Do You Need Worker’s Compensation Insurance When Building, Why?

Many people who build a home will wonder if they need to have worker’s compensation insurance or not? The question is a good one, and is something you should consider if you are building. However, in most states, the answer is no.

Worker’s compensation is insurance that protects you from being held financially responsible should someone working for you be injured or have an accident while on the job.

In most states providing worker’s compensation insurance as the person whose home is being built is not necessary. In fact, some people do not even think about it, and that is ok. However, it is important to protect yourself legally when you have people working for you, even if they are not legal employees. If someone got hurt on your building site, what would you legally be required to do?

Even if you do not want to get a worker’s compensation policy, it is always smart to take out a liability policy when you have people building on property you own. That way, you do not have to be responsible financially or legally if they choose not to follow safety measures.

As far as worker’s compensation insurance goes, these people are not your employees. They are not on payroll; you do not pay their taxes. They are privately contracted, and thus responsible for their own insurance, health, dental, life, and worker’s compensation. Insurances are many, but that is the contractor’s and subs responsibility. You can provide it, and in some places it is required, though not always. If you choose to hire a contractor, you may want to ask them if they have worker’s compensation insurance, as this just double protects you from problems should something happen. When hiring subs, ask them about whether or not they have liability, worker’s compensation, etc. Ask to see the policy. You want to protect yourself as much as you can, without spending anything extra.

You can have it. If you want to purchase worker’s compensation to keep your self safe, legally, you can. You will simply want to contact your insurance agent as ask them how to get worker’s compensation for the time while you have people building your home. It is often fairly expensive, especially if you are only planning on having it for a short time, and for something like building. Construction is not as safe as an office job, so the cost to cover injury and accident will be more.

If you are worried about being legally responsible for injury, it would be wise to have a contract with all subs and contractors that states you will not be held liable, and that you will not take such responsibility. Then to double cover yourself, make sure you post safety rules, and include these rules of behavior in the contracts that the worker’s sign. Such rules should include things like wearing a hard hat, not leaving hammer on a ladder, or a power tool that is not in use should be unplugged, etc.

The laws of construction and building differ from state to state. So, just to be on the safe side, it is always wise to check and make sure that you do not need insurance in your state. You can call the building commission, and ask about insurances that are needed, and ask if you have to have worker’s compensation specifically.

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