When contracting work for your home or business, it’s important to verify the credentials of the person or business that is being hired to do the work. Several factors should be considered before making your final hiring decision and insurance is one of the most important. Surprisingly, there are many businesses hired every day that are operating without insurance so it’s Buyer Beware and Be Smart!

The reason that insurance should rank near the top of your list is simple: If something goes wrong with the work that you contract to be done, it will be the contractor’s insurance that will provide you with the best hope for recovery of damages. If the contracted business doesn’t have insurance, you should consider:

  1. If they couldn’t afford insurance, how can they afford to pay for your damages or theft by their employees?
  2. If they cut costs by not purchasing insurance, they are putting you at risk.
  3. If they don’t have insurance, they are unfairly competing against more legitimate and responsible companies and doing so at your expense.

A qualified repair, service or janitorial business should be operating with an insurance policy that provides the following minimum recommended coverages:

  • General Liability including Products and Completed Operations
    • $1,000,000 per occurrence to cover loss due to personal injury or property damage
  • Workers Compensation if the work is being performed by an employee
  • Surety or Janitorial Bond to cover theft by employees

Ask for Proof and Never Assume

Always request a certificate of insurance direct from the contracted company’s insurance company or agent before signing a contract or agreement. Do not accept a certificate direct from the contracted company. Make sure that the certificate properly states the business name and business classification and that the classification corresponds with the work you are contracting to be done. For example, a plumber classification should not be contracted to install a new roof or build a deck. Request a new certificate if the job goes more than 30 days.

It’s your home or business, make sure it’s always protected and call your agent when in doubt.