Do you know the urban legend of "the Barrel of Bricks?" In it, a mason building a fireplace is severely injured while trying to get extra bricks off of a roof by himself. It's a story that has been told and retold for decades and most believe it to be a myth, but it feels more like a cautionary tale/fable: always be careful on the job site. And, in today's terms: always have insurance.
The Barrel of Bricks story isn't the only larger than life construction and contracting mishap to (maybe) have happened over the years.
- The Citicorp building might have been taken out by a strong gust of wind if an engineering student named Diane Hartley hadn't called the building's engineer to ask about the building's stilts being placed in the middle of the structure's primary sides instead of at the corners.
- Mississippi's I-35W Bridge collapsed because, experts say, of a flaw in the bridge's design.
- In an effort to speed up construction, the repairs on San Francisco's Bay Bridge led to a host of construction mistakes that, while not necessarily dire now, could lead to costly repairs and huge risks later on.
And then, of course, there are the myriad of mistakes that go wrong while building, remodeling and renovating home and office spaces: sink faucets that send water onto a counter instead of into a sink, driveways that are too steep, doors that actually block other entry ways when opened, etc.
Mistakes happen and sometimes you don't always discover them right away. The longer it takes for you to discover a construction mistake in your home or in your office spaces, the more money you'll likely have to pay to get those repairs fixed.
This is why insurance is such an important part of any home and business owner's portfolio. We talked about some of the most important policies you need to have in your insurance portfolio in this post. It is important to have insurance because both home and small business insurance exist to cover exactly these kinds of mistakes.
More importantly, while it is obviously important that you make sure that you have the right home and business insurance policies in place, it is also important that the companies you hire to do the work for you are insured and bonded. Make sure all the vendors working on your renovation projects have general liability and other forms of insurance. Providers like Target Insurance specialize in contractor’s insurance and are usually willing to consult with you on what your options are.
This consultation should include making sure that the contractor's insurance policy covers the cost of any repairs that are needed because your contractor (or his/her crew) made a mistake while working on your home or office.
Yes, it is true that some insurance policies can be expensive. That does not mean, however, that you should do any skimping on your policy. Spend some time talking to the different home and business insurance providers in your area to find out what sort of insurance is common where you live and work, how much it costs, the length of policies offered, etc. There are lots of things that you can do to make sure you don't spend too much on insurance. What matters is that you have the best policy possible.
After all, you never know what might happen!