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How to Make Sure Your Contractor is Insured in Fort Myers

How to Make Sure Your Contractor is Insured in Fort Myers

You’ve wanted to renovate your cramped, outdated kitchen for ages. Or perhaps you are deciding between staying in your home after major damages or selling and walking away from some potential pricey repairs. Like many, asking around among friends and co-workers may initially help find and hire a contractor, but making sure your contractor is insured in Fort Myers is of vital importance.

When your contractor lacks insurance, the potential consequences can be dire, both financially and emotionally. The prospect of unforeseen complications looms large, leading to exorbitant costs that could easily spiral out of control. From protracted legal battles to footing the bill for costly repairs, the aftermath of a project gone awry can plunge you into a quagmire of stress and frustration, far beyond what you initially anticipated. However, you can safeguard yourself from such predicaments by meticulously vetting your contractor, ensuring they possess a solid reputation and comprehensive insurance coverage. By taking proactive measures, you can mitigate the risks and pave the way for a smoother, worry-free construction experience.

Difference Between Bonding and Insurance

Most reputable contractors advertise themselves as “bonded and insured.” But what, exactly, does that mean?

A surety bond acts as a safeguard, providing you with reassurance in case the contractor fails to complete the project or delivers substandard work. By securing this bond, you’re shielded from potential financial losses, sparing you the need to dip into your personal funds or rely on homeowner’s insurance to cover the costs associated with such situations. In essence, it serves as a protective shield, ensuring that your investment is safeguarded and your interests are protected throughout the duration of the project.

Contractor’s insurance is a crucial safeguard for homeowners, shielding them from the financial repercussions of both property damage and legal disputes. Whether it’s a minor mishap or a major accident during a renovation endeavor, this insurance serves as a protective barrier, ensuring that the homeowner is not burdened with the expenses. Should any damage befall your property throughout the renovation process, the insurance coverage steps in to cover the repair costs, sparing you from shouldering the financial strain. Moreover, in the unfortunate event of an injury to one of the contractor’s employees while working on your project, the insurance provides reassurance by absolving you of any liability. By investing in contractor’s insurance, homeowners can embark on renovation projects with peace of mind, knowing that they are shielded from potential financial setbacks and legal entanglements.

What Kind/How Much Insurance?

Taking steps to make sure your contractor is insured in Fort Myers is just the beginning. You also need to make sure the contractor has adequate coverage and the right types of insurance.

First, would the contractor’s insurance cover major damage to your home? If, say, you live in a $1.5 million home, and your contractor’s insurance would cover only $500,000 in damages, then you probably need to keep looking.

Your contractor should carry general contractor liability insurance comprising the following types/levels of coverage:

  • Liability insurance – Covers injury to you or your family and protects you from lawsuits
  • Workman’s Comp – Protection for the contractor’s employees in the event of injury (not required in all states for smaller contractors, so you’ll need to ask)
  • Property damage – Covers damages to your home during the course of the project

Steps You Need to Take

But how, precisely, can you make sure your contractor is insured in Fort Myers? There are several steps you can take mitigate your risk and make sure you’ve chosen a reputable, fully insured contractor.

  • Check out the contractor with the Better Business Bureau
  • Check references and talk to former customers
  • Have a formal in-depth meeting with the contractor before signing any contract
  • Ask to see insurance and bonding documents
  • Get everything in writing – all aspects of work to be done, work milestones and payment schedule, completion date, contingency clauses, and so on

How Does Your Contractor Deal With Subcontractors?

Suppose, for example, your remodel project involves adding a room to your home. In that case, the general contractor will probably hire subcontractors to do the framing and brick laying. But are the subcontractors insured?

It sometimes happens that subcontractors are brought in on a cash basis. 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 something go wrong. So, in addition to investigating your contractor’s insurance status, you also need to determine how they deal with subcontractors.

Knowing how to make sure your contractor is insured in Fort Myers is crucial for any major work done in or on your home. Your local real estate professionals can also be a good resource when you’re checking out contractors.

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed and want to walk through all of your options, we would be glad to assist you! Feel free to contact us by phone at (239) 360-3176 or fill out our contact form to get in touch.

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