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June 2012 Newsletter


    Contractor vs. Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

In our newsletters we frequently suggest hiring a professional contractor to handle repairs and/or improvements. Why? Simply stated, risk management and claim prevention. These two items alone are reason enough to hire a licensed professional to handle all building maintenance needs. 

Hypothetical situation: The toilet needs to be replaced.
Scenario #1 - Injury
Contractor – The hired professional injures their back while replacing the toilet. The claim should be made against the hired professional’s worker compensation policy.
Volunteer – The church volunteer injures their back while replacing the toilet. A claim is made against the church’s liability policy.
Scenario #2 – Faulty Work
Contractor – The hired professional improperly installs the toilet, which then leaks and causes water damage. The claim should be filed under the contractor’s liability insurance.
Volunteer – The church volunteer improperly installs the toilet, which then leaks and causes water damage. The claim would be filed under the church’s property insurance.
These are just two of many scenarios that highlight the difference between hiring a professional and DIY. A hired professional is more likely to absorb claim-related and workmanship issues rather than the insured. On the other hand, a volunteer DIY project may result in an expensive claim which may adversely affect the insured’s loss history and result in greater underwriting scrutiny. 
Tips for hiring a contractor:
  • Obtain multiple bids.
  • Obtain multiple referrals.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau and Attorney General’s Office.
  • Obtain proof of liability, workers compensation coverage and appropriate licenses.
  • Obtain a concise and written contract signed by both parties.