The first measure, AB 397, “requires contractors claiming workers’ compensation exemptions to recertify their status or supply proof of insurance whenever they renew their licenses.” The second measure, AB 878, “requires insurers to report client companies underreporting salaries to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB).”
Both laws are intended to address illegal contracting practices that have hurt consumers as well as “law-abiding contractors who have struggled to compete against those who cut corners by not properly insuring workers.” They also come at a time when the CSLB is cracking down on unlicensed contractors through sting operations. Aqua Magazine reports that in November, the Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) unit of the CSLB “arrested eight illegal contractors [in] Murrieta” and that “similar operations netted 113 violators in eight other cities.”
California is, of course, not the only state to face this dilemma, nor is the problem endemic to just one industry: “illegal contracting practices have [plagued a variety of] markets all over the country.” The recession that began in 2008 has only made the situation worse, especially in unstable economic climates like the one that has characterized the Golden State.
If you are a California contractor who is unsure if your own liability coverage meets the requirements, contact the experts at Statewide Insurance. They’ll help you understand the changes so that you can take care of your workers—and ultimately, your business—the right way.