Imagine for a moment that you need to find a local contractor in Big Bend to do some work on your roof. The choice is between two contractors: One whose price is best but who don’t have insurance and one who offers insurance but who is slightly more expensive. You choose the former.
The contractor and his workers are doing an excellent job, but on the last day, one of the worker slips and falls while climbing a ladder. The injuries he sustains cause him to need surgery. Still, he is disabled as a result of the fall.
In a situation like this one — and in every situation where you need to hire a contractor for home services — you should always go with a contractor who is insured. Otherwise, an accident like the one described above may actually result in you being liable for things like medical expenses and lost wages.
What to Look for When Hiring an Insured Contractor
In this article, we’ll help you understand what insurance is necessary for contractors when you need work done in your home. Most of the time, we advise you to look for one or all of the following types of contractors insurance:
1). General Liability Coverage
General liability coverage is available for a multitude of situations, and commercial services is one area where it is often used. Many businesses purchase general liability insurance, including contractors. In place of workers comp, for example, a contractor who is a sole proprietor may purchase general liability. The coverage will protect the business owner in the event of a medical accident or damage to property — the contractors or the homeowners.
2). Workers Compensation
The second type of insurance your contractor may have is workers compensation. Required by law, workers compensation takes care of workers if they are injured on the job. For example, if a worker falls and is disabled, workers comp will pay for the individual’s lost wages and medical expenses.
States mandate which employers are required to provide workers comp insurance for their employees. You’ll notice that in the state of Wisconsin, many contractors will not have workers comp insurance. This is often because they are sole proprietors. In these cases, the government does not require workers comp. But if a business has employees, it is generally required to carry this coverage.
3). Builders Risk Coverage
Builders risk coverage will protect contractors and builders if home property or building materials are damaged during construction. These policies generally cover a specific locality for a specific duration of time.
4). Commercial Auto Coverage
Commercial auto coverage is just like personal auto coverage, but it can only be used in business settings. A contractor who gets into a car accident while working but driving their personal vehicle cannot make a claim with their personal auto insurance plan. They can only make a claim with a business auto insurance policy, which is why many builders need to purchase this extra coverage — to protect them while driving on the job.
Get Documentation to Prove Insurance
Always ask for a certificate of insurance when a contractor says they are covered. This will provide documented proof that the insurance is indeed paid for and current. A certificate of insurance is provided by the insurance company directly.
Make the Right Decision With Your Insurance Company
Smith Insurance and Financial Services can help you make sure you’re covered and protected if you plan on hiring a Big Bend area contractor to do work in your home. We’ll examine the contractor’s insurance and make sure it’s valid and comprehensive.
We can also take a look at your homeowners plan to make sure it covers your new renovations. Call us today or stop by at your convenience and one of our knowledgeable agents would be happy to help you!