Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Damage Cause By A Contractor?


To address our main topic, let’s first take a brief look at homeowners insurance. It’s a type of property insurance that covers losses and damages to an individual’s house and assets in the home. In a nutshell, homeowners insurance provides coverage against many kinds of damage, but it’s not all-encompassing.

Homeowners insurance generally covers structural damage to your home, personal property loss, liability if someone is injured, and living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss.

What Homeowners Insurance Usually Doesn’t Cover

However, it usually doesn’t cover damage from “maintenance” issues, flood or earthquake damage, or business activities conducted in the home, amongst other things.

Contractor-Related Damages and Homeowners Insurance

Now, what about damage caused by a contractor? Let’s dive into this topic.

Understanding Contractor’s Insurance

First, you should know that most professional contractors carry their insurance. This insurance protects them against liability for their work, including accidental damage caused while performing their duties.

When Homeowners Insurance Might Cover Contractor-Related Damage

Your homeowners’ insurance might cover contractor-related damage if it’s considered accidental or sudden, such as a fire or pipe burst caused by the contractor’s work.

Situations When Homeowners Insurance May Not Cover Contractor-Related Damage

However, if the damage results from poor workmanship or intentional actions by the contractor, your homeowners’ insurance probably won’t cover it. In such cases, the contractor’s insurance should be the one to cover the damage.

Determining Responsibility for Contractor-Related Damages

Deciding who is responsible when damage occurs can sometimes be a gray area.

The Role of Contractor Liability

The contractor’s liability insurance is designed to cover property damage and bodily injuries that the contractor might accidentally cause.

How to Protect Yourself Before Contractor Work Begins

Before any work begins, it’s wise to confirm that your contractor has valid, adequate insurance. Ask for a Certificate of Insurance and consider contacting the insurance company to verify the coverage.

Pursuing a Claim for Contractor-Related Damages

So, what happens if damage occurs?

Filing a Claim with Your Homeowners Insurance

If you have damage that needs immediate repair, you might need to file a claim with your homeowners’ insurance. They may then attempt to recover the costs from the contractor’s insurance through subrogation.

Seeking Reimbursement from the Contractor’s Insurance

Alternatively, you might be able to file a claim directly with the contractor’s insurance.

Tips for a Successful Claim

Remember to document everything, including the initial contract, the damage caused, and all your interactions with the contractor. Having solid documentation can be invaluable if you need to file a claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does homeowners insurance always cover damage caused by a contractor?

Not always. The coverage depends on the terms of your policy and the nature of the damage.

2. What type of insurance should a contractor have?

Contractors should have general liability insurance at a minimum, which covers property damage and bodily injuries they might accidentally cause.

3. What should I do if a contractor damages my property?

Document the damage, contact your insurance company, and discuss the situation with your contractor.

4. Will my insurance premiums increase if I file a claim for contractor-caused damage?

This depends on your policy and the nature of the claim. It’s possible that your rates could increase after a claim.

5. Can I take a contractor to court over property damage?

Yes, if the contractor’s insurance does not cover the damage or the contractor is uninsured, you might have to resort to legal action.


In conclusion, whether or not homeowners insurance covers damage caused by a contractor depends on the specifics of the situation and the types of insurance involved. It’s always advisable to understand your own homeowners’ insurance policy, confirm your contractor’s insurance, and maintain good documentation. When in doubt, consult with an insurance professional to ensure you’re adequately protected.

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