It is important for you, as a homeowner, to do your homework when it comes to hiring a contractor. All you have to do is open a phone book to see how many plumbing contractors are advertising for your business, but you will find their business practices, and their prices, could vary widely. One huge cost discrepancy we find with our competitors, is against those that are not licensed or insured. Liability and worker’s comp insurance are huge overhead items. If a contractor is working alone, he is not required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, however, he should still have liability insurance.
Individual towns, in an effort to protect the homeowners, issue licenses to qualified contractors. They are put through written tests to make sure they are aware of town codes, and practical tests to make sure their work meets town standards. To maintain a valid license in any township, proof of insurance must be submitted annually.
Unfortunately, accidents do happen, even to the best, most careful plumbing contractors. Verifying before the job starts that your contractor has their own insurance could save you a huge hassle (and rate increase on your own homeowner’s policy), should something occur. Don’t be afraid to ask for a certificate of insurance. It’s not a bad idea either to check with the building/plumbing department of your township to make sure that your contractor’s license is valid for the period when your job will be completed.