Imagine you’re building an addition on your home and you hire a carpenter to complete the job. All’s going well until the carpenter has an accident with one of his tools and ends up requiring amputation and surgery.
The contractor was injured working on your home. So, what does this mean for you? Will your homeowner’s insurance cover the bills? What are your responsibilities here?
In this article, we’ll help you decipher what insurance you should ensure all contractors have when working in your home and answer your questions about responsibility where worker accidents and injuries are concerned.
Ensuring Coverage with Documents
First of all, it’s important to remember that not all contractors will have insurance, so it’s always a question you should ask. Furthermore, if a contractor says they have a specific type of insurance, always ask for a certificate of insurance to prove this.
A certificate of insurance is simply a document provided by the insurance company that denotes a specific type of insurance is in place for a specific duration of time. Make sure that the construction or remodeling you’re planning on will be within this time range when you examine the certificate.
Asking for a certificate of insurance is a completely legitimate request, and most contractors will be happy to oblige.
Contractor Coverage Options
When you ask whether a contractor has insurance, they may give you several terms that refer to different types of insurance. Generally speaking, all contractors will have one or several of these types of insurance:
Commercial General Liability
This is the big one. Make sure that your contractor has general liability insurance or “business liability insurance” as it is sometimes called.
This type of insurance will cover the contractor and their employees in the event of an on-the-job injury or damage to property. Let’s say a contractor accidentally makes a huge hole in a wall he’s not working on in your home. His general liability coverage should cover the expenses for the repairs. Similarly, if one of your contractor’s employees fell and was injured on the job, the contractor’s general liability coverage should kick in and cover this worker’s medical expenses.
Workers compensation is similar to general liability coverage; however, it only covers medical expenses and lost wages from injuries on the job. Furthermore, unlike general liability coverage, workers compensation is required by the government in most cases. Requirements vary from state to state.
In the state of Arizona, workers compensation is required for all businesses who regularly employ or hire at least one worker. This worker can be full-time, part-time, a family member, or other. Keep in mind, however, that coverage is not required for independent contractors or sole proprietors if they do not have employees.
Other Types of Insurance
You may find that your contractor has additional insurance as well. For example, they may have commercial auto coverage, which acts just like personal auto coverage but covers contractors while they’re driving on the job. Similarly, some contractors may have builders risk insurance, which covers the property they’re working on for the duration of the construction renovation.
Choose a Reputable Insurance Company
Mooney Insurance in Tucson, AZ is here to help you stay away from insurance conundrums with contractors. We understand the ins and outs of contractors insurance and can assist you in ensuring that the contractors you hire have adequate coverage for your protection.
We’ll also take a look at the renovations or construction you’re working on in your home and ensure that your homeowner’s insurance plan reflects these alterations. Contact us today by phone or stop in to learn more.