Whether you are a contractor yourself or you are in the process of hiring a general or independent contractor for a project, you must be prepared for any accidents or injuries that may happen on the work site. It is therefore advisable that all contractors have their own insurance policies which protect them against all the risks that each different job may bring.
Insurance companies cover various areas of damages so that you can consider getting one of the following policies:
- Tools and equipment insurance – this applies to tools valued above $1,000 and it is important that you check this with your insurance company to make sure your equipment is covered in case of damage.
- Structural damage or Builders Risk insurance – this is one of the most common policies for any damage a contractor may cause while working on construction project. The policy guarantees that the insurance company will pay to fix or replace the damaged items.
- Insurance in case of injury – this is important as most injuries happen accidentally either to employees or other people in which case the insurance company pays for any legal costs and for medical expenses.
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance – useful in cases of injury when the policy covers medical costs and lost wages.
When hiring a contractor it is always a good idea to check all documents regarding the company and the contractor, especially the insurance policy and its validity. Here are some more tips on what to look for in a policy if you are working as a contractor or you are to hire one:
- Check the contractor’s work history and look for any unresolved legal disputes or misbehavior in the past. You need to feel safe in your own home so check references as well.
- Ask for insurance certificate and check its validity with the agents listed on it.
- Keep in mind that short term policies are not available and that they are all on annual basis.
- If working with subcontractors always make sure they have their own policies.
- Liability insurance – this is important for contractors as they must know the risks their own trade brings in which cases general liability covers only what is not excluded on your list.
- General contractor must carry contractor’s insurance and is responsible for the well-being of the employes who must have their own worker’s compensation policies.