Homeowners should choose their contractors with care

Posted: 31 May 2018 9:30 am

An uptick in unhappy Brisbane homeowners exposes the need for caution.

Police in Queensland noticed an uptick in complaints against contractors but since it was a civil matter, there wasn't much they could do from a legal standpoint. So they sent out a notice offering tips to help homeowners choose their contractors wisely.

In a similar spirit, finder has decided that now's a good time to remind homeowners how to get the most protection out of their home and contents insurance if their contractor doesn't live up to expectations.

Hiring a contractor can have major implications for home insurance. Most home and contents policies that would usually cover the cost of damage will often not cover damage to the existing home if it is caused by additional construction or renovations. As a homeowner, you will need to have owner-builder insurance in case the contractor's insurance refuses to cover the damage, or worse yet, the contractor is uninsured.

One way to find out if your contractor is insured is to check with your state's building authority. They will also be able to tell you if the contractor has their licence and if they've recently had any breaches or fines.

A typical home and contents insurance policy will also refuse theft-related claims if the thief is someone you've invited into the home. Police might be able to help in this case, but insurance probably won't. That means if you want to be covered for theft, you should not give contractors unrestricted access to the home when you're not present.

Having home and contents insurance in place will protect your most expensive asset, so make sure it's not compromised by a poor choice in a contractor.

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