Let’s say you’ve hired a roofing company from the Twin Cities to install a new roof on your home. All’s going well until one of the roofers accidentally slips on a shingle and falls. His injuries require surgery and a lengthy recovery.
In this example, do you know if you as the homeowner would be liable for the worker’s fall? Do you know if the roofers had their own insurance? Or if you have insurance to cover the medical expenses and lost wages this worker will incur?
Questions like these abound when it comes to on-the-job contractor accidents in residential areas. For this reason, it’s recommended that all homeowners make sure to protect themselves by only hiring contractors who have insurance.
Still, understanding what insurance contractors should have and how much can be tricky. Below, we’ll outline what you should look for in contractors’ insurance when you need work done on your home in Blaine.
Asking Contractors if They Have Insurance
The question of insurance should be asked right away when interviewing contractors to do work in your home. Never hesitate to ask. Contractors should know that they need insurance. It’s the best way to protect against catastrophic accidents that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars or more out of pocket.
When a contractor replies that they do have insurance, your follow-up question should be about getting a copy of their certificate of insurance. A certificate of insurance is a document provided by the insurance company to certify that someone is indeed insured. Take a close look at this document to make sure that the dates match up to the dates when you’ll need work on your home.
Contractors generally have certificates of insurance for the following types of insurance.
Workers Compensation Coverage
Workers compensation insurance is something that many businesses and employers have for their employees. Even in industries that are typically quite safe and free of accidents (like offices or teaching positions), workers compensation or “workers comp” is generally required by the government.
It’s important to note, however, that each state will have different laws regarding workers compensation insurance. Let’s take a look at the state of Minnesota.
In Minnesota, all employers need to have workers compensation insurance for all of their employees. There are some exceptions, however: Often, managers of LLCs and sole proprietors can be exempt from needing workers compensation. Furthermore, sometimes, if employees are relatives or officers of closely held corporations, these do not count as employees requiring workers comp coverage.
Other General Commercial Insurance
The contractors you interview may also have several other types of insurance.
First, there’s commercial general liability, which is insurance that covers a business for property damage and/or personal injuries caused by the operations of the business. For example, if a worker accidentally broke a window while doing drywall in your home, if they had commercial general liability coverage, it would kick in to replace the window.
Other contractors insurance includes both commercial auto and builders risk insurance.
Commercial auto coverage protects business employees while they are driving on the job. It’s similar to personal auto coverage, but for business purposes.
Lastly, builders risk insurance covers contractors with property damage insurance for the particular property they are working on.
Count On the Right Insurance Agency in Blaine
Patriot Insurance in Blaine, MN is happy to help you find a contractor who has substantial and adequate insurance to cover themselves in the event of an accident on your property. That way, you’re never held liable for damages.
Talk to one of our agents today by stopping in or giving us a call.