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  • John Esposito

Why spend more on a professional when that handy guy down the street can do the job cheaper?

Hiring a contractor will require that you take some special considerations. One of those is that the contractor you choose is licensed to do the work that you need done. Another is that you make certain they are insured. Why is insurance so important? Actually, there are quite a few reasons that you want to hire an insured contractor, all of which will play a central role in your hiring decision.

Insurance Equates to Professionalism

You would never expect a doctor or lawyer to go uninsured, so why should you consider a contractor who lacks insurance? Having trade insurance is a sign that the contractor is a professional, and that their business is more than just a side project or hobby. Amateur contractors may be fine for small tasks, but more than likely they are not true professionals. If you want the best results for your project, then you certainly want to make sure that the people you hire are actually dedicated to their career.

Insurance Protects You

Another reason that you want to see proof of insurance is for your own protection. For instance, if a contractor has a worker who is injured on your job, but does not carry insurance, you are liable for that worker’s injuries and medical treatment. In addition, if an uninsured contractor causes damage to your home, you will be stuck with the bill in most cases. Finally, if that uninsured contractor manages to cause damage to your neighbor’s property (dropping a ladder through a window, for instance), you will be the one paying for repairs to your neighbor’s home.

Don’t Fall for Lower Prices

Comparing price quotes from different contractors is an important part of getting the best deal on your project. However, price should not be your only guide. You will often find that uninsured contractors bid far lower than any other professionals. This can make them seem very appealing. However, before you accept that bid, make sure that you ask to see a copy of their license and insurance, or you could be making a very big mistake.

Ask for Proof

As mentioned, you need to ask for proof of insurance. When viewing the contractor’s insurance certificate, make sure that his or her name actually appears on the card. You should also make sure that the dates on the card are current – lapsed insurance is no protection to you at all.

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