Your Orange County roofing contractor must have several licenses and types of insurance in order to work legally in California. Among other things, they’ll need a local license and workmen’s compensation insurance.
One type of insurance that is sometimes optional for legal work is liability insurance. However, you’ll definitely want to ensure that your roofer has good liability insurance. This is the type of insurance that actually protects you, the homeowner, in case of a disaster.
What liability insurance covers
A roofing contractor’s liability insurance covers incidents that are caused by the contractor or by the work that goes on in your home. Sometimes these incidents are due to negligence, but this is rarely the case. In fact, many liability insurance claims come about by complete accident.
For instance, if it rains while the contractors have your roof open or partially open, the rain could cause serious damage to the inside of your home. Or roofers could inadvertently cause water damage by damaging pipes that are close to the ceiling, causing some serious damage below. In either case, you could be on the hook for damages caused unless your roofer has liability insurance.
A roofing contractor’s liability insurance can also protect against damage caused by accidents. For instance, say a worker is driving a truck to your home, slips the clutch, and runs into your garage door. The roofer’s liability insurance will cover the cost of repairs for instances like these.
Even the most careful contractors have things go wrong from time to time. Things just happen, especially when dealing with home renovations and repairs, which can be potentially dangerous. This is why it’s so important to know that your roofing company has liability insurance. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do, you’ll be glad they have it!
What about your homeowner’s insurance?
Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that their own homeowners insurance or umbrella liability insurance will cover damages from contractors’ home repairs. This may or may not be the case. But even if your insurance will cover the damages, it’s better to use your contractor’s insurance for a couple of reasons.
For one thing, if your contractor causes damage to your home, you could rely in your own liability or homeowners insurance to cover the repairs. But you’ll likely get stuck paying your own deductible, unless your contractor’s contract says otherwise. And even if the contractor pays the deductible for you, you’ll likely find that the incident and resultant claim causes your insurance premiums to go up, costing you money for years to come.
Good vs. bad liability insurance
Finally, it’s important to understand that not all liability insurance is created equal. In fact, some roofing contractors have really bad liability insurance. This is something to look for in the “fine print” when you’re signing a contract with an Orange County roofing contractor.
If the contractor’s insurance has too many restrictions or not enough coverage, it may do you no good in case of problems and property damage during the renovation or repair process. When shopping around for contractors, always be sure to ask what their liability insurance coverage is like, and do some research on industry standards to be sure your contractor has enough coverage.
Liability insurance vs. workman’s compensation
While you’re doing your research, be sure to draw a distinction between liability insurance and workmen’s compensation. Liability insurance is designed to cover your property, and the contractor’s, in case of an accident. Workman’s compensation insurance is designed to cover the contractor’s workers in case they are injured on the job.
You’ll definitely want a contractor who has both, by the way. An accident that causes both damage to your own property and injury to a worker will draw on both types of insurance. And if your contractor doesn’t have them both, you may find that you’re on the hook for both property damage and employee medical costs.
When talking with Orange County roofing contractors, be shy of those who refuse to provide their insurance and license information. That’s never a good sign! A great contractor will be up front with you about exactly what their insurance does and does not cover, so you can find any gaps you might have to fill using your own insurance in case the worst happens. Always be sure to have this conversation with your contractors before you decide whether or not to hire them.
A long-established Orange County roofer in Seal Beach and surrounding areas, we provide prompt, reliable expertise for every residential roofing need and situation. Wherever and whenever you need roofing services in OC, you definitely can count on Luke Roofing.
The only thing I focused on was ratings and cost the last time I had my roof replaced. What great advice about checking into the liability. These guys are on your roof! If you don't think anything "can" happen, think again!