Firestone Building Products Co. now offers affordable nationwide general liability and workers' compensation insurance.

INDIANAPOLIS-Addressing one of the largest overhead costs facing commercial roofing contractors, Firestone Building Products Co. now offers affordable nationwide general liability and workers' compensation insurance. The insurance is underwritten by a member company of American International Group Inc. (AIG) and reinsured by Inner Circle Insurance (ICI), a Bermuda-based captive insurance company backed by the financial stability of Firestone and its parent organization Bridgestone Firestone Diversified Products LLC.

Developed with the assistance of the risk management consultants of Hilb Rogal and Hobbs, Boston, this comprehensive insurance program will provide Firestone Master Contractors, who have achieved the Inner Circle of Quality Award, a competitive option when selecting insurance coverage.

Insurance costs on average consume between 7 to 13 percent of a roofing firm's gross revenue. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, contractor insurance premiums have endured double-digit rate increases while coverage and limits have decreased.

Coverage will be available exclusively to Firestone-licensed Master Contractors who earn the Inner Circle of Quality Award and meet the underwriting criteria, including an excellent historical safety record and claims history. Individual premiums will be based on each roofing firm's safety rating, reflecting the firm's emphasis on safety programs and quality control procedures.

In addition to affordable and stable insurance coverage, end-of-year incentives will be offered based on Firestone's Quality Incidence Rating (QIR) program. The QIR measures each Firestone-licensed contractor's quality performance based on warranty repair incidences per million square feet under warranty. Roofing contractors who achieve exceptional QIR scores will earn between 2 to 6 percent of their annual insurance premium. Incentive payments will be paid in equal installments over a three-year vesting period.

Payment flexibility is another benefit for insured contractors. ICI will offer an optional monthly payment schedule, allowing contractors to pay the annual insurance premium in 12 equal installments with a nominal interest charge.

Insured contractors will also have the option of participating in an annual safety conference. Sponsored by ICI, the conference will bring together industry leaders to discuss safety programs, ideas and best practices.