Most retailers rely heavily on subcontractors to do some or all of their maintenance work. With locations across wide areas of the country, or even the world, using these contractors to perform day-to-day repairs has become the industry standard. To customers and your employees, these contractors are an extension of the companies operations group. To help you manage these contractors and protect your company you should have adequate information about the company, specific insurance requirements and purchasing agreements and rates.

Company information should include more than the name, address and phone information. It should include a Federal Tax ID number, specific information about the abilities of the contractor, coverage areas and emergency contact information. Your company may also want to know if these contractors are minority contractors

Having current insurance information is extremely important when dealing with subcontractors. Contractors with the proper insurance help protect everyone. Each retailer must decide what is acceptable to them regarding insurance coverage.

General and auto liability as well as worker’s compensation insurance should be part of the requirements. It is important to get insurance information via a Certificate of Insurance issued by the contractors insurance company. You should be listed as the Certificate Holder and “Additional Insured”. This provides you with the most specific coverage. Be aware of the policy expiration dates and make sure that all subcontractors provide a new Certificate of Insurance upon renewal.

You should have a purchasing agreement and/or rate sheet from each contractor that spells out costs, approvals and terms. This agreement can be as simple as a purchase authorization or as complex as a full contract with all terms and conditions spelled out.

Whether you gather all of this information within your company or have other companies gather it for you, having customer information, insurance coverage and a purchasing agreement can help you manage the maintenance portion of your business better while providing protection for your customers, employees and your company.

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