The average homeowner will never know the answer to that question until the roofing contractor has a problem resulting in damage to their home or property. One assumption that homeowners have is that their homeowners insurance will cover them if something happens while someone is working on their house. The fact is that in most cases if you hire a contractor licensed or not to work on your home and he is not properly insured the insurance company is under no obligation to help you with the cost to repair damages caused by that person or company. If you doubt this take the time to read your policy or ask your insurance agent.
Damage during reroofing work can occur at any time in the process of the work and sometimes after the work is complete. A poorly insured roofing contractor without Liability Insurance who has a major problem will often bail out and not complete the work if a major disaster happens. We get calls every year from homeowners in this predicament. Liability protects your home while we are working on it should a major problem occur. Without it you would be left to go after the roofer at your own legal expense if they can’t afford to do the repair work.
What could happen?
As contractors we have all had days where what ever can go wrong will go wrong. Here are a few examples that are more common than you think.
Fire: While cutting lumber repairing dryrot you cut into an electrical wire causing a short in the wiring which in turn starts an attic fire. When installing the roof sheeting your nail penetrates an electrical wire that was run too close to the underside of the roofing causing it to short out. When installing a roof vent on a furnace pipe you inadvertently knock off the pipe from the top of the furnace which in turn starts a major fire when the furnace is turned on. While drying off a damp roof surface in winter using a torch you catch the edge of the roof sheeting and cause a smoldering fire which is undetected for hours later until it is out of control. This list goes on and on.
Water Damage: When the roofing was being nailed off a deck nail penetrated an overhead copper water line which is now spraying water into the attic space soaking the insulation and causing the ceiling to collapse resulting in major damage to the wood floor and sheet rock walls. For some reason a skylight or large vent pipe top did not get put back on and while the homeowner was out of town a major storm blows in. The leak occurred over the top of that grand piano, priceless piece of antique furniture, or on your new 65” Plasma TV. And the most common problem is when the roofing company leaves the roof open not expecting rain and a freak rain occurs causing devastating damage to the inside of the house. Without Liability Insurance you could be on your own.
Property Damage: As the roofing company backs the large truck into the driveway the drivers foot slips off of the clutch and the truck smashes into the front of the garage causing major damage. The roofer overloads the roof structure with materials and it caves from the excess weight.