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Real Time Risk Management™ FAQs

What is Smart Equipment?

Smart Equipment refers to technology-enabled tools and machinery with built-in sensors, communication systems, and software that improve efficiency, safety, and performance in construction operations. These tools provide real-time monitoring, AI learning, and data analysis, resulting in better decision-making, increased productivity, and a safer jobsite.

What is Real-Time Risk Management™?

Conventional insurance carriers send a loss control employee to your jobsite to observe and make recommendations once or twice a year. Leif does it in real-time. Our proprietary flagging system turns data into actionable information to help you promote safety on your jobsite.  Improved safety earns you Leif’s proprietary data-driven discount pricing. Your data is not shared with the carrier.

What is Data-Driven Discount Pricing?

Most insurance rates are based on a set of standard data points. We believe those data points do not tell the whole story. With the power of Smart Equipment insights, we identify and reward exceptional operators with data-driven discount pricing.

How does Real-Time Risk Management™ improve my bond capacity?

We all want to be better tomorrow than we are today. Traditional brokers base your bond capacity on historical information. Real-Time Risk Management gives our surety bond team more data than that. We use verifiable system outputs to project what will happen tomorrow - and maximize your capacity today.

How does Real-Time Risk Management™ save me money on my equipment insurance?

Monitoring your equipment more closely with Real-Time Risk Management™ shows your insurance carrier that you’re committed to better maintenance and loss control. Premiums are based on your business’s loss potential compared to the average for your industry and operation. Reducing your potential for most equipment losses sets you apart as “better than average.” Leif’s proprietary equipment insurance program rewards youwith exclusive data-driven discount pricing and enhanced coverage solutions.

How does Real-Time Risk Management™ save me money on my worker’s compensation insurance?

Workers’ compensation is priced differently than other lines of coverage. Your insurance carrier selects your initial price point based on factors like business size, industry, longevity, and how your losses compare to other similar businesses. The additional factor specific to work comp is your experience modification, which reflects your unique claims experience. Both the experience modification and your initial price point are heavily influenced by your work comp loss history, so controlling your losses will directly affect your rate. Real-Time Risk Management™ gives you the Smart Equipment and tools you need to improve jobsite safety, lessen injuries, reduce your E-MOD and save even more money with Leif’s proprietary data-driven discounts up to 15%.

How does Real-Time Risk Management™ save me money on General Liability insurance?

Real-Time Risk Management™ allows you to exercise better control over jobsite liability by limiting non-permissive use of equipment. This reduces property damage and injury losses from trespassers and third-party subs. Better control over these exposures unlocks better rates with your insurance carrier, and even more savings with Leif’s proprietary data-driven discounts up to 15%.

How does Real-Time Risk Management™ save me money on my Builder’s Risk insurance?

Real-Time Risk Management™ helps you monitor and protect your valuable materials from theft in real-time. In addition, removing the ability to use a universal key for your equipment makes high-volume heists harder to facilitate. Reduced theft potential improves your risk factors which reduces your rates for Builder’s Risk insurance. Leif also gives you exclusive discounts up to 15%.

How does Real-Time Risk Management™ save me money on my commercial auto insurance?

Taking accident prevention measures and promoting safer driving can directly affect your auto insurance rates. Real-Time Risk Management™ gives you smarter tools to track reckless driving patterns and identify training opportunities with driver scorecards. It also gives you stronger data to help defend not-at-fault claims. Proactive driver safety management earns you lower auto insurance rates, and unlocks further savings with Leif’s exclusive data-driven discounts up to 15%.

Surety Bond FAQs

How does Real-Time Risk Management improve my bond capacity?

We all want to be better tomorrow than we are today. Traditional brokers base your bond capacity on historical information. Real-Time Risk Management gives our surety bond team more data than that. We use verifiable system outputs to project what will happen tomorrow - and maximize your capacity today.

What is a surety bond?

A surety bond is a contract involving three parties: the surety, the principal, and the obligee. In the contract, the surety guarantees the principal’s performance to the obligee. If the principal fails to perform according to the agreed-upon terms, the surety will pay for the failure.Surety bonds are typically required for any company working on government contracts. Private contracts in sectors like construction, agriculture, and transportation also often require bonds.

What's the difference between a surety bond and insurance?

