Whether it’s repairs after a storm, or improving an outdated house, home contractors can turn your world upside down even when they do a good job.
When they do a bad job, it’s more like what happened to Kim Rose.
“The contractor came in, replaced the roof. In the process, ended up doing $25,000 in additional damages to my home,” Rose said.
When Rose tried to get money from them, she found out that contractors in Connecticut are not required to have liability insurance, and her contractor did not.
“It just blows my mind that that could happen,” said Dan Morgan of Morgan Contracting. “I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.”
Morgan was one of several contractors standing with Kim Rose at the state Capitol Complex Thursday morning, because Rose is also a state representative, and she is trying to fix the current system which has comething called a Guarantee Fund.
“You first need to sue the contractor, win your case, and have the contractor default on payments,” Rose said. “Then you can apply through the State of Connecticut for the Guarantee Fund to receive funding through that. That’s capped at $15,000.”
That is not nearly enough to cover major home damage. Rose is backing a bill to make contractors carry at least a quarter million dollars in liability insurance. Members of the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association are backing that bill, too.
“It will not affect our members whatsoever,” said Tim Freeland of Freeland Brothers Construction. “We had a breakfast meeting the other morning and everybody just looked around and shrugged their shoulders basically because everybody carries more than the $250,000 that we’re going to mandate.”
The contractor’s association also want to educate consumers on how to prevent bad experiences. Check to make sure your contractor is registered with the state and does not have any complaints with the Better Business Bureau, and beware conspiuously low bids. They are probably low for a reason.
Rep. Rose would like to hear from other people with similar stories. There is a public hearing scheduled for Feb. 14 at 11:00 a.m.