Don’t Fall Victim to the Uninsured

Such an exciting moment, you are finally ready to start that renovation project.  First up, will you be working with a Contractor who will be responsible for the project, or will you  be taking on that responsibility for each trade yourself?  This first decision is a big one.  

It is easy to assume one can manage a minor renovation project, but it can be more involved that simply picking out new material and letting people in to do the work.  If you chose not to hire an experienced, licensed Contractor to handle your project, you become solely responsible.  Even for the things you don’t know about!

One of the most important aspects is ensuring that every trade who steps foot onto your property carries General Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance.  Many trades will tell you that they are insured, whether they are or not, simply because they know that the vast majority of Homeowners will never ask them to prove it.  Ensuring you only work with properly insured companies is vitally important.  Anyone who comes onto your property without proper insurance and then causes damage, or suffers an injury in the course of working on your project, you become solely responsible and liable.

Companies must be able to provide you with a valid Certificate of Insurance (COI)  that confirms the types of insurances they carry.  However, even if you receive a Certificate of Insurance, do you know how to read it and understand what each section must include?  Do you know how to spot a fraudulent Certificate of Insurance?  YES, companies provide fraudulent certificates!

What if you are provided with a “Workers’ Compensation Exemption“?  Do you understand that an exemption applies ONLY to the person whose name appears on the exemption certificate?  That if anyone other than the exempt person shows up to perform work, you are agreeing to take full responsibility for those individuals the moment you permit them to perform the work.  Additionally, most Homeowner Liability Insurance policies do not cover claims arising from unlicensed or uninsured workers, which means you could be on the hook personally.  That is a HUGE RISK!  Are you willing to take that risk?

Even some Contractors will lull you into a false sense of security by providing you with a copy of their Certificate of Insurance, but then use less expensive uninsured subcontractors in order to put more profit in their pockets.

I leave you with one last questions…  Do you think the attorney for the injured party will offer leniency because you didn’t know how to perform due diligence?

Working with LotzCo, Inc. ensures you will have experience on your side and your best interest protected.