Proof of Insurance
You’ll need to verify that your contractor carries General Liability and worker’s compensation insurance. If your contractor can not supply you with proof of insurance, quickly run in the other direction and DO NOT trust them to work on your beloved abode! Here’s an example: what if one of the contractor’s men (or day laborer he picked-up on the corner) cuts off his finger at your home? If the contractor’s not insured, who do you think the lawyer’s going to come after? YOU! A responsible contractor will carry no less than state-required coverage plus an additional 1-2 million-dollar umbrella policy. If a contractor can’t cover the damages themselves (either by insurance or personal wealth), you’ll have no legal recourse and will end-up paying for any damages or injuries yourself. DO NOT get stuck with this mess and become an insurance underwriter yourself. Make them SHOW YOU IN WRITING!
Remember: insurance companies have actual risk histories on the contractors they insure. Let them be the experts!