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I am in the process of setting up my own cabinet business. I have been advised to obtain insurance to cover liability and possibly an umbrella policy. I thought this would be a good opportunity to open up the subject here to recieve some input as to what coverage is really necessary in this field and also which insurance companys are the best in this particular business.
 

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I went down to my local insurance agent and they sold me a million $ liability policy for $800 or so a year. Looks good when you show it to the client. Truth be known it's only good for $300k per claim. I think it will cover all of my needs though.

Russ P.
 

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Tad - I have no idea what coverage you need, but can give an emphatic recommendation to check into Amica Insurance company. The last poll I saw a few years ago put them at ~ 50th in size and 1st in customer satisfaction, which didn't surprise me at all….nothing but fantastic service and competitive rates for us for nearly 30 years in both home and auto. Anytime I've ever compared prices, places like Geico and AIG were higher, and Amica's service will be very tough to beat.
 

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If you are just setting up, make sure you get commercial insurance on your truck, trailer, etc. If you currently have your vehicle insured through your normal residential carrier and have an accident while using it in a business, they probably won't cover the accident. I have my policy with Safeco which provides general liability (one million), my truck, and trailer. I've never had a claim so I don't know how good they are. I went to an insurance broker and he shopped my needs around and found the cheapest policy.
 

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Workers Compensation Insurance is what is expensive. When I had employees in the cab biz it was around 23% of payroll. Insurance itself, liability and auto coverage is not too bad. I used to carry a million in liability, but that was if my cabinets fell off the wall or something or if I ran over someone..
 

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at work i do all types of carpentry and my boss has two million in coverage. I always thought that sounded like alot, but if you think of how much it would take to replace someones house(Thinking WORST possible case) and possessions. it adds up really quickly.
 

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If WI has a consumer protection or licensing departments (like CA has), they might have rules about kinds of insurance and/or bonds you'll need to be in business.
 

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Contact the SCORE chapter in your area. They provide free small business mentoring by volunteer working or retired business owners who have been there and done that.

There is no simple answer to your questions without knowing a whole bunch more about your plans and expectations.
 

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Good points above on possible statutory requirements - find a local agent who writes a lot of business policies and work with them.

That said, if you are a one-man shop and you aren't doing installs, I think it's reasonable to consider skipping insurance if it feels too expensive. But, if you have anyone in the shop or you are doing so much as turning a screwdriver in a client's home or business, you need some liability insurance.
 
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