Should Customers Require Contractors to be Insured Before Working at Their Property?

The simple answer is yes, but it’s not just a matter of “better safe than sorry”.  In addition to General Liability concerns related to what a contractor may damage while he or she is trying to repair your home, there are also serious bodily injury liability issues for the homeowner.  Anything that happens on your premises has the potential to become a liability claim for the property owner (ie. contractor falls off a ladder).  If the contractor does not carry workers compensation (even if not required by law), whose policy do you think will be the target when the injured employee or subcontractor finds an aggressive attorney?  You guessed it…the homeowner policy.  Requiring the contractor to have General Liability AND workers compensation means that most of the scenarios you can imagine- whether property damage or bodily injury to themselves or others, would be covered by their insurance policies and not yours.  Insurance for artisan contractors (electricians, plumbers, carpenters, etc) is just not prohibitively expense- even for handymen (and women) who do a little of everything.  If your repair man can’t justify $1-200/mo General Liability and Workers Comp to protect himself and his customers, is he/she really the small business that you want to trust with your most valuable asset?