While a surety bond is sometimes referred to as “bond insurance,” there are several significant differences between bonds and insurance. Getting a surety bond is more like securing bank credit than buying insurance. Here are some of the main differences:

  • Approach to losses. Surety bond providers use prequalification to try to prevent losses. Insurance policies spread losses among a group of similar risks.
  • Limits. The amount a surety will cover depends largely on your company’s financials. Conversely, the details of your insurance policy are determined by your risk profile.
  • Coverage. Bonds cover 100% of the contract price, while insurance only covers up to a policy limit. Bond coverage is project-specific, while insurance coverage is term-specific.
  • Liability. If a surety pays out on a claim, the principal remains liable and must repay the surety. By contrast, an insured business does not pay back the insurance carrier for a claim.

In short, when a surety bond pays out, it’s more like a loan than an insurance claim. The purpose of a surety bond is to protect the obligee. Most often, this means ensuring that laborers and suppliers are paid for work and materials. If a claim is filed, the principal is still on the hook for financial losses - the surety just pays the obligee up front.

What are contract surety bonds and the different types?

Contract surety bonds are bonds written for construction projects. There are six main types of contract surety bonds:

  • Bid bond. Protects the obligee if a bidder wins a contract but fails to sign the contract or provide the necessary additional bonds. Bid bonds help screen out unqualified bidders, since a surety will not issue a bond to a contractor it believes can’t fulfill the contract.
  • Performance bond. Guarantees the completion of a project according to contract terms if the principal fails to fulfill the contract terms.
  • Design build bond. Guarantees a design build project. In this type of project, the designer and contractor work together from the beginning. The inclusion of design work increases the project’s exposure. For this reason, design build bond rates are usually 20-50% higher than performance bond rates.
  • Labor and material payment bond. Ensures that subcontractors and suppliers are paid for labor and materials if the principal fails to make payments. Often called “payment bonds.”
  • Warranty bond. Guarantees that any defects found in the work done during the contract will be repaired during the warranty period (usually a few years).
  • Maintenance bond. Guarantees that the principal will fulfill the maintenance work outlined in the contract.

What types of construction projects require surety bonds?

A variety of construction projects might require a contract bond. They’re required by federal, state, and local governments for construction contracts valued over certain amounts. The Miller Act specifies federal requirements, and each state has a “Little Miller Act” governing state contracts.While not mandated, private owners and general contractors may also choose to require surety bonds. This helps them ensure the contract will be completed, and suppliers and subcontractors will be paid.

What is bonding capacity and what are the different types of capacity?

Bonding capacity is the maximum amount a surety will cover. Underwriters use financial signs like revenue, net worth, liquidity, and debt levels to determine a principal’s bonding capacity.There are two types of capacity, known as the single-job limit and the aggregate limit. The single-job limit is the largest amount the surety will guarantee on one project. The aggregate limit is the total amount of work, across projects, that the surety will back at one time.

How do I increase my surety capacity?

The best way to increase your surety capacity is to provide timely, accurate financial information to your underwriter. Leaving your surety carrier guessing does not build confidence. Provide frequent updates to show that your company is organized, transparent, and on a positive trajectory.

How much does a surety bond cost?

The cost of a bond is a percentage of the final contract price. The percentage is based on rates filed with the state insurance department, usually ranging from around 1-4%. Your financial standing, credit score, and other factors determine your bond rate.Because the cost of a project usually fluctuates, your bond premium will be adjusted based on the final contract price.

Who pays for a surety bond?

The principal pays the premium for a surety bond. The premium is due upon the execution of the bond and underlying contract. If a claim occurs, the surety pays up front for the project costs up to the contracted amount. Then, the principal must reimburse the surety for those costs.

What happens if my business defaults on a surety bond?

If you default on a surety bond, the obligee will file a claim with your surety. The surety will conduct an investigation to see if the claim is valid. If it is, the surety will act according to the details of the bond.The surety’s actions vary depending on the type of bond, and could include:

  • Completing the contract according to specifications
  • Making sure suppliers and subcontractors are paid
  • Repairing defective work

Equipment Insurance FAQs

Why does Real-Time Risk Management™ save me money on my equipment insurance?

Monitoring and managing your equipment more closely with Real-Time Risk Management™ indicates better maintenance and control measures to insurance carriers. Price points are considered based on comparing your business’ loss potential based on the industry average loss performance of your particular operation. Reducing your potential for most equipment losses sets you apart as “better than average”. Leif’s proprietary equipment insurance program rewards you for utilizing Real-Time Risk Management™ with our exclusive data-driven discount pricing and enhanced coverage solutions.

