If you need the help of a handyperson or a professional contractor, before you hire anyone you should be aware of the practical and legal issues that may occur.
Are you licensed?
Each contractor who comes onto your property should have a valid license. Take the time to ask to see the license and inspect it closely checking the expiration dates for some expire yearly.
Do you carry General Liability Insurance?
It is also your right as a homeowner to demand that your contractor carry valid insurance. General liability insurance protects YOUR home from damages or negligence of the contractor, his employees or sub-contractors that are hired through the company. Anyone can say they are insured, so check the copy of the insurance certificate and the expiration dates.
Do you carry Workers Compensation Insurance?
This insurance not only protects the workers, but it also protects YOU from liability if a worker is injured while on your property. Be aware that if a contractor does NOT carry workers’ compensation coverage, you will be liable for any injuries suffered by the contractor or any of the employees that are on your property. Most state laws, especially Massachusetts, do require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover their workers, but not all do. However, in a case where a contractor is a one-man operation, he can be exempt from having to carry workers’ compensation insurance. But, no matter what the situation is, this is very risky without the insurance for you may be responsible to pay any medical bills if someone is hurt on your property.
Who should you hire?
Do some preliminary research about the qualifications you are looking for. A few good options are:
1) Hire a company – they will have a qualified staff and will be responsible for paying for and insuring their workers.
2) Hire a worker through an agency – when looking for a skilled professional, hiring them through an agency should assure that their qualifications have been scrutinized as well as having the proper insurance coverage.
3) Hire an individual – this will require some research on your part to be sure that the individual is qualified for the work he/she was hired for. Also, it will be your responsibility to make sure the same individual is insured to work on your property.
Please note that in the event of an accident on your property, your Homeowners Insurance may extend coverage to those you’ve hired. However, you do need to check with your agent to discuss the details of your policy before you do.
Here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency our goal is to try to help our viewers by suggesting solutions for all insurance needs. By no means can we address each reader’s specific concerns in every incident. So, we strongly advise to check with an insurance representative to address your specific needs. However, you can also contact us for any questions or concerns and we will be happy to help you. We are able to offer a complete line of personal & commercial insurance products for all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Come visit us at www.donmedeirosinsurance.com or give us a call at 508-678-1271. We look forward to hearing from you! If you have a Facebook account, fan us at http://www.facebook.com/donmedeiros.
Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Website
Filed Under: How to Protect Yourself | Tagged With: contractors, general liability insurance, handyman, homeowners insurance, insurance, workers' compensation insurance