Important Reasons to Hire an Insured HVAC Professional

If you are considering a repair or replacement for your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system and are looking for a trusted professional, do your homework. Among other qualifications, your contractor should be a licensed, bonded and insured HVAC professional. The information in this post will help you understand what this means and why it's important. 

Hire a True Professional

 

Though it takes time and effort, your investment to research potential contractors will be worth it in the long run.

Besides experience and know-how, an HVAC professional you hire should also be qualified in other ways. It's important to check credentials, like memberships and certifications. You should also verify that you are hiring a licensed, bonded and insured HVAC professional to protect yourself, your property and the company employees.

Depending on the laws in your state, you may bear responsibility for damages if an uninsured worker becomes injured while working in your home, regardless of fault or circumstances.

The HVAC professional you hire should carry sufficient insurance to cover any damage that is caused to your property during the work being done as well as insurance that covers accidents or injury to the employees performing work at your home. 

Example of Homeowner Liability 

 

There are horror stories of contractors cutting corners with licensing and insurance, costing the homeowner a lot more than the cost of the job and causing big problems for homeowners. But that's not even the worst. If the contractor is not licensed, bonded and insured, it could lead to lawsuits against you.

Did you know that you could even be held liable for damage to your neighbor's property that your contractor caused? You can, if he is not an insured HVAC professional.

Here is one unnerving scenario:

Joe and his crew show up for a job at Bill’s house. Bill knew Joe is a good guy, because he did a great job for his friend, Harry. Joe got started on the job and Bill was impressed by what he saw and how he handled the crew on the first day. However, the second day, when working on a portion of the ductwork, one of Joe’s crew members, John, fell through the ceiling on the third floor, breaking his arm and hurting his back.

Now, Bill learns that Joe's crew is not insured. So, when the worker goes for medical treatment, Bill is informed that he's responsible for all the expenses, because the accident happened on his property. It wasn’t Bills fault; John simply took a wrong step. But Bill may be held responsible just the same and will probably be sued.

Lawyers on the case will make the most of it. They will extract from Bill's wallet as much money as they can – even if it costs a great deal.

This whole scenario could be avoided by hiring a licensed and insured HVAC professional.

 

Know The Score

 

There are a few definitions you need to know and understand. For your greatest protection, you want to make sure your contractor has all three of the qualities listed below.

Licensed

 

To receive a license, a contractor has been approved by the state, showing his or her competence in HVAC services. If a contractor is licensed in a certain state, there are laws that guide or restrict work in other states. The certification authority will be different in each state. In Ohio, for example, the Department of Commerce handles HVAC licensing. 

It is prudent that when a contractor gives you a business card with his or her contact information and license number, verify it is legitimate and registered to the contractor. Call the Better Business Bureau or check their site online. You can also see if any complaints have been launched against the contractor.

Bonded

 

If the contract is not fulfilled as promised, you will be covered financially if the contractor is bonded. When considering work worth more than $500, it is recommended you have a bonded HVAC contractor.

Insured

 

If a worker damages any of your property, it will be covered by the insured professional and not your homeowner's insurance. This includes injuries. So, in the scenario above, John would be covered and Bill would not be held accountable. Contractors should carry both liability and Worker's Compensation insurance.

Buyer Beware!

 

Don’t allow workers in your home to cut corners. Yes, an insured professional may cost more initially. But, you'll be protected if anyone is hurt on the job or an accident causes property damage.

You may have heard that you get what you pay for. In this instance, it is peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, you, the homeowner, are not responsible for damages to property (yours or anyone else's) or any injuries of the workers.

It just makes sense to hire only a licensed, bonded and insured HVAC professional. Our hiring guide below will help you to make sure you ask all the right questions during the hiring process.

Image credit: insured

 

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