The Difference Between General and Artisan Contractors (and Their Insurance Needs)

For those who aren’t familiar with the contracting industry, there could be a good deal of confusion as to who does what during specific projects. Should you hire a general contractor or an artisan contractor? What constitutes an artisan contractor? And what kind of coverage do these unique contractor positions need?

These questions should be asked by not only the individuals who use these professionals for their projects but by insurance brokers looking to provide contractors a quick quote for coverage and the right kind of insurance.

To alleviate some of the confusion and stress around differentiating between the two, we break down what it means to be a general contractor and an artisan contractor, and what kind of coverage they need in order to operate safely.

General Contractors

A general contractor heads up the entire contracting team on a building job. If the project involves adding a new addition to a home or building, the general contractor would be the point person for communication with the client and they oversee the entire project.

For smaller projects, the general contractor may even take care of some of the work itself. Like a family’s general practitioner, a contractor has the basic knowledge of this kind of work and can operate fluidly throughout a project. In most cases, a general contractor is noted as the project manager for a construction project and will work with clients to give them updates on the work.

A general contractor will also hire out subcontractors if they need it for the project, and also pay the subcontractors once they finish their role. But hiring on subcontractors shines a light on the need for insurance coverage for general contractors.

First, they’ll need to operate with general liability, a crucial part of insurance that covers a business against property damage claims and bodily injuries. This coverage pays for third-party medical costs and property repairs if need be.

Next is commercial auto, a policy that covers commercial vehicles that are exposed to risk. These policies provide general contractors with liability and physical damage protection for cars, trucks, and vans, and usually have higher coverage limits.

Lastly, workers’ compensation is needed to operate in such a potentially dangerous industry. While keeping safety a priority is key, accidents can still possibly happen. Workers’ compensation is an essential piece of coverage as it helps to offset some of the risks employees on construction jobs face every day.

Artisan Contractors

Artisan contractors, while having a good running knowledge of general contracting, have a more specialized take on their industry. In larger construction projects, general contractors will need the help and expertise of these professionals.

Artisans are more focused on one or two parts of a project, honing in on things like electrical work or carpentry. Technically noted as a subcontractor, artisan contractors are specifically skilled to handle a part of a project so that general contractors can get on with the bigger picture of the deal.

But artisan contractors also operate their own projects and businesses outside of being contracted out by general contractors. As a result, they’ll need to invest in their own specialized artisan contractors insurance. Artisan contractors’ insurance covers injuries to the body, damages to the client or a third-party, personal injury, advertising injury, or any sort of action taken against a competing operation, as well as medical payments.

About American Team Managers Insurance Services

Founded in 1998 by Chris C. Michaels, American Team Managers Insurance Services (ATM) has provided wholesale and MGA services to more than 5,000 independent insurance agents throughout the United States. Our goal is to establish close, long-term relationships with our agency partners and insurance carriers and provide competitive products for the Exclusive and Non-Exclusive markets that we serve. For more information on our products and services, give us a call at (877) 671-7503 to speak to a representative.