Will be having a contractor in to put up some new siding.
I remember reading quiote some time ago that it is a wise idea to protect
yourself with some kind of insurance in case the contractor doesn't pay his
workers and they file a lien against you, (as well as against the
contractor), which apparently they can do.
What kind of insurance am I thinking of ?
Is it something I get, or insist that the contractor have ?
What other insurance should I check to see that the contractor has ?
If he's not too thrilled about giving me the details on this, how can I
what, and if, he actually has ?
Get a copy of all required insurances. Insurance agencies give a
page, like your car's insurance card but bigger, summerizing the
protection covered. Then call the insurance agency and see that it is
inforce. Then call the exact day they start work, to make sure it is
The insurances I was would look for is:
1. General Liablity.
2. Workmen's Comp.
But then this is just me, I don't generally trust contracters. :D
It's called a "Performance or Surety Bond". You don't get one, it would be
supplied by the contractor. However, some municipalities require the
contractor to be bonded, the contractor pays their insurance company yearly
for these bonds. And, most governmently work requires a seperate bond when
work exceeds a certain amount of $, usually around 100k.
If your municipality does not require the contractor to be bonded, do
expect an additional amount of approx. $100.00 for a surety bond on your
project. This amount can of course vary.
You are confusing several different issues, all of which don't mean squat.
A contractor is required to be "bonded" which is another name for insurance
for them messing up. Usually, it is called a surety bond, in some cases a
performance bond. This is a % that the contractor pays for a bond that says
if he doesn't finish a job, there is a fund to pay the next guy to come in
and finish his work.
In an ideal world, these things flow like warm butter. In reality, it is
more like lava. You have to get it to the right temperature to flow.
Ask for his bonds. These are the things I believe you are interested in.
There is no "insurance" that someone will perform. The difference between
insurance and a bond is ................
with insurance, you are basically betting you won't have an accident.
with a bond, you are putting up money that says you will do what you say you
You are prudent to be concerned and you are correct in that you should check
the bona fides of a contractor. You have NO protection, however, when the
Check with your homeowner's insurance agent.
MLD is corrrect, anybody who is in the business for real will have
insurance, and they will have their carrier send proof thereof to you.
You want to know that they are insured in case somebody falls off a
ladder and paralyzes themselves.
Never let anyone work on your house without first understanding
I believe you are thinking of a "lien release". This is provided by the
contractor after performing the work, releasing you from any liability that
subcontractors might have against your finished job once you've paid the
You want to make sure his license is active, he is bonded, has
liability and worker's comp insurance. If he's "not thrilled about
telling you", don't even think about hiring him!
To find out this information, you can call your state's contracting
licensing board. They might have a website that will give all this info
too. Make sure you call them and confirm his status before work begins.
Had a contract to build a house once. I read shit I sign. When I returned
it to them there was a burried line in there crossed out that the
purchaser would maintain insurance. I asked what that was in there. Reply
was something to the effect "Huh? <stupid phoney surprised expression>.
That souldn't be in there." I should have dumped the sneaky low life
right then and there but was too deep into things.
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