When you hire a contractor to do a job around your house, you always take on a risk. For example, imagine that you have hired a contractor to fix your leaky roof. One of the contractor’s employees slips while removing old shingles, falls off the roof and injures his spine, becoming permanently disabled. At this point, one of your primary concerns will be to determine whether you are required to pay for this worker’s injuries or whether an insurance company will cover the expenses for you.
Are Homeowners Ever Liable?
At first glance, it may seem like the homeowner should not be held responsible for any injury to a contractor working on the property. However, whether you have hired a contractor to install drywall, put an addition on your home or install a new HVAC system, it is possible to be liable for any injuries that occur if you don’t choose your contractor carefully.
Many contractors do not carry insurance to protect themselves in the event of an accident, especially if they are classified as an “independent contractor.” Laws that require insurance coverage may not apply in these cases, and the contractor may avoid purchasing insurance on their own to save money. In such cases, the homeowner can potentially end up on the hook for the cost of an injury.
What Type of Coverage Should Contractors Have?
The type of coverage of contractor should carry depends on the size of the business, the requirements of the state and other factors. Some of the types of insurance that may be required and/or recommended may include builders’ risk insurance, commercial auto insurance, and commercial general liability. In many cases, contractors are also required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Choosing the Right Contractor
In order to protect yourself from claims, you need to be careful when selecting a contractor. To find the best contractor for the job, begin by asking around for referrals from friends. It is also a good idea to read online reviews of different contractors to learn more about the quality of their work and customer service. Before you hire any contractor, ask the contractor to provide a Certificate of Insurance so you can be sure you will be protected in the event of an accident.
Verifying Insurance Coverage
When you are planning to hire a contractor to complete any home improvement project; contacting a reputable insurance agent before you begin the project is always recommended. Not only can a reputable insurance agent help you verify that the contractor has the right type of coverage, but the agent can also make sure your homeowners’ insurance policy reflects the improvements you have made. Contact Heinen Insurance today to learn more or discuss your coverage needs in detail.