We all do it! We need some work done around the house, and we search Craigslist for a handyman or contractor to complete the task. Typically, we look for the least expensive worker we can find to paint our house, or do some yard work. Seldom do we consider the consequences if that worker happens to get hurt while working on our premises. So you make ask what happens if a worker is hurt on your premises?
What if the worker gets hurt working for us?
Typically, the homeowner is held to be responsible for those workers while they are working at his house, and if they do happen to get hurt, the homeowner could be responsible for some large bills.
If the contractor is unlicensed and uninsured, the contractor and his employees automatically become employees of the homeowner. Under those circumstances, the injured worker/employee may sue the homeowner. An injured employee may be able to collect worker’s compensation from the homeowner’s insurance, if they worked for the necessary number of hours or earned a certain minimum amount. The employee may also be able to collect directly from the homeowner in a negligence lawsuit.
What’s the best way to minimize the risk?
- – Make sure the contractor is licensed, and that his license is active
- – Make sure the contractor carries both workman’s compensation insurance, and liability insurance
- – Obtain a Certificate of Insurance from the contractor, and If possible, have the contractor name you as an additional insured on his liability insurance
As the old adage states, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
As always, if you have questions in regards to your homeowners insurance, the insurance professionals at Hatter, Williams & Purdy will be happy to assist you.