What types of equipment are covered under Leif’s equipment insurance policy?

Our equipment insurance is a broad-ranging policy that covers damaged or missing equipment and tools. This coverage extends to powered equipment like bulldozers and loaders, as well as hand tools like drills and nail guns. It also covers tools in transit. With Leif, you don’t need specialized policies like work trailer or hand tool insurance. It’s all covered under your equipment insurance policy.

How do I purchase a Leif equipment insurance policy for my owned and rented equipment?

To purchase equipment insurance, just get in touch and we’ll take it from there. Our Real-Time Service promise starts with your first call, text, or chat.

How does Leif’s equipment insurance policy compare in terms of cost and coverage to other insurance options for construction equipment?

Most contractors find Leif’s equipiment insurance policy to be miles ahead of other options on the market. The key differences start with Real-Time Risk Management™.

  • Our policy covers catastrophic exposures.
  • If your equipment gets stolen with our GPS tracker installed, we’ll waive your deductible.
  • Using our technology qualifies you for data-driven discounts up to 50%.

Commercial Auto FAQs

How does Real-Time Risk Management™ save me money on my Commercial Auto insurance?

With auto insurance rates on the rise, taking extra accident prevention measures and promoting safer driving will directly affect your auto insurance rates. Real-Time Risk Management™ gives you smarter tools to track reckless driving patterns and identify training opportunities with driver scorecards.  It also gives you stronger data to help defend not-at-fault claims. Proactive accident and driver safety management warrants lower auto insurance rates with your insurance carrier, and unlocks deeper savings with Leif’s exclusive data-driven discounts up to 15%.

What types of vehicles are eligible for commercial auto coverage?

Commercial auto covers any vehicles that are designed for use on public roads. Cars, trucks, trailers, vans, and other vehicles can be covered by a commercial auto policy. You also have options for your scope of coverage, ranging from covering only autos your business owners, to covering all autos used for business - even though your business doesn’t own, hire, or lease. Commercial auto generally does not cover mobile equipment like a backhoe. These are covered by your equipment insurance policy.

How does commercial auto insurance differ from personal auto insurance?

The difference between commercial auto and personal auto insurance comes down to a vehicle’s use, not its ownership. Commercial auto insurance covers autos used for business purposes, whether they’re owned by the business or an individual. Personal auto insurance covers autos used for personal purposes. If you use your personal vehicle for business purposes, you must have commercial auto coverage.

How does commercial auto insurance cover my business in the event of an accident?

In the event of an accident, your commercial auto insurance policy may cover:

  • Liability for bodily injury and property damage caused by your vehicle - often with a combined single limit for both
  • Medical and personal injury protection (PIP) for injuries to the driver and passengers of the insured vehicle
  • Collision coverage pays for damage to the insured vehicle caused by a collision
  • Comprehensive coverage also pays for damage caused by incidents like flood, fire, and theft
  • Uninsured motorist coverage pays for injuries and sometimes vehicle damage if you’re hit by an uninsured driver

Your insurance agent can help make sure your commercial auto policy has the coverage you need.

Workers Compensation FAQs

Why does Real-Time Risk Management save me money on my worker’s compensation insurance?

Worker’s compensation is priced differently than other lines of coverage: your insurance carrier selects your initial price point based on characteristics such your business size, industry, longevity, and how your losses compare to other similar businesses on average. The key pricing factor specific to work comp is your experience modification, which is completely unique to your business and reflects your individual claims experience. Both the experience modification and your initial price point are heavily determined by your worker’s compensation loss history, therefore controlling your losses will directly affect your rate either favorably or unfavorably. Real-Time Risk Management™ gives you the Smart Equipment and tools you need to monitor, manage, and prevent employee injuries. Improve jobsite safety, prevent injury, reduce your MOD, and save money.

What is workers' compensation insurance?

Workers’ compensation insurance provides medical, wage, and other financial benefits to employees who are injured or become ill on the job. This type of coverage is legally required for most construction businesses. Workers’ comp mandates and benefits vary by state.

What types of injuries or illnesses are covered under workers’ compensation insurance?

Workers’ comp insurance covers injuries and illness that arise in the course and scope of the claimant’s job. Many claims are cut and dry, but some require a claim investigation to determine their compensability. For example, a worker who cut his hand on a table saw would be clearly covered by the policy. But an employee who twisted her ankle jogging and then agitated the injury on the jobsite would likely not see the same level of compensability.

