Two construction workers on scaffolding, covered by scaffolding insurance

Do I Need Insurance for Scaffolding?

Aug 13 2021

It’s impossible to think of construction projects without also picturing the scaffolding work needed. In construction and related fields, any work done six feet above a lower level typically needs scaffolding for it to be carried out safely and efficiently. 

However, working on scaffolds carries its own risks. In Canada, thousands of scaffolding accidents are reported each year, even with evolving safety protocols. The prevalence of such accidents signals the need for scaffolding insurance

With scaffolding insurance, scaffolding businesses are protected in case of unforeseen events that may lead to financial loss. Examples are injury, death, property damage, and so on. If you’re still deciding if you need this type of insurance, you’re in the right place. This post covers everything you need to know.

An employee of a scaffolding company, setting up scaffolding

Scaffolding Insurance for Businesses 

Scaffolding insurance is a general term that encompasses insurance plans or insurance bundles for businesses directly involved with the setup, dismantling, and/or rental of scaffolding. Different scaffolding companies offer different scopes of service. 

Before we proceed, which among the following describes your scaffolding business? 

  1. We have an office where we meet clients and store valuable documents.
  2. We have a storage facility for the scaffolding materials we use.
  3. We rent scaffolding materials.
  4. We transport scaffolding materials to the project site of our clients using our own vehicles or through a third-party service. 
  5. We have workers that set up the scaffolding and dismantle it after use. 
  6. Our workers use company service vehicles to reach the project site. 

If you’ve checked more than one of the above, it’s highly recommended that you get scaffolding insurance. This is due to the fact that your business is exposed to more potential risks. This brings us to our next point. 

How Scaffolding Insurance Protects Your Business From Various Risks 

1. Risks Tied to General Liability

Bodily Injuries Within Premises 

If a customer gets injured because of a wet floor that wasn’t marked with a sign, that’s an example of a bodily injury within premises and businesses can easily be liable for this. 

Third-Party Bodily Injuries & Property Damage 

Examples of third-party bodily injuries and property damage get more specific depending on the industry. For scaffolding companies, these liabilities can take the form of:

  • A part of the scaffolding fell on a nearby car during set up and smashed the windshield.
  • The rented scaffolding was not held together properly, causing injuries to people using it.
  • A part of the scaffold fell and hit a passer-by below, causing an injury. 

Because of the above risks, scaffolding businesses are recommended to get what’s known as general liability insurance. When tailor-fit for a scaffolding company, commercial general liability insurance can cover all of the risks discussed in this section and more. This type of insurance gives payouts for the medical, repair, and legal fees involved with the above examples, respectively.  

General liability insurance is arguably the foundation of any kind of commercial insurance bundle, especially in an increasingly litigious society. However, you can also have additional coverage for the other risks that we are yet to discuss.  

2. Risks When You Have a Brick and Mortar Location 

Most scaffolding companies have a physical location, whether it’s an office where they receive clients and keep documents or a storage facility where they keep their scaffolding materials and other necessary equipment. 

If your scaffolding company has a physical location, commercial property insurance is highly recommended as additional coverage. 

Commercial property insurance for scaffolding companies protects your business in instances such as:

  • Damaged or inaccessible commercial space due to a covered peril and the space becomes unusable for a time.
  • When your commercial space or storage space is subjected to theft, burglary, or vandalism. 
  • Loss of income because of the above causes. 

In case you encounter the above scenarios, commercial property insurance covers the repair and replacement costs and reimburses lost income. 

3. Risks When Transporting Your Scaffolding Materials To a Project Site

It’s likely that your scaffolding company transports materials or equipment on a regular basis.Inland marine insurance or tools & equipment insurance, as an addition to your scaffolding insurance bundle, will cover the replacement/repair of your materials and equipment if they are:

  • Damaged during transit;
  • Stolen from the site; and/or
  • Vandalized while on site. 

4. Risks When You Have Employees Setting Up or Dismantling the Scaffolding Materials 

Yet another risk faced by scaffolding companies is the possibility of injury or death of their employees while on the job. Construction and related industries account for some of the world’s most dangerous occupations. Working from heights is one of the industry’s top hazards, a risk element that all scaffolders face. 

This is why you need workers’ compensation insurance, as part of your scaffolding insurance bundle, if you have employees setting up and dismantling the scaffold

Worker’s compensation can cover medical costs, disability benefits, lost income during recovery, and death benefits. 

Employees high up on a scaffold

5. Risks When You Have a Fleet of Service Vehicles 

Operating a fleet of service vehicles is another major risk factor that necessitates having a comprehensive scaffolding insurance bundle. Transportation of your scaffolding materials likely uses a fleet of company-owned vehicles or heavy trucks.

Fleet insurance for your vehicles will protect your business from financial loss in case road accidents occur or if the vehicles are vandalized or stolen. This type of insurance covers the medical, repair, and legal costs associated with the aforementioned incidents. 

Personalized Scaffolding Insurance For Your Business 

How many of the above risks does your scaffolding business face? Whatever the case may be, obtaining the right scope of scaffolding insurance will help bring your business to a more successful and secure future. 

As an award-winning insurance brokerage firm in Toronto, KASE Insurance gives you the personalized, transparent, and cost-effective scaffolding insurance plan you need. We’re here to make sure that you can fully count on your insurance plan.

Our team of experts also provide dedicated assistance through every step, from negotiating premiums, to filing claims, to following up on claims.

If you’re still unsure if you need scaffolding insurance or if you want to learn more about what we offer, feel free to reach out to us!

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