Hiring a contractor to construct your project is a great milestone. At this stage all documentation, such as drawings, specifications, and other contract conditions are complete and ready to be bid on.
However, before bidding there are several issues that need to be considered. In this part of my “How to Hire a Contractor in British Columbia” series we will discuss the legislation around WorksafeBC insurance coverage.
WorksafeBC insurance coverage protects both workers and the employers who pay the premiums. It is a no-fault system which means that insured parties are indemnified for losses no matter who is at fault. In most cases employers (or project owners) are required to carry this coverage by law.
Under its coverage employers are protected from lawsuits while workers are eligible for benefits if they suffer a work related injury. Conversely, if the owner does not carry registered coverage they will likely face WorksafeBC coming after them for the costs of all benefits if a worker suffers an injury while working on their project. A very serious repercussion that has been known to lead to home owners losing their houses.
Usually, project owners will retain the services of a contracting company. In such cases this company will be responsible for securing the required WorksafeBC insurance coverage. Here the owner is obliged to make certain that coverage exists by obtaining the contractor’s WorksafeBC number as well as copies of the WorksafeBC clearance letter for each premium period. Contractors usually submit clearance letters with their monthly progress payment claims but this needs to be called for in the project contract documents.
In situations where the contractor fails to provide coverage the onus falls on the owner to fulfill these requirements.
On small residential projects, where the owner employs individuals or independent businesses directly to perform work on their homes, they are responsible to provide coverage. Please check the exact requirements with WorksafeBC.
Part Two: Qualities to Look For
WorksafeBC About Insurance: http://www.worksafebc.com/insurance/about_insurance/default.asp
WorksafeBC Do you need coverage page: http://www.worksafebc.com/insurance/need_coverage/
WorksafeBC Homeowners and Renters: http://www.worksafebc.com/insurance/need_coverage/homeowners/default.asp