Failure of a contractor to have workers’ compensation insurance on his/her employees is a criminal offense. It is punishable by 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. Hiring such a contractor can put you and your home at serious risk.
What Could Happen If My Contractor Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Suppose you hire a contractor who has no workers’ compensation insurance, and a worker is injured. The courts might charge you with criminal negligence. It is your responsibility to check with the Contractors State License Board to see if he had insurance before you hired him. If you did check, and ignored the fact, that is even worse. Both you and the contractor might be forced to take on the liability. This includes all medical bills and lost wages.
Your dream of making your house a safer place to live can result in a legal nightmare. On the other hand, if the contractor has workers’ compensation insurance, the insurance company takes full responsibility.
How do I know if my Contractor has it?
Easy. Go to the Contractor’s State License Board website, Put their contractor’s license number in the search box on the right. You will find the name of the insurance company and the expiration date. If you do not see a company listed, or the insurance has expired, this means the contractor does not have workers’ compensation. Moreover, he is working illegally.
What if my Contractor hires an uninsured Sub-Contractor?
In this case the liability falls on the general contractor. He should have checked. The general contractor’s workers’ compensation insurance will not cover injuries sustained by a sub-contractor’s employee. The insurance covers his employees and not the subcontractor’s.