Scale and Protect Your Heavy Construction Business During the Infrastructure Boom

Choosing an experienced insurance carrier with a dedicated risk management program can help you confidently tackle new heavy construction infrastructure projects.
March 10, 2022

America’s infrastructure is aging and in need of repair. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a water main breaks every two minutes somewhere along the 2.2 million miles of pipes that bring water to people across the country, and 43% of our more than 4 million miles of roadways are in poor or mediocre condition.

Government funding for road, bridge, waterway and sewer repair has fallen short of needs for decades. On its 2021 annual report card, the ASCE gave American infrastructure a C-minus.

Fortunately, the $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will fund heavy construction projects on the scale needed to reverse many of America’s infrastructure challenges. Contractors will soon see new projects to bid for, especially with respect to road, water and sewer construction and repair.

How Will Funds Flow to Contractors?

States, municipalities and the Department of Transportation will disburse most new infrastructure funds. Local governments also tend to award projects to construction businesses in their communities. With a $435-billion backlog of road repairs, and state and local governments funding about two-thirds of public spending in water infrastructure, contractors should prepare accordingly.

Get Your House in Order and Prepare Your Contracting Business

To prepare for new opportunities and help ensure that you are well-positioned to compete for and complete heavy construction projects, you must scale and protect four areas of your business:

Employers must introduce or emphasize proper training standards to ensure appropriate worker skill levels and safety procedures with appropriate monitoring to help prevent work-related injuries.

Heavy construction projects demand a lot from people and machinery, and work stoppages due to equipment failure can be devastating. Whether you invest in new tools and vehicles or make do with the ones you have, contractors must protect their equipment through regular inspections, maintenance and proper storage.

Project management software and communications devices have transformed the construction industry. New technologies are improving worker safety as well. Contractors who adopt these innovations may find new efficiencies plus new channels to help protect their business from risks and other exposures.

Business insurance is among your most valuable risk-mitigation tools. Your coverage options likely include general liability, auto, property, equipment and workers’ compensation. Adequate protection, however, is critical. Ask your agent to help you find the proper limits for each.

You may also need excess or umbrella policies that extend liability limits above your casualty policy limits before you can set foot on most jobsites. Specialized coverages can protect your business against loss from cyber-attacks, pollution or environmental events, or if you provide consulting services.

Since each project is unique, you should expect specific coverage requests from your hiring entity based on the nature of the project, such as increased liability limits.

Many public infrastructure projects will also have significant oversight and could require you to carry even more coverage than some private construction jobs. Talk to your independent insurance agent often about your overall insurance needs and the specific coverage requirements of each project.

Third parties, such as subcontractors, can help you take on projects beyond your current capacity. However, your business is liable for damages caused by your subcontractors—unless you transfer risk and legally place responsibility on them. Always ensure they carry adequate insurance coverage as well.

What Is the Selective Advantage?

Selective Insurance is not the only insurance carrier out there. However, we do offer unique advantages. Few carriers have served the construction industry as long as we have or write such an extensive commercial lines portfolio as we do today.

You’ll find our underwriters in towns around the country for the same reason that local governments prefer to hire contractors who live and work nearby: They know the communities in the area and can provide a personalized touch.

Your agent and your Selective underwriter will help you assess your risk-management program, refine policies and ensure coverage for new and complex heavy construction projects. They’ll also introduce you to Selective’s contractor-friendly value added services such as:

  • Safety Management—From digital safety assessments to local onsite experts, Selective’s Safety Management Team can help contractors assess various risks and adapt their safety programs to the ever-changing construction industry.
  • NT24—A 24/7 hotline staffed with registered nurses who can advise on the appropriate level of care for injured employees to help reduce workers’ comp claims resulting from unnecessary ER visits.
  • Contractual Risk Transfer Agreements—Selective can provide a specimen risk transfer agreement* to assist you and your subcontractors.
    *Consult with an attorney to determine how the specimen may apply under applicable law and to revise the specimen to satisfy your needs.
  • PaySync—Adjusts your premium installments to match the unique flow of your business.

The Bottom Line for Heavy Construction Contractors

The new infrastructure bill will open many opportunities for contractors, and preparing for them ahead of time will give their businesses a competitive advantage. Working with an experienced insurance carrier, independent agent and dedicated risk-management program can help you protect your business and confidently tackle new projects.

At Selective, our goal is to keep our heavy construction customers moving forward responsibly and consistently for the long haul. We partner with a network of leading independent insurance agents to deliver unique insurance solutions for your contractor business to fuel your growth this year and beyond.

Find a Local Independent Agent

About Selective Insurance Group, Inc.

Selective Insurance Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIGI) is a holding company for 10 property and casualty insurance companies rated "A+" (Superior) by AM Best. Through independent agents, the insurance companies offer standard and specialty insurance for commercial and personal risks and flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program's Write Your Own Program. Selective's unique position as both a leading insurance group and an employer of choice is recognized in a wide variety of awards and honors, including the Fortune 1000 and being named a Great Place to Work® in 2021. For more information about Selective, visit

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