When the roofing industry slows down in our market, oftentimes roofing subcontractors try to save money by canceling their Workers’ Comp insurance. That’s pretty expensive insurance and if a crew doesn’t have work, that’s money that a crew foreman may not be able to keep paying without some income. In some cases, the subcontractors will present falsified insurance certificates to roofing contractors in order to get work. This doesn’t happen all the time, but you’d be surprised how often it does happen.
Why Does This Matter To You?
If you’re a homeowner and you hire a roofing contractor to do work on your home, and that contractor uses subcontractors to perform the labor, you are at financial risk if the people on your roof are not covered by Workers’ Comp insurance. If someone without insurance gets injured on your property, you could be liable for that person’s medical costs.
What Can You Do?
You, as the homeowner and client, are well within your rights to ask for copies of the insurance certificates for the contractor and his subcontractors. Just make sure that you ask to have those emailed to you from the respective insurance agents representing the contractor(s). With a little white-out and a photocopier, it’s way too easy for someone to counterfeit an insurance certificate. But if you receive it as an email from an insurance agent, you can know that it’s a valid document. At Homestead Roofing, we always request certificates in this manner from subcontractors who are looking for work, and you wouldn’t believe how many times we never hear from them again.
If you have questions about this issue, please call our office.