Contracting is a tough business -- and so is arranging insurance and implementing effective risk management for specialized contractor classes. Bringing both underwriting and risk management expertise to the contractor table is Bituminous Insurance Cos of Rock Island, IL. Since the mid-1980s, Bituminous has moved from being a generalist to focusing on several carefully selected specialty niches. To gain insight into the Bituminous underwriting philosophy and strategy on contractor programs, they spoke with Dave Dupont, SVP of underwriting, and with underwriting VP, Chris Kruse, who is responsible for the builders program, and Jon Jeschke, who manages the utility contractors program. The company tries to base their pricing on the individual risk characteristics of each account, so their risk control function begins with a risk assessment in which they look at the contractor's safety practices and compare them to best practices for that particular industry.