The results of this month's Reader Panel survey show some encouraging trends in the industry with regard to liability insurance: 96% of respondents reported carrying some type of commercial liability insurance. Among these, virtually all reported carrying a general liability policy.

But far fewer are taking the proper steps to plug potential holes in their liability coverage. Fewer than half of those with a general liability policy also carry umbrella liability to insure against losses above their policy's per occurrence or aggregate limit. And only about a quarter carry inland marine insurance (coverage for jobsite equipment) or builder's risk (which insures property under construction).

The median total spent by respondents on insurance premiums this year was $10,000, a surprisingly manageable expense for most remodelers.

Only 19% of respondents reported ever filing a liability claim with their insurance carrier, which is fortunate, considering that 52% also reported reading no more than a few pages of their policies.

For more information on how to ensure that your company's liability policy is complete, see "Are You Covered?" from the January issue of REMODELING. To see a breakdown of liability insurance policies by cost, go to "Add It Up", available exclusively at REMODELING Online.

"There was a fire in a home we were remodeling and they told us that the facts surrounding the fire made it seem like [we hadn't been negligent], so we weren't covered. It cost us about $3,000 in the end." —Alan Hanbury Jr., House of Hanbury, Newington, Conn.

"[We had] a partially installed window knocked out during high winds." —Kimber Janney, Kiva Construction, Colorado Springs, Colo.

"An appliance was damaged during construction. We replaced the appliance because it was more expeditious than claim submission." —Ken Spears, Ken Spears Construction, Shabbona, Ill.

Tool Winner: Anthony Pacifico of Pacifico Carpentry & Co., in Dunmore, Pa., won a Bosch 3915 10-inch slide compound miter saw for participating in this month's Reader Panel. Each month, survey respondents are entered into a drawing for a power tool. The Reader Panel survey is conducted for REMODELING by Specpan, a division of The Farnsworth Group.