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What is liability insurance?

Liability insurance is a contract between a contractor and an insurance company to reimburse a third party (such as a consumer) for property damage or personal injury loss caused by the contractor. 

An example of a loss might be a contractor’s ladder falling and breaking a window. General liability insurance does not provide reimbursement to a third party for poor work or construction defects. It may provide coverage for damage caused by faulty work or construction defects. 

A Certificate of Insurance that shows proof of a valid public liability and property damage insurance policy is required. This insurance must be carried throughout the licensing period. If you do not buy this insurance, the CCB could suspend your license or fine you. The insurance must cover the work that is subject to ORS 701.

Finding liability insurance

Public (general) liability and property damage insurance is available from many insurance companies at varying prices. Here are some tips for finding coverage:

  • Ask your insurance agent  (home or auto) if they know someone who specializes in contractor insurance.
  • Talk to other contractors in your line of work about who they use and like.
  • Do an Internet search for contractor liability coverage in your community.
  • Check with your trade association for referrals.

Submitting your insurance

  • The Certificate of Insurance must be issued in the full legal name of the sole proprietor; full legal names of all partners in a partnership or joint venture; the full legal names of all partners in an LLP and the name of the LLP; the name of the corporation, LLC, or trust. JV’s, LLP’s, Corp LLC’s and trusts must match the name filed at the Oregon Corporation Division. Limited partnerships should contact the CCB at 503-378-4621 for special instructions.
  • The certificate holder must be listed as the Construction Contractors Board, PO Box 14140, Salem, OR 97309.
  • The amount of the insurance must be at least equal to or higher than the insurance amounts in the endorsement chart below. Only one Certificate of Insurance is required, even for a dual endorsement.
  • The certificate of insurance must include a statement that products and completed operations coverage is included.​
  • Copies of the actual policy, billings, receipts, statements, etc. cannot be accepted in lieu of a Certificate of Insurance.​
  • Before submitting a Certificate of Insurance, verify that the insurance company is listed with the State of Oregon Insurance Division. If the insurance carried is not acceptable in Oregon, the licensing process will be delayed.
The Certificate of Insurance MUST accompany the application. Please do not submit the Certificate of Insurance separately, as it will delay the licensing process.

Sample insurance certificate
To verify that your Insurance Certificate is done correctly, please compare it to this sample insurance certificate​​. 

How much liability insurance do I need?

Residential contractors
Residential General Contractor:                  $500,000 per occurrence
Residential Specialty Contractor:                 $300,000 per occurrence
Residential Limited Contractor:                    $100,000 per occurrence 
Residential Developer:                                 $500,000 per occurrence 
Home Services Contractor:                          $100,000 per occurrence
Residential Locksmith Services Contractor: $100,000 per occurrence
Home Inspector Services Contractor:          $100,000 per occurrence 
Home Performance Score Contractor:         $100,000 per occurrence

Commercial contractors
Commercial General Contractor, Level 1:   $2,000,000 aggregate 
Commercial General Contractor, Level 2:   $1,000,000 aggregate 
Commercial Specialty Contractor, Level 1:  $1,000,000 aggregate 
Commercial Specialty Contractor, Level 2:  $500,000 per occurrence
Commercial Developer:                               $500,000 per occurrence






Sample insurance certificate

This sample certificate can help you understand legal requirements.