There’s many benefits to asking for a contractor’s insurance prior to any work being completed, but the one that can prove most vital is in the case where damage to your occurs due to contractor error. Recently, a customer called us with an emergency water damage job caused by a contractor who drove a screw through a water line accidentally. The water damage was extensive since the leak originated on the third floor and made it’s way to the basement flooding inside the wall cavity. After we spent several hours cutting open walls, cleaning up water and setting equipment to structurally dry the home, the invoice was over three thousand dollars, and this doesn’t include rebuilding the demoed walls. The contractor who caused the water damage, said he wasn’t going to pay the home owner because they didn’t allow him to fix the problem. This response is wrong on so many levels since the contractor isn’t certified in water damage restoration or mold remediation. He also refused to give his insurance info to the home owner who was then forced to call her insurance and a lawyer. Much of this could have been avoided is she had proof of insurance from the contractor who caused the damage, because she could have just called and filed a claim. So here’s a few insurance points to remember to help you prior to hiring a contractor:
- Ask for proof of insurance. Get the certificate rather than just allowing them to tell you they’re insured.
- Call the carrier and make sure the policy is up to date.
- Ask the carrier if they are covered for the work being performed on your home and detail what is getting done.
- Ask the limitations on the policy and what may not be covered.
Taking a few moments to do this can save you thousands of dollars, weeks or months of battling and the headache that comes with hiring uninsured or ill-equipped contractors.