Q. Our association wants to hire a small landscape company because the price quoted is outstanding, but the company has been slow to provide evidence of insurance for their business. What sort of insurance documentation should we require before hiring this type of vendor?

A. First, the contractor should have a worker’s compensation policy in its own name. Contractors who use corporate exemptions, employee leasing companies, and insured subcontractors may be in compliance with the law, but they are not supplying worker’s compensation coverage. These arrangements are nearly impossible to police and leave the Association with substantial exposures for liability and worker’s compensation claims. Forged Certificates of Insurance are not uncommon. Even after verification, it is difficult to monitor for cancelation and non-renewal for most insurance coverage, but the Florida Division of Worker’s Compensation’s free website includes a proof of coverage database that is an easy way to verify and monitor worker insurance.