Let’s say you’re looking to hire a contractor to put an addition on your home. You’ve done the research and chosen the best contractor you can find. He has an excellent reputation … he just doesn’t have insurance.
What could go wrong, right? Well, as it turns out, plenty.
The contractor you hire takes a nasty fall while working with power equipment, and the result is his hospitalization and numerous surgeries. Not only is your work halted, but the contractor and his family are beginning to ask you questions about your insurance coverage as the owner of the home on which the accident occurred.
Is this your responsibility? It may be.
Reducing Risk by Ensuring Comprehensive Insurance
When we talk about ensuring comprehensive insurance, we’re not talking about your insurance. We’re talking about the insurance that your contractor should have.
In other words, whenever you hire a contractor to do any type of work in your home — from landscaping or additions to putting up drywall or a new roof — the contractor should have full insurance should an accident occur on the job.
This is to protect you from a situation like the one above.
Not sure what insurance a contractor needs to have? That’s where we come in.
We’ve created a list of the top four types of insurance contractors generally have and generally should have:
Workers Compensation Insurance
Workers Insurance is required by the government in every state, but which employers are required to provide their employees with workers compensation insurance will vary.
Essentially, this type of insurance provides lost wages and medical expenses for those employees who are injured while they’re working. The caveat comes when you realize that many contractors are self-employed, sole proprietors, or business owners with less than three employees. These individuals are often not required to provide workers compensation insurance. In the state of Wisconsin, you’ll note that this is the case, so always ask if a contractor employer has this form of insurance.
Commercial General Liability Insurance
The good news is that many employers in Wisconsin who do not have workers compensation insurance for their employees will have commercial general liability insurance. Like workers comp, this form of coverage takes care of personal injury accidents that may occur to workers on-the-job, and it also covers property damage that results from the employer’s operations.
Commercial Auto Insurance & Builders Risk Insurance
Commercial auto coverage is just like personal auto coverage, but it applies to work vehicles or driving for work situations.
Lastly, builders risk insurance covers the contractor’s materials, tools, fixtures, and other equipment as well as the property being worked on. This type of insurance generally covers only the property being worked on and materials for only the duration of the project.
Have You Asked for a Certificate of Insurance?
Once you get verification from your contractor that they have insurance, it’s imperative that you ask for a document called a certificate of insurance. This is a document that will be given to the insured by the insurer. It verifies the claimed insurance and lists the dates that the insurance is valid for.
Find the Right Contractor With Gutman Insurance
Gutman Insurance in Manitowoc, WI can help you find the right contractor to provide home renovations. Simply show us the contractors you’re considering, and we’ll make sure the insurance coverage they claim to have is fully protective in the event of an accident.
We’d also be happy to take a look at your homeowners policy. New renovations to any home require additional coverage, which many homeowners don’t realize. We can update your policy to reflect the changes you’ve made to your home.
With the right insurance company and the right contractor, your home renovations will come together nicely, and you can rest easy that you are fully protected. Call or stop by Gutman Insurance today to find out more.