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What Is Forklift Insurance?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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Forklift insurance is a specialty insurance product that provides coverage for forklifts, their operators, and liability associated with the use of a forklift on a job site like a warehouse or construction site. Companies that use forklifts may want to consider this product for additional liability coverage. Many insurance companies offer it or can refer their clients to an underwriter who can generate a policy for this purpose. Costs vary and usually depend on the type of lifts used, how heavily utilized they are, and other factors like the types of job sites where the company has forklifts in place.

Like other heavy equipment, a forklift can be dangerous. Operators and forklifts do not have to carry insurance and many general liability policies provide basic coverage, but additional insurance may be beneficial. Companies can often cut costs on their insurance by using certified forklift operators and instituting some basic safety procedures to improve conditions on the job. These measures should help reduce the chance of accidents.

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If forklifts are in use, the company should check to see if they are covered or excluded under the general liability insurance policy, and how much coverage is available through that policy if it does extend to forklifts and their operators. If the coverage doesn't meet the need, the company can purchase a separate forklift insurance policy or request a rider for an existing policy. It may be less expensive to buy a forklift insurance rider, as the company can get it as part of a package deal with a larger policy.

The forklift insurance should provide coverage for losses of property and profits. This includes coverage for damages caused by an improperly operated forklift as well as loss or damage to the forklift itself. The policy may also provide liability coverage for the operator. In the event someone sues for damages in the wake of a forklift accident, the insurance policy can assist with paying the costs of defense, as well as any damages awarded if the case goes badly in court.

Insurance companies that focus on construction and related industries are often a good resource for forklift insurance. They have experience in this area of operation and can assist customers with insurance on other types of heavy equipment like bulldozers and tractors if they are used on the job site as well. A reputable insurance agent should be able to provide advice about the best policy options and can make sure that customers avoid overinsurance, where they buy more insurance than they need or accidentally double up policies.

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