Rose pushes bill that would require testing, insurance for contractors

State Representative Kim Rose (D-Milford), addressed the legislature’s General Law Committee to support a proposal she has been championing for several years.

Her proposal, House Bill #5785, An Act Concerning Insurance and Testing Requirements for Home Improvement Contractors, looks to protect consumers by requiring home improvement contractors to obtain liability insurance coverage, pass a written examination and doubles the guarantee fund, which the consumer can turn to.

“This is a very important bill for me and the people we represent,” Rep. Rose said. “I was a victim of a shoddy contractor and I have heard from many constituents who have faced the same problem. Several people are under the false impression that contractors are licensed, when in fact, many are not. We need to put a mechanism in place to hold contractors accountable for faulty work.”

In her testimony, Rose pointed out that in order to sell real estate or insurance in Connecticut, individuals must obtain a state license and take additional continuing educational classes. The same principle applies to electricians, heating and cooling contractors and plumbers who are required to be licensed and take annual credits, but home improvement contractors only need to register and pay a fee.

Rose said, “Home improvement contractors should validate their experience and show their knowledge of state requirements before we open the doors of our homes to them. For many of us, our homes are a lifetime investment that we need to protect without worrying about contractors who do substandard work.”

The proposal calls for contractors to carry a minimum liability policy of $1 million, for consumers to be able to recoup a reasonable amount of their investment if they become victims. It also would require contractors to be tested to show that they have a working knowledge of state requirements, including contractual agreements, estimates and much more.