Have you wanted to renovate your cramped, outdated kitchen for ages?
Has it taken a long time to get the funds together and find the right time to get it sorted? If so, you might be impatiently asking your friends and co-workers if they know a contractor that can get the work.
Does this sound like you, then hang on just a minute. Did you know that you need to make sure your contractor is insured in Miami? Some homeowners brag about their success in finding a great local contractor that genuinely did fantastic work on their property – but that’s not always the case.
An Uninsured Contractor Could Cause Irreparable Damage.
Things could have gone differently… terribly so if your contractor wasn’t insured and the odds just weren’t in your favor.
That’s why there are so many television shows highlighting the damage botched jobs, and shady contractors do. But, you can avoid such a situation by making sure your contractor is reputable and fully insured.
Difference Between Bonding and Insurance
Most contractors advertise themselves as “bonded and insured.”
But what, exactly, does that mean?
A surety bond means that you’re protected if the contractor quits halfway or if he ends up doing unprofessional, shoddy work. This bonding guarantees that you won’t have to use your own cash or homeowner’s insurance to cover the bill.
Contractor’s insurance, on the other hand, protects you against both damages and lawsuits. If, during the renovation, your home is somehow damaged, you (or your insurer) won’t be responsible for covering the repairs. Also, if one of the contractor’s employees injures themselves on the job, you won’t be liable.
What Kind/How Much Insurance?
Going the extra mile to make sure your contractor is insured in ‘market_city] is just the first step. You also need to double-check that the contractor has adequate coverage and the right insurance.
Would the contractor’s insurance cover significant damage?
For instance, if you live in a $300,000 home but your contractor’s insurance only covers $50,000 in damages, then you should keep looking.
It’s also vital that your contractor carries general contractor liability insurance comprising the following levels of coverage:
- Liability Insurance: covers injury to you and your family. Plus, it protects you against potential lawsuits.
- Workman’s Comp: protects the contractor’s employees in the event of injury. Just remember this is not required across every state for smaller contractors, so you’ll need to double-check directly with the contractor.
- Property Damage: covers any damage done to your property.
Steps You Need to Take
How do you know for sure your contractor is insured in Miami?
There are several key steps you can take that will lower your risk and ensure you’ve chosen a reputable, fully insured contractor.
- Look up the contractor on Better Business Bureau
- Check references and talk to previous customers
- Hold a formal in-depth meeting before signing anything
- Ask to see insurance and bonding documents upfront
- Get everything in writing. Absolutely everything. Specific details of the work needed, project milestones, payment schedule, completion date, contingency clauses, and so on.
How Does Your Contractor Deal With Subcontractors?
Suppose your remodel project involves adding an extension to your home. In that situation, the general contractor will most likely hire subcontractors to do the framing and bricklaying. But how do you know if the subcontractors are insured?
Subcontractors can get brought in on a cash basis. It’s not an uncommon occurrence. Worst of all, there’s no record of their employment by the general contractor, and as a result, they aren’t covered by the contractor’s insurance (or bonding) should there be an issue.
So, on top of investigating your contractor’s insurance status, we also advise that you find out how they handle subcontractors. There’s no sense in hiring a fully insured reputable firm if they plan to outsource the work to cash-in-hand day laborers.
Double checking that your contractor is insured in Miami is crucial if you’re planning to pay someone to carry out major renovations on your home. Fortunately, local real estate professionals can also help recommend a reputable contractor or potentially verify a firm’s reputation.