Working with General Contractors
The best way to minimize your renovation risk is to hire a reputable general contractor for the job. As part of the bidding process, ask the general contractor to provide a “Certification of Insurance” and/or copies of the policies. Specifically, check for coverage for the following:
- Workers’ Compensation: Verify that he or she has workers’ compensation coverage in the event that an employee or subcontractor gets hurt on the job.
- General Liability: Ask if the contractor has liability insurance, which covers losses due to negligence and errors or omission, which result in property damage. Also ask that you be added as an “additional insured.”
- Builders Risk: This policy is designed to cover damage to your home and materials, including those not installed yet. We can help you verify whether you should require this form from your contractor, based on your renovation project.
Advice for Do-It-Yourselfers
If you decide to go it alone and manage a renovation yourself, you assume all the risks. A review of your homeowners coverage for liability and property is prudent, as you are assuming more risks and exposures than contemplated by homeowners insurance.
Hiring subcontractors who can provide you with a “Certificate of Insurance” or copies of their policies is mandatory for your legal protection. It’s a good idea to also carry umbrella liability coverage, which kicks in to provide liability coverage above your homeowners limits.
Insuring the Real Value of Your Home
After your project is finished be sure to review the increase in value to your home and review your homeowners coverage with your agent to protect your investment.