Working with Outside Contractors
By: Eric Spacek
When there is a construction project at your facility, having it completed correctly and on time typically become your main goals. To achieve this, it's important you hire the right contractor for your job.
This is not always as easy as it may first appear, especially for churches, which often have a ready volunteer base to choose from. While hiring a church volunteer may seem like a smart way to keep the church budget in check, one bad accident or improperly implemented project could cause devastating damages to your organization, both emotionally and financially.
Enlisting a licensed professional may cost more, but doing so can help lower your risk of a liability claim.
For high-risk projects, such as roof work, HVAC or electrical work, or major construction projects, an outside contractor is recommended. When hiring a contractor, look for someone who has adequate insurance, is trained and properly licensed, and has good references. To help make the best decision possible, consider following these steps.
You may want to consider checking is the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been logged. You also can check online court and government records to learn about their history and verify they have the proper licenses for the work being completed.
Put It in Writing
In addition, make sure the contract includes a hold harmless agreement and an insurance clause requiring the contractor to be fully insured and naming your church as an additional insured.
They should have the following coverages:
• General Liability
Make sure that the contractor provides you with proof that they have named your church as an additional insured on their insurance policy. While a certificate of insurance provides some evidence of insurance coverage, the best proof is an "additional insured endorsement" to their insurance policy, which shows that your church has been named as an additional insured.
Do not enter into a contract agreement with anyone who is not willing to back up their work.
Follow Consistent Procedures
At a minimum, contractors are highly recommended in the following situations:
• When the work is significant, such as new construction, renovation or demolition
Making the Right Choices
Eric Spacek is the senior risk management and loss control manager at GuideOne Insurance, www.guideone.com.