NAICS CANADA CODE: 238220 Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors

Description of Operations:

Plumbing contractors install, repair, and replace plumbing and piping to connect to water supplies, gas utilities, sewer connections, appliances, sprinklers, and irrigation systems. Other services the plumbing contractor may provide are retail sales of hardware and even appliances, as well as remodeling services for kitchen and bathrooms.

  • Property exposures depend upon the work done by the contractor at his own premises. Some contractors have facilities to construct their own piping, so cutting and welding would be done at the yard site. In those cases, fire exposures may be high. Welding has exposure from the storage of tanks of gases that must be handled properly to avoid loss.

    The welding operations themselves need good controls. Are the welding operations separated from the other operations either in a cut off area or by flash and welding curtains?

    Other fire concerns are from the storage and cutting of the piping and fixtures that may be plastic and pose exposure to toxic fumes should a fire occur. Plastic plumbing and piping use adhesives that may be flammable. Handling and storage of flammables need good controls. If repair work on vehicles and equipment is done in the building, fire hazards may be much higher.

    Theft can be a high exposure if inventories of valuable metals such as copper or brass are at both the yard and the job sites.

  • Inland marine exposures include contractor’s equipment, goods in transit and installation floater. Contractor’s equipment is generally limited to employees’ tools but equipment may be rented, leased or borrowed for specific jobs. If the insured is involved in selling the product to be installed there is a goods in transit exposure to review. When goods are installed over a time period, the installation floater exposure exists and must be evaluated. A key question is the security of the job site.

  • Occupier’s Liability is a concern at the job site. Contractors can damage customer’s premises when removing old plumbing and piping and installing new. There is also the possible bodily injury to customers. Background checks are imperative for any employee who will have regular contact with customers.

  • Completed operations exposures can occur if the plumbing or piping is not properly installed and leaks or water damage occur. This could result in significant property damage. If sewer connections are faulty, leaking sewage can cause bacteria and disease, and additional substantial property losses.

    Environmental concerns need evaluation from the disposal of waste and the old debris that has been removed from the structure. Are proper disposal methods used for the type of waste encountered? What procedure is in place when asbestos and other hazardous items are encountered in existing structures? What training and handling methods are used? These types of items have serious liability, workers compensation, and environmental considerations.

  • Automobile liability depends on the radius of operation. Age, training, experience, and drivers’ records, as well as the age, condition, and maintenance of the vehicles, are all important items to consider.

  • Workplace safety exposures vary based on the plumbing job. Burns from the welding operation can occur both at the yard site and job site. If welding is done in small, confined locations, additional exposure exists to fire, fumes, and vapours. Cuts and amputations can result from the cutting of piping and plumbing. Fumes and vapours from the adhesives can cause eye, skin, and lung irritations. Ventilation is important. If the contractor does any excavation to connect to utilities or to install sprinklers and irrigation systems, potential losses from digging and trenching could occur.

Minimum recommended Insurance coverage for Plumbing:

Business Personal Property, Contractors’ Equipment, Dishonesty, Disappearance and Destruction, General Liability, Umbrella, Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Non-Ownership Automobile

Other Insurance coverage to consider for Plumbing:

Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Accounts Receivables, Computers, Goods in Transit, Installation Floater, Employment Practices Liability, Directors and Officers – for profit, Environment Impairment