Your contractor should have all required licenses for your city, county and state. He should be able to produce copies of these when asked and you should review them to make sure they are current. The license should show the contractor’s name, the license number and an expiration date. Everyone knows the dangers of someone getting behind the wheel without a driver’s license required by the state. So why would you let a “contractor” into your home that doesn’t have the proper licenses required by the state? “Contractors” that choose to operate without the required legal licenses are making a choice not to comply with a very basic law designed to protect the public. If a “contractor” chooses to break the law by refusing to have the required legal licenses, you may want to ask that “contractor” about any other laws they may have chosen to break.
A contractor should have general liability insurance. The general liability insurance would pay for any damage caused by the contractor or any damage resulting from his work. This is important because it protects you from bearing the financial burden of repairing the damage. As bad as it would be to deal with damage to your home due to something a contractor has done, it would be even worse if you or your insurance company had to pay for it. If your insurance company pays for the damage they will probably raise your rates or even cancel your insurance. Don’t put yourself at risk by using a contractor without current general liability insurance.
A contractor should also have worker’s compensation insurance. The worker’s compensation insurance would pay the costs if a worker is injured while working at your home. Many homeowners don’t realize that without worker’s compensation insurance they would be liable for the medical costs of a worker injured in their home. How would you like to turn your spare bedroom into a recovery room for a contractor’s technician for the next several months? Not very appealing is it, the point is just don’t put yourself in a position where you may be liable. It is much better to use a contractor with worker’s compensation insurance than to take a chance.
It is a good idea to request certificates of insurance for general liability and worker’s compensation and review them to make sure they are current. A professional contractor will have no trouble providing this for you upon request. If a contractor can’t provide current proof of insurance don’t use him.