Contractors working on your New York Property – Home Owner Beware!

Contractors working on your New York Property – Home Owner Beware!

In some states (Oregon, for example) the state requires all contractors to be licensed AND insured. In New York State, there is no such requirement, so I could buy a pick-up, grab some toold and call myself a contractor. I can get business cards made, estimator sheets and invoices printed up too. Nothing is compelling me to be insured or be a legitimate contractor.

The ONLY way to insure you are hiring a legitimate contractor is to ask for a certificate of insurance from their insurance broker. The good one’s will have it, the shady one’s not.

The certificate would have today’s date on it, the dates of insurance coverage, who the insurance company is and the amount of liability protection. This should be sent to you directly from the insurance broker, either via mail, email or fax. Here is the reason – I once had a contractor insured for 1 year and then did not renew the insurance policy the 2nd year. However, he erased dates on the prior years certificate of insurance and passed it off as if he had current insurance (he was caught lying).

Contractors working on your New York Property – Home Owner Beware!

One other home owner tip – the shady contractor will tell you to pull the town or county permit for work being done. Why? Because this is how a town or county could insist on seeing proof of insurance through a permit issuance.

So beware of the unethical contractor. But also whether insured or not, shoddy & poor workmanship is never a covered insurance claim.

Contractors working on your New York Property – Home Owner Beware!

By Tom Larsen, Licensed Insurance Broker in New York

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