Imagine you’ve hired landscapers to redo your front lawn. Things are moving right along with their progress, but near the end of the project, one of the landscapers has an accident with their power tools and is permanently disabled.
What do you do in this situation as the homeowner?
Situations like these can create serious problems for homeowners, yet many don’t realize that it’s always a risk you take when hiring contractors and carpenters. The best course of action is to ensure that all of the contractors and home service workers you hire have adequate insurance.
In this article, we’ll outline what you need to know about hiring contractors and what insurance every contractor should have.
Getting Referrals and Reading Reviews
Any time you hire a contractor, make sure to do your research beforehand. Not all contractors offer the same features where insurance is concerned. In fact, many private contractors don’t have insurance at all. Therefore, if you think a contractor who has adequate insurance is a bit pricey, keep in mind that you’re paying for protection — and that’s worth a bundle.
What’s the best way to find a great contractor? Speak to friends, family, and neighbors about who they’ve worked with for home services like painting, landscaping, roofing, and building. If you don’t have any of these acquaintances in the area (and even if you do!), always make sure to read through online reviews. This will help you make a better overall decision on who you choose and save you time getting estimates from contractors who don’t have insurance.
Most Common Contractor Coverage
Now let’s discuss contractor coverage. How much and which type of insurance your contractors need to have will depend on where you live and what you plan on fixing, changing, or renovating your home.
Still, there are only select types of insurance available for contractors. Let’s focus on the main four that you should look for with any contractor:
- Workers Compensation
Workers compensation provides coverage for contractors while on they’re on the job. If they are injured while working, their medical benefits and replacement wages will be taken care of.
Most of the time workers compensation is mandatory, but keep in mind that in the state of Wisconsin, many independent contractors will be sole proprietors, which are exempt and not required to have workers comp coverage.
- Commercial Auto
Like a personal auto insurance policy, commercial auto insurance covers contractors when they’re driving on the job. Within this sphere, you have collision, comprehensive, liability, and many other sub-insurance categories.
- Builders Risk
Where a building is being constructed or worked on, builders risk insurance covers the building and the area — sometimes including the materials on-site — in case of an accident.
- Commercial General Liability
Finally, liability coverage will protect workers if they were to get into an accident or if something happens to your property while they’re working. Every contractor should have general liability coverage.
Requesting a Certificate of Insurance
One of the most important things to do when hiring a contractor is to ask for their certificate of insurance. This is a document that the contractor’s insurance company provides the contractor with. It outlines the coverage that they have as well as the time frame that the insurance will cover.
Choose the Right Insurance Agency, and You’ll Never Go Wrong
Anton Insurance can help you find the perfect insurance plan for your home coverage and more.
Whether you’re building additions, refurbishing interiors, or simply making small changes to the outer appearance of your home, Anton Insurance can make sure the contractors you choose are fully covered. We can also update your homeowner’s insurance to reflect your new renovations. Call us today or stop by to learn more.