Condominium and Homeowner Associations, Workers Compensation
Insurance and Sub-Contractors: Demand Insurance From Them.....and
Have Your Own Policy
A very confusing and complicated aspect of insurance law has to
do with injuries sustained by sub-contractors: at the time of an
injury, are they your "employee" and therefore entitled
to benefits under your Virginia Workers Compensation policy (what
if you do not have one?).
Virginia law states that at the time of an occurrence, an employer
with three or more employees (no distinction between full time and/or
part time employee) is required to have workers compensation insurance
in effect. Failure to do so triggers many adverse consequences for
the uninsured employer and the "general contractor" employee
Virginia law states that a "general contractor" (in which
status an association could find itself) is responsible to compensate
the injuries of any employee of any uninsured employer. Example:
an association hires a paint contractor (which does not have workers
compensation insurance in effect) and at the time of a loss, has
three helpers, one of which has fallen off a ladder while working
at the association. The association may be determined in this case
to be the general contractor and, therefore, be required to step
into the shoes as the injured employee's (uninsured) employer and
pay the benefits that are required to be paid and/or incur legal
action that may not otherwise be covered under the association's
general liability policy.
The best advice for an association to take is to:
If an association has any employees of their own, the association
should buy its own worker's compensation policy. A minimum premium
policy of several hundred dollars per year will supply the necessary
Always require a certificate of insurance from any vendor before
they start a job, specifying that workers compensation insurance
is in effect.
Beskin and Associates, Inc.