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Does your contractor have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Illinois law requires contractors to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, but a small percentage of them fail to comply. These contractors enjoy an unfair competitive advantage over law-abiding companies, while jeopardizing the well being of  their employees if accident should occur. Be aware that if the contractor does not carry workers compensation coverage, you will be liable for any injuries suffered by the contractor or any of his employees on your property.

If the contractor is a one-man operation, he can be exempt from having to carry workers’ compensation insurance.  Ask him to show you his Certificate of Exemption from Workers’ Compensation. This is very risky for you though. If he shows up with a helper and the helper gets hurt, with no Workers’ Compensation Insurance, you may have to pay the medical bills. If the uninsured contractor doesn’t verify his sub-contractors Workers Compensation Insurance and the sub-contractor gets hurt, again you may have to pay the medical bills.

What are the risks? By law, if anyone gets hurt while working on your property and they aren’t covered by Workers Compensation Insurance, you will be responsible for their medical treatments, which can be as simple as a few thousand dollars for a minor injury to hundreds of thousands for a major one. It is always safer to deal with a fully insured contractor.

If you need help identifying contractor’s coverage, call the ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION Information Unit (toll-free within Illinois at 866/352-3033, or 312/814-6611) or you can search IWCC database at:   http://www.iwcc.il.gov/coverage.htm