Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Home Contractor and Workers' Compensation Insurance

In Massachusetts, all employers must maintain workers' compensation insurance for their employees. This protects the employer if an employee is injured on the job, and it protects the employee as well. For the homeowner, it is imperative that a contractor maintain workers' compensation insurance for his employees. If the contractor does not maintain a policy, then an injured worker may try to show negligence on the part of the homeowner.

I am not an expert on workers' compensation insurance, but I share an office with an attorney who specializes in this area. Her name is Joyce Davis, and her website, http://www.joyce-davis.com, provides excellent information about this area.

As a homeowner, I would require that a contractor provide me with a copy of his certificate of insurance. A contractor should require the same from subcontractors. This simple step can prevent disastrous consequences down the road.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Guaranty Fund

Massachusetts has a wonderful resource for homeowners who have obtained judgments against contractors. If the contractor does not pay the judgment after the homeowner makes a reasonable effort to collect, or if the contractor flees the jurisdiction or the contractor files for bankruptcy, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) administers a fund that will pay up to $10,000.00 of the homeowner'(s) damages. The homeowner must apply for the fund within six months of obtaining a judgment. For some homeowners, this will fully satisfy their claim. For others, it will help cover the cost of litigation. Once the money is paid out from the fund, the OCABR goes after the contractor for reimbursement. Check in your state to see if this type of resource is available.