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How can I check contractor's insurance standing (other than CSLB web page) to protect owners from liabilities?

Hayward, CA |

I went to the CA Contractors State License Board to check this contractor's bond/insurance status. It seems he works by himself. The CSLB page shows "This licensee is exempt from having workers compensation insurance; they certified that they have no employees at this time." Is it my responsibility to make sure that he has insurance to cover his own injury? Or can I assume that he is a licensed contractor, he is required to have his own insurance? Thank you for your advise.

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Attorney answers 4


If he is a contractor, it is his responsibility to carry his own insurance. If he has employees working for him, they would be or should be covered by his workers' compensation policy.


Whenever I hire a contractor, I always request proof of insurance. They are used to this request. Then, I verify coverage with the insurance company on the proof given.

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This really isn't an employment question. You might try re-posting into a more relevant practice area.

That said, if you are the property owner you have the right to force the contractor to show proof of insurance for any people that come onto your property. If employees show up, you will know if he is telling the CSLB the truth or not. Do not let him work on the property until he proves he has insurance for the workers he brings on the property. To further protect yourself, confirm that your homeowner's insurance has a provision that would cover an injured worker if the contractor doesn't have the required insurance. If you have doubts, go to another contractor. There are plenty out there who will be very transparent about their insurance for their employees.

Good luck to you.

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All licensed contractors are required by law to carry a surety bond. That is not the same as insurance.
Contractors are not required to carry liability insurance or any other insurance except for worker's compensation insurance if they have employees. If a contractor does not have employees, he can claim exemption from worker's comp.
Be careful here, many contractors claim the exemption and then bring in day laborers or others who would qualify as employees. Make sure that any workers that come onto your property are either licensed subcontractors or employees of a licensed subcontractor that has workers comp insurance.
Contractors doing home improvement are required by law to inform you, in writing, of their general liability insurance info and their worker's comp info, or notify you that they do not carry such insurance. Ask your contractor to provide that info before letting him on your property.