General Contractor Insurance in Washington State
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General contractor insurance in Washington state

Learn about business insurance requirements and the most common policies for general contractors in Washington.

Which policies are required for general contractors in Washington?

Depending on the specifics of your work, general contractors may be required to hold several different types of insurance coverage. For example, if your business owns a vehicle, you likely need to purchase commercial auto insurance to meet state requirements.

If you have a physical location with a commercial lease, your property manager may require you to purchase general liability insurance. Commonly purchased by general contractors in Washington, general liability insurance can protect your business from expenses associated with common mishaps, such as customer property damage and injuries.

Washington state law requires general contractors with employees to provide workers’ compensation insurance, which covers lost wages and medical bills for work injuries.

Depending on your clients and the type of work you do, you may also need builder’s risk insurance or surety bonds.

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What are the most common types of insurance for general contractors in Washington state?

General contractors may need different types of insurance depending on the work they do and their client contracts. For the most complete protection, considering buying both property and liability insurance coverage. In Washington, general contractors often buy these policies.

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General liability insurance

General liability insurance is the foundation of any small business's protection. It covers damage to client property, as well as third-party bodily injuries and advertising injuries. Commercial landlords, lenders, or clients may ask for a certificate of insurance to prove you have this liability policy.

Adding commercial umbrella insurance can boost your coverage on general liability insurance and other policies.

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Business owner's policy (BOP)

General contractors who work independently or own a small company often qualify for a business owner’s policy. This policy bundles general liability coverage and commercial property insurance together at a discount.

A BOP is the top policy recommended by Insureon's expert agents, as it offers protection against common liability claims and business property coverage at an affordable price.

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Workers' compensation insurance

If you own a Washington business with one or more employees, you're required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp can help pay for medical bills and lost wages when an employee is injured on the job.

Sole proprietors may also choose to purchase this insurance to protect against the high cost of work injuries.

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Commercial auto insurance

Commercial auto insurance protects vehicles owned by your general contracting company. It covers property damage and medical bills in an accident, along with vehicle theft, weather damage, and vandalism.

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Contractor’s tools and equipment insurance

Contractor’s tools and equipment insurance protects a general contractor’s saws, nail guns, drills, and other construction equipment. Look to this policy or inland marine insurance to protect equipment that moves to different job sites.

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Professional liability insurance

Professional liability insurance provides protection when a general contractor is sued for a professional mistake, such as missing a deadline on a construction project. This policy is also called errors and omissions insurance (E&O).

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Contractor surety bonds

Surety bonds guarantee reimbursement for the client if a general contractor is unable to fulfill the terms of a contract. Common types of surety bonds include bid bonds, performance bonds, and payment bonds.

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Builder’s risk insurance

Builder’s risk insurance can cover fires, vandalism, equipment theft, and other damage done to a structure still under construction.

How much does business insurance cost for general contractors in Washington?

According to an analysis of Insureon applications, general contractors in Seattle and elsewhere in the state can expect to pay more than the national median for some types of business insurance, but less for other types.

The median annual cost of general liability insurance for general contractors in Washington is $1,380, about the same as the national median. However, general contractors in Washington can perhaps expect to pay more than the national median for inland marine insurance, and less than the national median for commercial auto insurance.

This is only a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay. The cost of a general contractor's insurance depends on the policies you buy, policy limits and deductibles, and factors unique to your business, like revenue and number of employees.

Median insurance costs for general contractors in Washington.

Save time and money with Insureon

Insureon’s industry-leading technology helps general contractors in Washington save time and money shopping for insurance by comparing policies from top U.S. insurers.

Start a free online application to review quotes for the policies that best fit your business. Our insurance agents are licensed in Washington and can answer your questions as you consider coverage.

To make the application go quicker, have this information ready:

  • Workforce details, such as the number and types of employees
  • Current and projected revenue
  • Business partnerships
  • Insurance history and prior claims
  • Commercial lease insurance requirements

Apply for free insurance quotes for general contractors today.

Updated: February 29, 2024
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