Protect Yourself When Hiring Others to Clear Your Snow and Ice

November 30, 2011 at 9:03 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property | Leave a comment
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Property owners are legally responsible for making sure ice and snow are removed from their premises. How do you protect yourself when you hire someone to shovel and/or plow for you?

 

  • Communicate your expectations clearly. If you expect snow to be removed at certain times or when the accumulation is at a certain depth, put it in writing and have both parties sign the contract.
  • Always ask for a certificate of insurance. A certificate of insurance will tell you whether or not the person you are hiring has insurance coverage. Keep in mind that a certificate of insurance is only good for the day it is issued. You will not be notified if the insurance gets canceled after the certificate is issued.
  • Make sure the certificate shows both auto liability and completed operations coverage. Auto liability covers damage to your property and responds if the contractor injured someone while plowing. Typically, recommended limits are at least 250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident. Completed operations coverage responds if someone is injured after the work is finished, and is usually purchased in increments of $500,000 up to $1,000,000.
  • Consider a personal umbrella policy. An umbrella policy provides higher limits for any liability issues brought against you. Even though you are hiring someone else to do the work for you, you may still be named in a lawsuit if someone is injured.

If you have any questions or would like additional information on this topic, please call us at 888-850-9400.

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