When you're looking to hire a roofing contractor there are some important things you need to consider before making a decision. Besides looking at the company's pricing, reviews, and reputation, you also need to make sure they carry the proper insurance in order to properly protect you from workplace mishaps.
There are two types of insurance your roofing contractor should have: general liability insurance and worker's comp insurance. If the contractor you’re considering doesn’t have both types of insurance, you could be leaving yourself open to many potential risks!
What is General Liability Insurance?
If something on your property gets damaged while your new roof is being installed, your roofer's general liability insurance will cover the cost of repairing or replacing it. If they don't have this type of insurance, you have no recourse, and you’ll be on the hook to pay to repair the damage yourself.
For example, let's say that while nailing down shingles on your new roof, a worker accidentally hits and damages your chimney. Or, one of the roofing company's ladders inadvertently hits and breaks one of your windows. The roofing company's general liability insurance will cover the cost of repairs. Without it, you would be stuck paying for their mistake.
What is Workers Comp Insurance?
Roofing is a hazardous job and accidents can happen in every stage of the roof replacement process. Workers comp insurance protects you as a homeowner should someone working on your property get injured.
If your roofing contractor doesn't have workers comp insurance you are putting yourself at serious risk because, without it, a wounded worker or their family could hold you and your insurance company liable for all medical bills and costs associated with the injury.
To give you an idea of the risk you're taking by hiring a roofing contractor with no workers comp insurance, here's an example that happened in Colorado Springs several years ago:
A roofing crew member unfortunately fell from a roof and broke his back. Neither the roofing company nor the subcontractor had any workers comp insurance. Personal injury lawyers came swarming, as they often do, and the homeowner and their insurance company wound up being liable for around $500,000 in medical costs.
What Does it Mean if My Roofer Says They're ‘Fully Insured’?
The good news is that in order to obtain a license here in Colorado Springs, and many of the surrounding communities and counties, a roofing contractor must carry general liability insurance. However, they are only required to have workers comp insurance if they have employees.
Some roofing contractors try to get around this requirement by classifying all the people who work for them, like canvassers, salespeople, project managers, and production supervisors, as subcontractors instead of employees. So, when a roofing contractor says they're ‘fully insured’, it could just be indicating that they have all the insurance they're required to have but not all the insurance they should have.
Without workers comp insurance they're not actually fully insured, and you as the homeowner are not protected.
How do I know if My Roofer is Insured?
When you're considering working with a roofing contractor, we highly recommend that you ask to have their insurance agent email you their insurance certificates for both types of coverage.
Do not accept a copy that they hand you at the door, as these can be easily falsified. The only way to be sure the documents are legitimate and genuine is to get copies from their insurance agent.
The importance of working with a truly fully-insured roofing contractor cannot be overstated. That’s why Homestead Roofing is proud to have both general liability and workers comp insurance to make sure you’re always protected. Contact us today for more information or to speak with a member of our team about getting an inspection or estimate.