Imagine that a huge storm passes through Janesville, and it rips a large section of shingles off of your roof. Fortunately, you have homeowners insurance to pay for the repair. When filing a claim, your first step is to get an estimate or two from reputable roofers in your area. You interview two roofing contractors — one who has insurance and one who doesn’t.
The roofing contractor without insurance is slightly less expensive than the other, insured contractor, so you go with the uninsured roofer. Unfortunately, on the first day of the job, one of the roofers falls and breaks his leg and several ribs.
Because the contractor has no workers comp insurance or any other type of insurance, questions are being targeted toward you, the homeowner. Do you have homeowners insurance that covers worker injuries? What about liability insurance?
These situations happen more than you may think. It’s a sad truth that homeowners are often left holding the bill when contractors working in their home don’t have the proper insurance.
In this post, we’ll tell you how to make sure the contractors you hire for doing work in your home is properly insured. We’ll also go over exactly what types of insurance they should have to make sure you’re protected.
Ensuring Insurance With Home Contractors
The main thing you want to do when it comes to contractors and insurance is to get proof of their insurance coverage in writing. You can do this by obtaining a “certificate of insurance.”
A Certificate of Insurance can easily be obtained from your contractor’s insurance company. Once a contractor says something like, “I have workers comp insurance for my employees” you need to ask for a Certificates of Insurance to verify the coverage.
Look at the document closely to make sure the coverage dates align with the dates your home will be under construction.
What Types of Insurance to Look For
Contractors can have many different types of insurance. Most of them will have one or several of the following types of coverage:
- Commercial General Liability
This is the most common type of insurance for contractors. It provides coverage for personal injury accidents that may happen to workers on the job (lost wages and medical coverage), and it also provides coverage for property damage.
- Commercial Auto
This is just like personal auto insurance, but it applies to work vehicles or driving for work purposes.
- Builders Risk
This insurance covers a specific property during the period of construction. It covers building materials while they are waiting to be used as well.
- Workers Compensation
Lastly, workers compensation insurance is mandated by law and will vary from state to state. It provides lost wages and medical coverage for accidents that injure workers while they are working. You must check with your state laws to see if the contractors you hire will be required to have workers comp for their employees and/or themselves.
In the state of Wisconsin, most every employer is required to carry Workers Comp Insurance. However, LLC members, sole proprietors, and business owners with no employees are not required to provide coverage.
Your Insurance Company Should Work for You
If you are planning work on your home — anything from roofing or landscaping to new additions or the building of a barn — make sure to hire only contractors who are properly insured. At Gary Ellis Insurance, we are a reputable insurance agency that will work for you. We can help you ensure that the coverage your contractors have is adequate to keep you protected.
Also, let us update your homeowners insurance plan to verify it covers your renovations. Call us any time, or feel free to just stop by! We’re always here to help.