Why You Must Hire a Licensed and Insured General Contractor Near Me

Every construction project comes with some risk, whether it’s building a new home or renovating an old one. But hiring an uninsured contractor uninsured contractor is a risk you should never take.

At GreatBuildz, we help homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, and San Diego find reliable, licensed, and insured general contractors near me. We talk to homeowners every day about why hiring insured contractors is so important. Here’s what you need to know.

 

When a contractor takes on a building project, he or she is also taking on a lot of liability. Therefore contractors need insurance — to cover themselves and their employees in the event of an accident or incident on the job site. The issue of insurance is so critical that most states refuse to issue a contractor’s license to anyone who does not carry the required amount of insurance worker’s compensation and general liability insurance.

This is how to check if a good general contractor has insurance in California:

  1. You can go to the CSLB website to determine if the contractor is bonded and insured with Workers’ Compensation insurance.
  2. But, to make sure you are working with a fully insured contractor, you will also need to get a copy of their General Liability insurance policy. You can get proof of insurance from the contractor directly or their insurance agent. Make sure the policy is up to date.

Why You Should Only Work with Licensed General Contractors Near Me

As the homeowner, it is in your best interest to only work with licensed, bonded, and insured contractors – regardless if your scope of work is a bathroom or a kitchen remodel or any other kind of project. Doing the opposite could result in financial repercussions if the building projects do not go as planned or someone is injured on the job.

Licensed general contractor near me

Remember that a lot of things can go wrong on a construction site. And when you choose an unlicensed or uninsured contractor, you could end up bearing some financial liabilities of your construction project. If the workmanship is subpar or causes damage to your property or if a crew person gets injured, you may have to pay for this out-of-pocket.

3 Insurance Policies Your Local General Contractor Needs

Contractors need insurance to protect themselves and their workers if something goes wrong on the job, regardless of the scope of work. Most states won’t give a contractor’s license to someone without the right insurance. Here are the main types of insurance a contractor should have:

The following are the insurance coverages you should look for when evaluating home contractors near me:

1. Workers Compensation Insurance

Qualified contractor near me

This insurance covers medical bills if a worker gets hurt on the job. Without it, you might have to pay these costs.

Workers’ compensation insurance is a must-have for any California contractor. You could be stuck paying the medical bills of an injured employee if you hire a contractor without workers’ compensation insurance to renovate your property.

On the job site, contractors and their workers are at risk of getting injured while working on your project. And while you may think that an injured worker is not your responsibility, that is not always the case. For those contractors without workers’ compensation insurance, the claim may go to the prime contractor, which in most states is the project owner.

The medical bills and lost wages that they accrue while they are unable to work could fall on you, and your homeowners’ insurance may not protect you from this financial burden.  

2. General Liability Insurance

This covers damage to your property. For example, if a contractor accidentally breaks your neighbor’s fence, their insurance should pay for the repair.

Before hiring a contractor, check to see if he or she is properly insured against general liability. Aside from physical injury, accidental property damage is also common on the construction site. When this happens, the affected party may seek compensation for the losses from the Contractor’s General Liability Insurance policy.

Say, for example, one of the crew accidentally hits your neighbor’s fence during the process of your home renovation. If the local general contractor in Los Angeles carries general liability insurance, the claim could be made against their policy. But if they don’t have any, you could be held responsible for the damage if the contractor refuses to make the repair.

In addition to general liability, make sure your contractor’s insurance policy also covers products and completed operations. This not only shields you from lawsuits resulting from the harm contractors inflict on third parties, but it also allows you to collect if their work turns out to be subpar and causes you harm in the future.

3. Auto Liability Insurance

Tractor Liability insurance for contractors 

Homeowners and businesses often overlook auto liability insurance when hiring contractors for renovation or construction, but this is important if your project requires a support fleet of trucks and other vehicles.

If your project involves a lot of transportation, make sure the contractor has auto liability insurance. This covers accidents that happen when loading or unloading materials.

This policy may not be necessary for small-scale projects with little transportation involved. To determine if you should require auto liability coverage from your contractor, review your specific project requirements or speak to your insurance agent.

Before hiring any contractor, ask for their proof of insurance coverage first. For added measure, you may want to contact the insurance agency yourself to confirm that the coverage is up-to-date, valid, and will remain so for the duration of your building projects.

The Risks of Hiring an Uninsured Contractor

Contractors insurance is the buffer that will safeguard your personal and financial interests, should the unthinkable happen. These reasons should be enough to convince you not to work with uninsured contractors:

1. Financial Risk

Always have contractor insurance when hiring a general contractor near me

 

When working with uninsured contractors, you run the risk of financial responsibility if an accident occurs, or if your property is damaged. While hiring an uninsured contractor may allow you to save money in the short term, the long-term risk they expose you to may hurt your finances badly. You’re better off hiring a good general contractor for your project.

2. Property Damage

Uninsured contractors may not be able to pay you back for any damage to your property. That means you will be on the hook for the full cost of repairs. If you’re renovating for business on a leased property, you may be required to use a licensed, bonded, and insured general contracting company to execute the work.

Any damage to the property during the remodel project because of your contractor’s negligence could end up becoming your liability.

3. Insurance Gaps in Coverage

Your home insurance might not cover accidents caused by an uninsured contractor.

If you’re under the impression that your uninsured contractor-related losses will be covered by your home insurance or property insurance policy, it may not. If a crew is injured on your property during the remodel project and requires a lengthy hospital stay, different insurance scenarios will ensue, depending on your specific homeowners’ insurance policy.

Insured general contractor near me

If the contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured, then their workers’ compensation policy will apply. If not, the liability may fall under your insurance policy or you will have to pay for the medical bills and compensate for lost wages out of pocket.

Before you even start researching a home renovation project, you should review your homeowners’ insurance policy carefully.  If reading all the fine print and legal jargon in your policy paperwork is too daunting, just call your insurance agent and ask what your policy covers. Either way, if you hire home contractors near me who has a valid license and active insurance policy, you can legally protect yourself and your home.

4. Legal Issues

You essentially become the general contractor in the eyes of the law if you hire an uninsured contractor – unless you have experience with general contracting, you may be overwhelmed. So even if you’re tempted to hire an unlicensed contractor to save time or money, just don’t do it.

Working with a licensed, bonded, and insured California general contractor near me who can provide proof of insurance ensures that you will not be financially harmed if something goes wrong during the construction process. Hire a fully insured contractor who has all of their bases covered in terms of insurance coverage. In the long run, you will save time, money, and stress.

How do I find a trustworthy licensed, bonded, and insured contractor?

When it comes time to hire a general contractor, you shouldn’t have to go it alone – GreatBuildz can help simplify your contractor search. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish.

 

Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with our local team about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.
Blog-sidebar-homeowners-love-working-with-GreatBuildz

How can we help with your project?

Explore More Remodeling Topics

Remodeling Cost Guides

Cost Guides

design ideas

Design Ideas

Finding a Contractor

Finding a Contractor

Picking Materials

Selecting Materials

remodeling advice

Remodeling Advice

room addition project articles

Home Additions

kitchen Remodeling Guidance

Kitchen Remodeling

 

bathroom remodeling advice

Bathroom Renovations

adu and garage conversion blog topics

ADU Construction

backyard Remodeling Projects

Backyard/ Exterior

general home remodeling resources

Home Remodeling