The word "artisan" by definition invokes the image of a talented person who creates something special, often by hand.

Artisan contractors — also called tradesmen contractors — are skilled workers who use their hands to make, install, repair and maintain things with the help of tools, equipment or machinery. They include electricians, plumbers, HVAC specialists, landscapers, tree pruners, carpenters, painters, masons, excavators and many more. Artisan contractors are valued for their precise work, and their unique skills and services are in constant demand by commercial and residential clients.

Artisan contractors are heavily relied on within the construction industry. They're typically small to midsize businesses that focus on a specific trade for new residential and construction projects and residential remodeling (for example, kitchen and bathroom remodels and garage-to-home office conversions).

These businesses may be a single owner, employ one or two individual, or subcontract work.

What Exposures Do Artisan Contractors Face?

Contractors need General Liability insurance in case of a mistake resulting in injury or property damage, because the contractor may be held liable for the damages. Lawsuits are costly and can easily bankrupt a business, so it's vital that artisan contractors are adequately insured.

The most common liability exposures artisan contractors face while on the job include third-party slips and falls, and construction defects.

"An example of slip-and-fall exposure would be if a visitor is injured after tripping over the cord of an air-powered nail gun a carpenter is using on the job," explains RPS's Laura Allen, vice president, Southeast Region. Construction defects involve property damage as a result of work a contractor performs.

Artisan Contractors Coverage via RPS

In most cases, artisan contractors are required to carry insurance and present a certificate of insurance based on the contract to gain access to the job site. Even when General Liability insurance isn't required, it's a prudent business practice to carry it.

To cover an artisan contractor's liability exposures, RPS provides insurance of $1 million/$2 million with a zero-dollar deductible for most classes on its e-commerce platform where, Allen says, "You can quote and bind coverage in just a couple of minutes."

In addition to the platform's ease of use, RPS provides several key features with its General Liability offering, including a Blanket Additional Insured endorsement and a waiver of subrogation.

"Contractors work on several projects at a time and require these endorsements, typically requesting them at the last minute to get on a specific project. These endorsements are built into our product, so there's no reason for the insureds to remember to call their retail agent every time there's a job. This also helps to prevent potential E&O issues for our agency partners," explains Allen.

The General Liability rate is based on gross sales rather than payroll, providing a more accurate view of the insured's business. "By rating the General Liability based on gross sales, you avoid potential issues of over- or underinsurance," says Allen.

"We write coverage for a wide array of classes, welcome new ventures and are looking for accounts with no losses," explains Allen. "If a specific account doesn't fit the platform's appetite, retailers can reach out to an RPS representative to help with coverage."

To begin writing coverage for artisan contractors, visit

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