Navigating Insurance: 10 Essential Questions for Field Technicians

For field service technicians, having the right insurance is not just a safety net—it’s a cornerstone of professional stability and peace of mind. Whether you’re an independent contractor or part of a larger organization, understanding your coverage options is crucial. Here are ten questions you should ask your insurance provider to ensure you’re adequately protected.

1. What Types of Insurance Coverage Do I Need?
As a field service technician, it’s crucial to understand and secure the right types of insurance coverage to protect against potential liabilities and risks associated with your job. Here’s a breakdown of three key types of insurance you should consider: 

General Liability Insurance: This form of coverage is foundational for technicians working in various fields. It provides protection against claims of bodily injury or property damage caused to others as a result of your business operations. For instance, if a customer trips over your equipment while you’re performing a service and gets injured, general liability insurance can cover their medical expenses and any legal costs if they decide to sue. It also covers damage to a client’s property, say if you accidentally break a window while working.

If you do not have general liability insurance at TechLink, the work orders that will be available to you will be limited to tickets that do not contain expensive components and you will incur a 1.5% fee. This fee is not a replacement for general liability insurance, it only covers TechLink’s exposure for small incidentals that might happen with uninsured technicians. The small fee TechLink charges do not include the ability to file a claim against TechLink’s insurance policy. If you damage a high-value piece of equipment without having GL insurance, you will be liable for the replacement costs.  

We strongly advise securing general liability insurance to ensure comprehensive protection in the event of unforeseen accidents. Having this insurance not only shields you from potential liabilities but also positions you as a prime candidate for lucrative assignments involving advanced and high-end technology. This type of insurance is often a prerequisite for engaging in projects with significant revenue potential, making it an essential component of your professional toolkit. By prioritizing general liability insurance, you open the door to opportunities that require a higher level of trust and responsibility, thereby elevating your professional standing and expanding your earning potential in the competitive tech landscape. Learn more at TechLink’s TechCenter

Professional Liability Insurance: Also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, this coverage is particularly important for technicians who provide consulting or advice as part of their services. Professional liability insurance protects you in case a client claims that there was a mistake, negligence, or oversight in the services you provided that resulted in financial loss or other damages to them. For example, if an IT consultant recommends a system upgrade that ultimately disrupts the client’s operations, professional liability insurance can cover defense costs and any damages awarded in a lawsuit. 

This type of insurance is not required at TechLink. But, if you routinely provide IT consulting work outside of TechLink, then it’s highly encouraged that you consider obtaining it. 

Workers’ Compensation Insurance: If you’re an employer or work as part of a team, workers’ compensation is essential. It provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This coverage includes medical care, rehabilitation costs, and a portion of lost wages during the recovery period. Additionally, it offers death benefits to the dependents of a worker who dies from a job-related incident.  

In both the United States and Canada, sole proprietors are not mandated to have workman’s compensation insurance. In addition, Texas is the only exempt state where this insurance coverage is an option.

If you are a sole proprietor at TechLink or live in Texas and do not want to purchase workman’s compensation insurance and want to be exempt from this requirement, you must fill out TechLink’s Workers Compensation Exemption form and submit it to the provided email within the form

Understanding these insurance types and how they apply to your field service role is the first step in safeguarding your business and financial well-being. Each type addresses different risks, ensuring that you’re well protected from the unique challenges your work may present.

2. Are Tools and Equipment Covered?
For many technicians, tools and equipment are vital. Ask if your policy covers the repair or replacement of these items if they’re lost, stolen, or damaged.

3. What is the Claims Process?
Understanding how to file a claim and what the process involves can save you a lot of time and stress. Ask about the steps, required documentation, and average resolution times.

4. Are There Any Exclusions?
Policies often have exclusions that specify what is not covered. Knowing these upfront can help you avoid unexpected gaps in your coverage.

5. How Are Premiums Calculated?
Ask about how your premiums are determined and what factors might affect your rates, such as the type of work you do, your credit rating, your claims history, and the level of coverage you select.

6. Is There a Deductible?
Most insurance policies include a deductible, the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket before your coverage kicks in. Make sure you know what your deductibles are and how they’re applied.

7. Can I Increase My Coverage Limits?
Find out if you have the option to increase your coverage limits and what the associated costs might be. Higher limits can offer more protection, which might be necessary as your business grows or takes on more risk.

8. Are Subcontractors Covered?
If you occasionally need to hire subcontractors, ask whether your policy extends coverage to them or if they’ll need their own insurance.

9. What Happens If I Work Across State Lines?
Insurance regulations can vary significantly from one state to another. If your work takes you across state lines, confirm that your coverage remains valid.

10. How Can I Lower My Premiums?
Lastly, inquire about any steps you can take to lower your premiums without compromising your coverage. This might include safety courses, risk management programs, or policy bundles. 

Selecting the right insurance coverage is a critical decision for field service technicians. The right questions can unveil the depth of your coverage, revealing any weaknesses in your safety net. By ensuring you’re well-informed, you can protect yourself, your tools, and your livelihood against the unforeseen, letting you focus on delivering exceptional service to your clients.


Where to Obtain GL and WC 

If you do not have GL or WC and would like to obtain them, we recommend talking to your current insurance provider and seeing about bundling it with your other policies, it might reduce your costs. Here are some other resources for GL and WC, not listed in any particular order: 

Monthly Payment Coverage:
Thimble
Next Insurance

Other Insurance Providers:
Hartford
Hiscox Insurance Co
Shelter Mutual Insurance Company
Travelers Insurance