How does workers’ compensation insurance help me comply with state laws and regulations?

Workers’ compensation insurance is mandated for many businesses by state law. The requirements for the construction industry are generally stricter than others due to the high-risk nature of the work. It’s important to know that if a subcontractor performing work for you is injured, you may be liable for the injury as if they were your employee.

Is workers' compensation insurance the same in every state?

No, workers’ comp insurance requirements are not the same every state. The laws and regulations that dictate which businesses must have workers’ comp vary by state. Your insurance agent can help determine whether you need a policy. You can also typically find your state’s requirements on the Department of Labor website.

Are owners and officers covered by workers' compensation insurance?

Usually, owners and officers are covered by a business’s workers’ compensation policy by default. However, many states allow them to exclude themselves from coverage. The laws governing officer exclusion vary by state. They may permit officer exclusion for companies with less than a certain number of officers, or have guidelines for specific industries like construction and nonprofit. Your agent can help you navigate your options for officer exclusion.

How does workers’ compensation insurance affect my business’s ability to bid on and win contracts?

Your business’s history of workers’ compensation claims can impact your ability to bid on and win contracts. Every organization has an experience modification factor that compares its loss history to that of similar businesses in the industry. If your company has a better-than-average claims experience, your e-mod will be less than one. If your claims experience is worse than average, it will be more than one. Many projects, including government contracts, require bidding contractors to have an e-mod less than one.

General Liability FAQs

How does Real-Time Risk Management™ save me money on General Liability insurance?

Real-Time Risk Management™ allows you to exercise better control over jobsite liability by limiting non-permissive use of equipment.  This reduces property damage and injury losses from trespassers and 3rd party subs in a meaningful way. Better control over jobsite liability exposures with Real-Time Risk Management™ unlocks more favorable rates with your insurance carrier, and even deeper savings with Leif’s proprietary data-driven discounts up to 15%.

Why do I need general liability insurance?

General liability protects your business from claims of bodily injury or property damage. Contractors face several liability exposures that make GL especially important. Working with subcontractors and on a variety of jobsites can expose you to damage, injury, and theft liabilities.

Why choose Leif for general liability insurance?

At Leif, we know construction. And we’re intimately familiar with the top challenges and exposures you face as a contractor. From reviewing your contracts for coverage alignment to reducing non-permissive equipment use with technology - our experts are on your side from the beginning. You can rely on Real-Time Risk Management™ to help you reduce your exposures and get the best rates.

How is general liability insurance different from workers' compensation and commercial auto?

General liability, workers’ compensation, and commercial auto policies cover different risks for your business. General lability protects your business from liability for bodily injury or property damage it may cause. By contrast, workers’ compensation is a type of no-fault coverage that’s specific to employees’ work-related injury or illness. Commercial auto covers both damage to commercial vehicles and liability for damage caused by them.

Builders Risk FAQs

How does Real-Time Risk Management™ save me money on my Builder’s Risk insurance?

Real-Time Risk Management™ helps you protect your valuable materials from theft on-site in real-time.  In addition, removing the ability to use a universal key to run your equipment and load your material makes high volume heists harder to facilitate. Reduced theft potential considerably improves your risk factors which reduces your insurance rates for Builder’s Risk insurance. Real-Time Risk Management™ gives you more favorable rates and exclusive discounts up to 15% with Leif.

What is builder's risk insurance and who needs it?

Builder’s risk insurance is a specialized type of property insurance, also called course of construction insurance. It protects the property on a construction site. Builder’s risk is important coverage for general contractors, subcontractors, building owners, and even architects and engineers. For construction projects, the general contractor often purchases the policy, and then adds the other parties as additional insureds.

What is typically covered in builder's risk insurance?

Builder’s risk insurance typically covers property on a construction site when it’s damaged by unexpected events like fire, vandalism, and accidents. While policies vary, it usually protects the building that’s being built, on-site materials and equipment. It may also cover materials that are damaged or lost in transit to the site. Builder’s risk insurance usually covers all causes of loss that are not specifically excluded. Excluded causes of loss could include employee theft, flooding, and manufacturing defects.

How are the coverage limits decided?

The coverage limits for your builder’s risk policy are based on your construction budget, which reflects the total completed value of the project. This value includes all materials and labor costs and excludes land value.

If the project becomes bigger or more costly, can I increase my coverage?

