(406) 652-4180 • 1320 28th Street West, Billings, MT

Home Improvement Season!

Be cautious when selecting a contractor to work for you when making repairs or improvements to your home. A couple of things you should know...

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The State of Montana has a Contractor Registration Unit where independent contractors can apply to be registered. Part of the registration process involves providing documentation – which includes evidence of their liability insurance and evidence of their workers' compensation insurance responsibilities – so that you, as a consumer, can have that basic level of assurance that the contractor you're working with has addressed those things.

Why is that important to you? If your contractor is responsible for damaging your property or causing bodily injury to someone while working for you, you want to be sure there is a liability insurance policy in place to cover their legal responsibility to you or the party they've injured.

If your contractor or one of his employees is hurt while working on your property, you want to be sure there is a policy of workers' compensation insurance in place to manage the care of that injured worker. If the contractor has no employees he may elect to "exclude" himself from coverage which is his right – however you want that declaration made BEFORE he hurts himself. Again, being a registered contractor is meant to insure you it has been addressed.

You don't unknowingly want to become the "Employer," and face responsibility to the injured contractor.

What if his work is bad and you're not happy? Will insurance cover that? NO

Insurance is not a guaranty of workmanship, so you'll want to do your homework and check references from prior jobs before hiring a contractor. This will go a long way toward insuring you'll have a good experience.

Check the Contractor's Registration Website at www.mtcontractor.com; or call (406) 444-7734 for information about your contractor.

Ask for a Certificate of Liability Insurance showing their limits of Commercial General Liability, and if they have Workers' Compensation Insurance. If they don't have workers' compensation insurance they should be able to provide their Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate.

Depending on the size and scope of the work, some individuals will ask the contractor to "name them as Additional Insureds" on their policy of liability insurance. The contractor's policy will protect you as well in the event of a liability claim.

A little extra care on your part when selecting your contractor could make all the difference between a successful repair or renovation experience, as opposed to a complete disaster!

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Darnielle Insurance is available to answer your questions. We are located at 1320 28th Street West, Billings, MT 59102. Give us a call at 406-652-4180.

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