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As a general contractor, it’s crucial to protect your business from potential errors and omissions (E&O) that could arise during construction projects. Contractors’ E&O insurance provides liability coverage for trade contractors, such as carpenters, electricians, painters, plumbers, and HVAC technicians, for damages resulting from unintentional faulty workmanship.

Understanding Contractors’ Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance

Contractors’ E&O insurance differs from designers’ liability insurance, which targets professionals involved in the design and construction of a building, such as architects, engineers, and construction managers. Contractors’ E&O insurance specifically covers damages resulting from unintentional faulty workmanship by trade contractors.

The coverage includes expenses incurred to repair or redo faulty work, as well as legal costs associated with lawsuits, settlements, and punitive damages. However, it’s important to note that contractors’ E&O insurance does not duplicate the coverage provided by commercial general liability (CGL) insurance, which covers claims related to damage or injury caused by a business’s products or operations.

A group of smiling construction workers wearing uniforms

Coverage and Exclusions of E&O Insurance for Contractors

Having contractors’ E&O insurance is essential for general contractors, as it safeguards their businesses and reputations. Construction projects involve various stakeholders, and even the most experienced professionals can make mistakes or encounter unforeseen circumstances. E&O insurance provides financial protection against potential liability claims and helps ensure that contractors can continue operating without significant financial setbacks.

Contractors’ E&O insurance generally does not cover intentional acts of negligence or dishonesty that lead to harmful results. For example, knowingly using cheap materials to save costs would not be covered. Additionally, E&O insurance applies to damages that occur once the work is completed and does not cover ongoing construction work.
It’s crucial to review your policy carefully and consult with your insurance provider to understand the specific coverage and exclusions of your contractors’ E&O insurance.

Factors Affecting the Cost of E&O Insurance for Contractors

The cost of contractors’ E&O insurance depends on various factors, including:

  1. Type of construction work: Different specialties within the construction industry may have varying levels of risk, which can impact insurance premiums.
  2. Industry: The specific industry in which your construction business operates may influence the insurance costs.
  3. Number of contractors: The size of your workforce can affect the premium, as more contractors may increase the potential risk exposure.
  4. Years of operation: The duration of your company’s operation can impact the premiums, with more established businesses potentially benefiting from lower rates.
  5. Previously paid claims: Past claims history can influence the cost of insurance, with higher claim amounts or frequencies potentially resulting in higher premiums.
  6. Coverage limits: The desired coverage limits will also affect the policy cost, as higher limits typically come with higher premiums.

Emerging Trends in E&O Insurance for Contractors

The construction industry is constantly evolving, and contractors’ E&O insurance must adapt to new challenges and emerging risks. Two notable trends to consider are:

  1. Technological advancements: With the increasing use of technology in construction, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and drones, contractors’ E&O insurance needs to address potential liabilities associated with these technologies.
  2. Sustainability and green construction: As sustainable building practices gain prominence, contractors may face new risks related to energy-efficient designs, renewable materials, and green certifications. E&O insurance policies should reflect these emerging risks.

Staying informed about industry trends and partnering with insurance providers that understand these evolving risks can help contractors remain proactive in managing potential liabilities.


Contractors’ errors and omissions (E&O) insurance is a crucial component of risk management for general contractors. It provides liability coverage for damages resulting from unintentional faulty workmanship, ensuring financial protection and peace of mind. By selecting the right E&O insurance, contractors can demonstrate professionalism, protect their businesses, and navigate the evolving landscape of the construction industry with confidence.

Tom Cockle, CLCS

Vice President  |  Commercial Risk Advisor

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal or insurance advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for guidance tailored to your specific situation.