Contractor Liability: Who Pays When There’s an Accident?

Your contractor gets hurt — or he hurts you. Either way, you both better have insurance to avoid a contractor liability nightmare.

What happens if, despite all precautions, there’s an accident involving your contractor that leads to a liability issue? Who’s responsible — and who pays — if:


Your contractor falls off his ladder while fixing your roof?

Your builder drops a hammer and it goes through your windshield?

A subcontractor hired by your contractor is injured on your property?

The time to find out is before an accident happens.


Step 1: Check the Personal Liability Section of Your Homeowners Policy

Before beginning a remodeling project, check your homeowners policy for specifics regarding injuries on your property, notes Chicago-based attorney Steven J. Thayer.


Policies vary widely. Look in the personal liability section of your homeowners policy for details, says Jack Smith, a spokesperson for the trade group Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York.


Typically, major injuries aren’t well-covered — limits are usually fairly low. Don’t trust your homeowners or umbrella policies to protect you if a builder’s employee sustains major injuries.


The bottom line? Instead of worrying over your insurance, make sure your builder has his own.


Step 2: Check Your Contractor’s Insurance

Any builders you hire should have their own general contractor liability insurance — ask to see proof. The insurance should cover:


Any bodily injury or property damage the firm accidentally causes to you, your family, and your property.

Workman’s compensation for injuries builders cause to themselves or their employees. Not all states require this for small contractors, so ask your contractor to provide you with a policy certificate.

Accidents involving the contractor’s own equipment, such as falling off a ladder. (Contractors using your ladder could claim it was your faulty equipment, not their clumsiness, leading to an insurance battle and a lawsuit. Don’t provide your contractor with anything more dangerous than a pencil.)

Builders have to ante up a lot for all this contractor liability insurance — and it will be reflected in their bill. But if uninsured workers hurt themselves on your property, you’ll find a lawyer’s hand in your pocket pretty quickly.


This applies to subcontractors as well: Ask your contractor for a list of all the subcontractors on a job so you can check their insurance status as well.


Step 3: Minimize Risks

Remember that insurance is an essential protection but not perfect. Lawyers advise that negligence claims can easily end up in court and out of your hands — and your insurer’s.


You can’t always control your builder’s safety habits but you can get rid of fallen branches, wet leaves, and kids’ toys from your driveway before the workers even show up. And hire safe contractors recommended by friends and neighbors.

View our insurance certificate:

  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle
  • M Property Restoration Twitter
  • M Property Restoration Tumblr

M Property Restoration

716-398-4177 We service Amherst Roofing Contractor Williamsville Roofing Contractor Buffalo Roofing Contractor Niagara Falls Roofing Contractor Lockport Roofing Contractor Kenmore Roofing Contractor Clarence Roofing Contractor Tonawanda Roofing Contractor North Tonawanda Roofing Contractor Depew Roofing Contractor Cheektowaga Roofing Contractor Grand Island Roofing Contractor Pendleton Roofing Contractor Sanborn Roofing Contractor Lewiston Roofing Contractor Royalton Roofing Contractor Newfane Roofing Contractor Hamburg Roofing Contractor East Aurora Roofing Contractor Orchard Park Roofing Contractor West Seneca Roofing Contractor Lancaster Roofing Contractor Lackawanna Roofing Contractor Alden Roofing Contractor Wheatfield Roofing Contractor Amherst Metal Roof Contractor Williamsville Metal Roof Contractor Buffalo Metal Roof Contractor Niagara Falls Metal Roof Contractor Lockport Metal Roof Contractor Kenmore Metal Roof Contractor Clarence Metal Roof Contractor Tonawanda Metal Roof Contractor North Tonawanda Metal Roof Contractor Depew Metal Roof Contractor Cheektowaga Metal Roof Contractor Grand Island Metal Roof Contractor Pendleton Metal Roof Contractor Sanborn Metal Roof Contractor Lewiston Metal Roof Contractor Royalton Metal Roof Contractor Newfane Metal Roof Contractor Hamburg Metal Roof Contractor East Aurora Metal Roof Contractor Orchard Park Metal Roof Contractor West Seneca Metal Roof Contractor Lancaster Metal Roof Contractor Lackawanna Metal Roof Contractor Alden Metal Roof Contractor Wheatfield Metal Roof Contractor Amherst Roof Repair  Williamsville Roof Repair  Buffalo Roof Repair  Niagara Falls Roof Repair  Lockport Roof Repair  Kenmore Roof Repair  Clarence Roof Repair  Tonawanda Roof Repair  North Tonawanda Roof Repair  Depew Roof Repair  Cheektowaga Roof Repair  Grand Island Roof Repair  Pendleton Roof Repair  Sanborn Roof Repair  Lewiston Roof Repair  Royalton Roof Repair  Newfane Roof Repair  Hamburg Roof Repair  East Aurora Roof Repair  Orchard Park Roof Repair  West Seneca Roof Repair  Lancaster Roof Repair  Lackawanna Roof Repair  Alden Roof Repair  Wheatfield Roof Repair