The contractor you hire to work on your home is their own business, right? And you have your homeowners’ insurance policy just in case. So what difference does it make if your contractor carries their own insurance? Do you know what would happen if your contractor’s ladder fell over and hit your neighbor in the head? Keep reading to find out why it’s important to make sure your contractor is insured to cover this and other scenarios.
Injuries to Others
When you hire someone to work on your home, you’re responsible for any harm they cause to other people. This includes both physical injuries and property damage. If your contractor drops something on a neighbor’s head or scratches their car, your neighbor has the right to make a claim against you, and their insurance company will likely recommend they go through you since it’s easier to get in touch with you.
If your contractor has liability insurance, the solution is easy. Let your own insurance company know what happened and then let the contractor know to get in touch with their insurance company. A reputable contractor who knows they have coverage will almost quickly work to make things right.
If your contractor is uninsured, you could end up on the hook to pay your neighbor. Your neighbor can choose who to sue, and it would be easier for them to sue you. Even though you’d have the right to turn around and sue the contractor, this doesn’t matter if they have no insurance and no money to pay you when you win. If your own insurance doesn’t cover the loss, you don’t want to make a claim that might increase your premiums, or your limits aren’t high enough, that’s money out of your own pocket.
Injuries to Contractors
You might think that safety is your contractor’s responsibility and if they got hurt, it would be their own fault. This will likely be true in most cases.
The problem is when your contractor falls off a ladder and has no health insurance to pay the hospital bills. They may try to sue you, and even if you win, you’ve still lost your time and maybe money to hire a lawyer.
Workers’ compensation coverage is designed to cover these types of situations and avoid lawsuits. However, Wisconsin only requires employers with three or more employees to buy coverage. This means many contractors don’t have to buy it. You should still make sure that any contractor has workers’ compensation or similar coverage to make sure anyone working on your property is protected.
Work With Your Insurance Agent
If you’re starting a major project on your home, give your insurance agent a call. Tell them that you’re worried about personal injury liability to neighbors, property damage, and contractors getting hurt. They’ll be able to help you identify any gaps in your own coverage and check to make sure whether your limits are high enough. They’ll also tell you what questions to ask your contractor and how to verify their coverage.
To get help, call Pagel & Associates Insurance Agency now. We serve Green Bay, WI, and the surrounding communities.