Yes, if the project’s total completed value becomes bigger, you can increase your coverage. And you should, to avoid coverage gaps. Changes to the completed value are common in construction. Just let us know, and we’ll add a change order endorsement to your builder’s risk policy.

How long does a builder's risk policy last?

Your builder’s risk policy lasts until the project is complete. Your policy might consider the project complete when the purchaser accepts the structure, when the building has occupants, or when the structure has been complete for more than a certain period of time (often 90 days). Your insurance agent can tell you exactly when your policy will end.

General Insurance FAQs

What makes Leif different from other insurance agencies?

Leif is an underwriting focused agency that specializes in construction insurance. Due to the superior performance of our insureds, Leif has proprietary pricing to reward our customers for their investment in risk management. Real-Time Risk Management™ transforms date into actionable information, and we use that data to help you protect your business and earn discounted insurance pricing.  With Leif, you don’t just get an agent, you get a team of specialists including:

Which lines of coverage do you offer?

In addition to surety bonds, we offer the following lines of insurance coverage:

  • Equipment Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  • Commercial Auto Insurance
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Builder’s Risk Insurance
  • Cyber Liability Insurance
  • Contractor’s E & O
  • Management Liability Insurance
  • Pollution Insurance
  • Property Insurance
  • Umbrella Insurance

How does Leif’s customer service stand out?

At Leif, setting you up with an insurance policy isn’t the end of our partnership. It’s the beginning. Our Real-Time Service promise means lightning-fast responses to texts, calls, and chats during business hours, and emergency claims consultations after hours. Need a certificate of insurance or bond? Most COIs are delivered within two business hours, and most bonds are approved same day.

What are Leif’s safety and risk management resources?

Risk management is at the heart of what we do. In addition to Real-Time Risk Management™, we offer a full suite of traditional risk management services:

  • Audit assistance
  • Contract alignment review
  • Balance sheet analysis
  • Claims analysis
  • Exposure analysis
  • Loss retention analysis
  • Loss control techniques

Do insurance agents focus on a specific industry?

Many agents are generalists, which allows them to serve any and all businesses. At Leif, we take a different approach. Construction is our sole focus - and we do it well. Our products and services are developed by construction experts, for construction businesses. This deep specialization allows us to offer next-level insights and customized discounts you just won’t get from a “jack of all trades” agency.

What can I expect from my first meeting with Leif?

Our goal during our first meeting is to determine whether Leif is a good fit for your business. First, we’ll share how our specialization in construction makes us different. Then, we’ll ask questions about your business, growth goals, and biggest challenges. Finally, we’ll talk about your risk management process and decide whether it makes sense to move forward as partners.

Can an insurance agent help me reduce my risk?

Yes, your insurance agent should play an active role in helping you reduce your risk. We designed Leif’s whole business model around this concept. With us, you’ll get all the traditional risk management services like exposure analysis, OSHA compliance support, and audit assistance. Then, we layer on our Real-Time Risk Management™ approach, using technology to identify inherent risks and provide actionable information to promote safety in real-time. Our involvement in all these areas lets us see the complete view of your risk and help you make the best decisions for your business.

What are Leif’s proprietary insurance solutions and how do they differ from traditional insurance options?

Leif’s proprietary insurance products are designed to complement our Real-Time Risk Management™ solutions. Our Smart Equipment and telematics technologies are proven to increase visibility and reduce losses - so we can confidently give you extra savings on your insurance. Using these solutions, you’ll earn data-driven pricing with up to 50% savings on equipment insurance, and up to 15% on general liability, workers’ compensation, builder’s risk, and commercial auto.

How do I file a claim?

Most claims are filed directly with insurance carriers.  Our Leif experts are always available to assist you when an incident happens. Call us, text us, drop us a chat online. Just get in touch, and we’ll take care of it.

How can you help with my claims?

Our dedicated claims consultants are by your side to help with any claims that come up. Get in touch with us ASAP, and we’ll advocate for you until the claim is closed.

What kind of support and resources does Leif offer to its clients?

We’re committed to providing our clients with timely, hands-on risk management support. We offer all the traditional services you’d expect from your agency, like exposure analysis, OSHA compliance support, and audit assistance. Then, we layer on our Real-Time Risk Management™ approach, using technology to identify inherent risks and provide actionable information to promote safety in real-time. Finally, our Real-Time Service promise means lightning-fast responses, after-hours claims consultations, and same-day bonds and COIs. Our mission is to be a true partner to help you make the best decisions for your business.