advantage to this pricing method. ProSight is a leader in the home building industry for a reason, they offer a great value, in addition to coverage.

Bottom Line

If you don’t have your general liability with one of the best you owe it to your business to discuss this further.

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