Brokers should help home insurance clients vet contractors

Published: January 11, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Homeowners face numerous challenges in protecting their homes. Home insurance brokers can offer more than just coverage and win customers by advising clients on how to properly assess renovation contractors. That’s the opinion of Nicole Silver of bidding website TrustedPros.

Silver, a public relations and digital marketing specialist said some contractors may not have working compensation insurance. Unfortunately, merely providing documents is not proof as insurance certification and trade licenses can be easily forged.

Instead, insurance brokers should take the time to understand due diligence and pass on the knowledge to customers. This includes checking the contractor’s license, and proof of insurance coverage.

In a recent survey, TrustedPro found amongst 400 Canadian contractors, 74% said clients did not request proof of license and 59% said no proof of compensation insurance was sought.

In Ontario, the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) provides no-fault insurance coverage for workplace injuries. However, it is not mandatory for self-employed contractors to hold coverage bought from WSIB.

Silver says brokers should understand the provincial laws on compensation insurance for the provinces they cover. Homeowners should also take the time to find out if their home insurance covered liability if the contractor gets injured and sues the homeowner.

“When a homeowner hires a tradesperson who is not licensed, there are a number of risks they are taking on,” Silver said.