Q: Everybody claims to be “licensed & insured.” How can I verify this?

A: Yes, many make this claim, but some only have a driver’s license and auto insurance. The license can be verified through the state. Visit the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website, where you can search the license holder, license number, or license type. Enter your contractor’s company name to verify the license is valid, or enter the license number to verify that it is active.

For the insurance, ask for an Acord certificate of insurance for their Workers Compensation coverage, and their General Liability coverage. These may be on one document, or two if with different carriers. Coverage amounts and expiration dates are listed on the certificate, and the carrier’s phone number is listed at the top so you can call and verify that the insurance wasn’t cancelled after the certificate was issued. Folks play many games; it’s always best to verify.