When your construction or infrastructure project calls for the sheer lifting power of a crane, you must choose between renting a piece of equipment outright or hiring a crane service to handle all the hard work on your behalf. The insurance costs and protections offered by rental and service companies can vary greatly, so it's essential to include these considerations before making a choice. Find out which type of crane hire best fits your project's budget and needs to prepare to make the right choice.
In general, crane rental companies do not extend any kind of insurance policies to renters as an automatic part of leasing. Some rental companies sell supplemental insurance that is optional, but there's no guarantee that these policies are a good deal when compared to what a contractor or engineer can find on their own. In contrast, most crane services handling full-service contracts include plenty of insurance coverage in their quotes. This is because they're handling every aspect of the crane work from transporting the equipment to providing the skilled operators.
Since most crane rental companies aren't providing insurance to protect the renters from damages or lawsuits, they usually limit their liability officially by including an indemnity clause in the paperwork the renter must sign. Crane rental companies can still be held responsible for gross negligence issues like complete failure to maintain the equipment, but almost all causes of damage or injury are passed on to the renter's liability. Crane services rarely include these kind of blanket clauses in their contracts because they're offering partial or full insurance coverage, so liability must be negotiated differently in case of an accident. Services tend to focus on mediation and negligence rather than routinely rejecting all claims for insurance compensation.
It's essential to take out a private insurance policy when renting a crane for construction use, but it's not necessary when using a crane service that offers a full insurance package. Take this into consideration when comparing the quotes offered by the two types of businesses. Crane services usually charge more than crane rental companies, but they're offering a lot more for that price. Don't forget to get quotes for independent insurance coverage and add those figures to the quotes for equipment rentals before deciding that it's truly the less expensive option. Crane services can leverage their licensing, training programs, and years of experience to negotiate much lower rates from their insurance partners, so the overall cost may be lower in the end.
Finally, don't forget to factor in how the operator of the crane affects the cost and amount of insurance. Operators can be injured in the daily operation of the crane, so you must have worker's compensation insurance that specifically covers the injuries they're likely to face. If the operator is being provided by the crane service, they're most likely covered by their employer's worker's compensation plan instead. There's also no need to deal with the paperwork for hiring an independent contractor or new employee just to gain access to the skilled labor and experience you need to complete a crucial part of your project.
If you're trying to save money by renting a crane without an operator, consider the federal and state regulations regarding qualifications to operate cranes. Hiring unqualified workers could cost you a lot more in the long run due to worker injuries and equipment damage, especially if you don't have enough private insurance to cover all the costs. You can't simply ask a sub-contractor to operate a multi-ton crane they're unfamiliar with and expect good results.
For more information, contact a local crane service near you, like Winslow Crane Service Co.