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How to Make Sure Your Contractor is Insured in Florida

cash buyers for home near me Florida

You’ve wanted to renovate your cramped, outdated kitchen for ages. Or perhaps you are deciding between staying in your home after major damages or selling and walking away from some potential pricey repairs. Like many, asking around among friends and co-workers may initially help find and hire a contractor, but making sure your contractor is insured in Florida is of vital importance.

Things can get ugly – and appallingly expensive – if your contractor isn’t insured. If things don’t go perfectly, you can land in a world of drawn out disputes, expensive fixes you have to foot the bill for, and far more stress than you initially bargained for. You can avoid such a situation, however, by making sure your contractor is reputable and fully insured.

The #1 complaint I hear time and time again is “My contractor is MIA” AKA-Missing in Action! It happens to the best of us. It’s happened to me several times! If you need to report a contractor in Florida you can visit http://www.MyFloridaLicense.com or call (850) 487-1395

When hiring a contractor in Florida, especially for repairing fire damage or any other major projects, it’s crucial to ask the right questions to ensure you’re making an informed decision. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. Are you licensed and insured?: In Florida, contractors are required to be licensed and insured. Ask for their license number and proof of insurance to verify their credentials. To verify a contractors license in Florida click here
  2. Have you worked on similar projects before?: Experience with similar projects can indicate the contractor’s familiarity with the work involved and potential challenges. This is critical! You do not want a newbie working on your house!
  3. Can you provide references?: Ask for references from past clients and follow up with them to inquire about their experience working with the contractor. Trust but verify. Cross reference these with a local community page. Facebook is overflowing with pages like this.
  4. What is your timeline for completing the project?: Get an estimate of how long the project will take to complete, including any potential delays.
  5. How do you handle permits and regulations?: Ensure the contractor is familiar with local building codes and regulations and will obtain necessary permits for the project.
  6. What is your payment schedule?: Clarify the payment schedule and terms, including the down payment, progress payments, and final payment.
  7. Do you provide written contracts?: A detailed written contract protects both parties by outlining the scope of work, timeline, payment terms, and other important details. Keep a detailed record of everything! Getting everything in writing -preferably email will help with any discrepancies or instances that may pop up down the road.
  8. Who will be on-site overseeing the work?: Determine who will be responsible for overseeing the project and addressing any issues that arise. Get their name and direct phone number.
  9. What warranties do you offer?: Inquire about any warranties or guarantees on the workmanship and materials used in the project.
  10. How do you handle changes or additional work?: Understand the process for requesting changes to the project scope and how any additional work will be priced and documented.
  11. What safety measures do you implement?: Safety should be a priority on any construction site. Ask about the contractor’s safety practices and protocols.
  12. How do you communicate with clients?: Clear communication is essential throughout the project. Discuss how the contractor will keep you informed of progress and any issues that arise.
  13. What is your cleanup process?: Ensure the contractor will clean up the work area and dispose of debris properly once the project is complete.
  14. What is your approach to resolving disputes?: Discuss how the contractor handles disputes or disagreements that may arise during the project.

By asking these or similar questions and carefully evaluating the contractor’s responses, you can make an informed decision and hire a reputable contractor for your project in Florida! If you have any questions for us click here!

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Difference Between Bonding and Insured

Most reputable contractors advertise themselves as “bonded and insured.” But what, exactly, does that mean?

A surety bond assures that you’re protected if the contractor skips out and doesn’t finish the project or if he winds up doing sub-par, shoddy work. This bonding ensures that you won’t have to use your own cash or homeowner’s insurance to foot the bill in such cases.

A contractor’s insurance protects you against the cost of both damages and lawsuits. If during the renovation project, some kind of damage occurs to your home, you (or your insurer) won’t have to pay for repairs. Also, if one of the contractor’s employees is injured working on your project, you won’t be liable.

What Kind/How Much Insurance?

Taking steps to make sure your contractor is insured in Florida is just the beginning. You also need to make sure the contractor has adequate coverage and the right types of insurance.

First, would the contractor’s insurance cover major damage to your home? If, say, you live in a $1.5 million home, and your contractor’s insurance would cover only $500,000 in damages, then you probably need to keep looking.

Your contractor should carry general contractor liability insurance comprising the following types/levels of coverage:

  • Liability insurance – Covers injury to you or your family and protects you from lawsuits
  • Workman’s Comp – Protection for the contractor’s employees in the event of injury (not required in all states for smaller contractors, so you’ll need to ask)
  • Property damage – Covers damages to your home during the course of the project

Steps You Need to Take

But how, precisely, can you make sure your contractor is insured in Florida? There are several steps you can take mitigate your risk and make sure you’ve chosen a reputable, fully insured contractor.

  • Check out the contractor with the Better Business Bureau
  • Check references and talk to former customers
  • Have a formal in-depth meeting with the contractor before signing any contract
  • Ask to see insurance and bonding documents
  • Get everything in writing – all aspects of work to be done, work milestones and payment schedule, completion date, contingency clauses, and so on

How Does Your Contractor Deal With Subcontractors?

Suppose, for example, your remodel project involves adding a room to your home. In that case, the general contractor will probably hire subcontractors to do the framing and brick laying. But are the subcontractors insured?

It sometimes happens that subcontractors are brought in on a cash basis. There’s no record of their employment by the general contractor, and, as a result, they aren’t covered by the contractor’s insurance (or bonding) should something go wrong. So, in addition to investigating your contractor’s insurance status, you also need to determine how they deal with subcontractors.

Knowing how to make sure your contractor is insured in Florida is crucial for any major work done in or on your home. Your local real estate professionals can also be a good resource when you’re checking out contractors.

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed and want to walk through all of your options, we would be glad to assist you! Feel free to contact us by phone at 407-721-6898 or fill out our contact form to get in touch.

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Still need help with a General Contactor?

How to hire a General Contractor click this link here.

Learn how you can protect yourself here.

To learn more about general contractors insurance click here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


we buy houses for cash near me Florida

Jessica is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Florida. She has been buying and selling real estate since 2006. She is an investor at heart. Specializing in Tax delinquents, foreclosures, and creative financing. All publications are opinion based formed by experience. If you are seeking tax or legal advice it is recommended that you contact a licensed CPA and/or Attorney for your specific needs. If you’d like to learn more about how Particular Properties can help you please click button below!

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