Radon Mitigation Contractors

Today I would like to talk to a very specific insurance niche out there, Radon Mitigation Contractors.  Here in Minnesota back in 2013 our lawmakers debated and introduced legislation for the Radon industry regarding parameters around the testing and mitigation on Radon for individual’s home sales.  As you know, any home for sale in Minnesota since 1/01/2014 needs to be tested for Radon, making the buyer aware before they buy.  This caused many headaches for both the sellers and real estate agents.

However, this new legislation cause an opportunity for new small businesses to pop up all over our State.  From an insurance point of view, it caused the insurance agents who represented those contractors, the headaches now.  The normal insurance companies you see on TV and hear on the Radio will not touch this class of business.  At this time, they do not know about Radon and will not allocate resources to the study of Radon.  This has caused many insurance agents to get creative in the description of who their client is.  These Radon mitigators became “plumbers, handymen, and carpenters” as these classes of business is understood by the carriers.  But do you believe the insurance policy you buy will protect you in the event of a loss?  I would say there are gaps from the word, go.  Oh I get it, you can get an insurance policy for $500 instead of $2500.  Besides you haven’t had a claim yet and you are thinking you will never get a claim.  As the former NY Detective Bo Dietl from the Arby’s TV commercials would say, really… really… really…

We’ve all heard, “You get what you pay for”.  In this case, you are paying $500 for no coverage.  Yes that is right, nada.  Just throwing your money out the window.  Why, because in the application you filled out and signed off on, it states everything on your application is true and correct (ie: you’re not a plumber).  If you misrepresent on the application the insurance company can (and mostly will) deny the claim because you are not a plumber.  So here you sit with this insurance policy you have been paying on for 10 years and now “POW” you get a claim.  Let’s say you installed a mitigation system in a home and tried to get it done quickly as you needed to get two jobs done in one day.  You installed the system but it was not installed properly.  The system caused a backdraft filling the home with Carbon Monoxide injuring several people and their dog.  That $5,000 you paid over the last 10 years did nothing for you, you are left holding the bag.  Being cost conscious is a good thing, if you are buying the right coverage to begin with.