The best way to avoid any complications is conducting thorough research on the experts you are hiring. Make sure you go with someone with a solid reputation on the field and check their credentials.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy covers a range of possible liabilities, from a neighbor who falls in your driveway to a package delivery person who slips on your icy steps. However, it rarely covers contractors performing work on your home. Contractors are typically covered by their own policies.
When an uninsured contractor is injured on your property, the situation can be a bit tricky. In most cases, the property owner has to cover damages. To lower the risk of hiring an uninsured or underinsured contractor hire a reputable expert.
You are on the Hook for Damages
The bad news is that if an uninsured contractor gets hurt on your property, you’re probably on the hook for the damages. When a contractor does not carry the right amount of liability or worker’s compensation insurance on his subcontractors, the homeowner may be on the hook for the actual damages.
Depending on the extent of the injuries, you could possibly be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars. Hiring a reputable insured contractor – who also insures their subcontractors – is the best way to avoid liability when having work performed on your home.
If an uninsured or underinsured contractor was injured on your property, seek legal representation as soon as possible. Look for workers’ compensation attorneys serving Greenville, SC who have handled many cases for homeowners who have dealt with this issue.
If you are facing the potential loss of your hard-earned money due to an unlicensed contractor, you need the right team to represent you. Workers’ compensation lawyers are experts in this field and will know how to turn a case to your advantage. They can work with you, the insurance companies, and the contracting company to reach a fair settlement.
Hiring Unlicensed and Uninsured Contractors
Many homeowners attempt to save money by hiring independent contractors to do jobs at a fraction of the price of the larger contractors. While these independent workers may save you money in the short term by installing your cabinets for $400 instead of $1,400, the risks far outweigh the benefits when it comes to having them perform work on your property. According to the Occupational Safety Hazard Association (OSHA), construction-related deaths are on the rise, and a whopping 21 percent of worker fatalities are in the construction industry.
If your contractors will be working with heavy equipment such as backhoes, cranes, and wenches, you are playing with fire if they are uninsured. Even seemingly easy jobs like installing bathroom fixtures can lead to disfiguring injuries that you will have to cover if they don’t have adequate insurance.
In any given year, one in ten contractors will be injured on the job. If you have a team working at your home, there is a high likelihood that at least one of them will be hurt. When the team is insured, and someone is hurt, their insurance typically covers:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Private nursing care
When they have no insurance, you will be responsible for handling these costs for each injured person.
How to Protect Yourself From Uninsured Contractors
There are ways to protect your property when you hire a team to do work. These include:
- Asking for proof of insurance
- Checking to ensure that the insurance policies are current
- Confirming that the licenses are still current
- Confirming that each contractor carries adequate insurance for every sub-contractor
One red flag to watch out for is contractors who submit a significantly lower bid than competitors. Worker’s compensation and liability insurance are somewhat costly for contractors. Therefore, firms with adequate insurance typically charge higher prices to cover these costs. When you receive a bid from a contractor whose prices are drastically lower, it is likely because they are skimping on insurance for their workers. It pays to spend more for the protection that you enjoy when your team of workers are all adequately insured and licensed.
The best way to avoid any complications is conducting thorough research on the experts you are hiring. Make sure you go with someone with a solid reputation on the field and check their credentials. If an uninsured or underinsured contractor does get injured on your property, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer. A legal expert can review your case and can go over your options.