How Contractors Without Insurance Can Cost You

Written By: Michael Dollar

Date: May 25, 2016

Thinking of hiring a contractor to help with a home remodeling or landscaping project? If you’ve ever watched a home improvement show on TV, you know things can easily go off track. In fact, you can pretty much expect the unexpected to happen. Some people believe the four most expensive words in the English language are “While you’re at it…” But the four you should definitely remember are “Get it in writing.”


Make sure that any contractor you hire has general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. It not only helps to protect you and your interests, but it also assures that you’re working with a reliable and reputable professional.



Ask for this paperwork:

  • A copy of their contractor’s license and/or bond
  • An up-to- date certificate of insurance for general liability and workers’ compensation coverage
  • A list of references
  • A quote that breaks down material and labor costs, as well as a projected timeline and payment schedule


Here’s why


When anyone performs work on your premises, there are risks involved. If they get hurt or damage property and thy aren’t insured, the bill comes to you. So don’t feel bad about asking. Your first priority is to make sure everyone is safe and protected.


What’s the difference between general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance? General liability insurance safeguards the property and equipment. (On a side note, make sure the contractor uses his own equipment. If he claims your faulty ladder is what caused him to fall, it could lead to an insurance battle or lawsuit.) Workers’ comp insurance is the policy that covers the contractor or his employees who suffer work-related injuries.


If a contractor damages your – or even your neighbor’s – tree, home, car or landscaping while working for you, a general liability insurance certificate would protect you from being held responsible. Or, if the contractor is injured while on your property, you would not be held responsible for his or her medical bills, regardless of whose fault it was.


Is it enough if a contractor tells you that he is bonded? There is still a difference between being bonded and being insured. Bonding protects you if the contractor fails to finish the job or fails to pay for supplies, permits or subcontractors. The bond, which is issued by a third party, can reimburse you for needed repairs.


It’s also a good idea to talk to a Hutchinson Traylor agent about your home improvement project. We can make sure your home insurance is updated, just in case the unexpected happens. We can also provide a list of contractors in your area who carry the necessary forms of insurance. With offices in LaGrange, Columbus and Moultrie, Hutchinson Traylor always has you covered with comprehensive personal and commercial insurance coverage.


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