Home projects should end in positive results, but things can go very wrong if you hire a fraudulent or unqualified contractor. Use the following advice to help avoid a nightmare.
Where to start
- Get names of reputable contractors from your agent, insurance company, neighbors, homeowners association, the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General's office and/or a specialized consumer organization.
- Contact multiple contractors for comparison purposes.
All about estimates
- Tell contractors you are getting several estimates and ask if they can complete the work by a certain date. This will eliminate some prospects.
- Don't allow a contractor to inspect your property if you're not home. Personally watch while the contractor conducts the inspection.
- Ask the contractor if he has liability and workers' compensation insurance that covers him and anyone else he will bring to the job site. Get the policy number and agency name. Call the agency to verify, and ask for a liability certificate of insurance. As a customer of the contractor, this should be free.
- Inquire about warranties on work.
- Get references for recent work, and call them to ask about issues and if they would use the contractor again. Look at the work if possible.
You've chosen a contractor. Now what?
The most important rule
Contact Hummel Group if you have questions regarding your coverage during a project.
This information brought to you by Hummel Group, a proud member of Professional Independent Agents Association of Ohio, Inc.
Sources: Ohio Department of Insurance, PIAA instructor Ted Kinney, CIC, CPCU, AR