Home renovators

You will qualify for the home renovation exemption and will not be required to have WSIB coverage if:

  • Your business only performs home renovation work 100% of the time.
  • Your business only works on existing private residences.
  • Your business is hired and paid by the occupant or a member of their family. This means that if you are hired by a property owner or a landlord (someone who owns the house but does not live in it e.g.: is renting it out, fixing it up to sell, or is building a new home), this work is not considered exempt home renovation work under Bill 119 Mandatory Coverage in Construction, and is not exempt.

If you’re not sure how you’re defined under Mandatory Coverage, use the coverage tool on the home page to find out.

Please note: This exemption applies to independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in a partnership or executive officers in a corporation. However, if your business employs workers, you must register with the WSIB and have coverage for your workers.

It is important to remember that if you are exempt, you will not be eligible to receive benefits or support from the WSIB if you suffer a work-related injury or develop a work-related illness unless, you have obtained optional insurance.

An existing private residence is a dwelling that includes:

  • A house, condominium unit, or apartment unit.
  • A private residence that is used for recreational purposes, such as a cottage.


  • Any structures on the same site that are used exclusively for non-commercial purposes. These include such structures as garages, sheds, fences, or swimming pools.

If you have questions, or are unsure whether a structure you are working on is considered an existing private residence, please call us Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 416-344-1000 or 1-800-387-0750 (TTY 1-800-387-0050).

What Happens if you Take on Work that’s Not Home Renovation Work?

If you only do home renovation work and are paid by the occupant or a member of their family you are not required to have WSIB coverage (however you do still need to have coverage for any workers you employ).

However, when your business takes on even one non-home renovation contract, or you are not hired and paid directly by the occupant or member of their family, you no longer meet the criteria of exclusive home renovation work. This means you would need to register your business, report your earnings and pay premiums for coverage on both the home renovation and non-home renovation earnings for a minimum period of three months.

You may contact the WSIB to cancel coverage after the minimum period only if you go back to doing only exempted home renovation work.

If you have any questions regarding the home renovation exemption, please contact us and one of our representatives will be happy to help you.

Optional Insurance Coverage

Although you are not required to register for coverage if you meet the home renovation criteria, you can choose to register with the WSIB for workplace insurance. If you would like optional WSIB insurance, you will need to register, report on your earnings and pay premiums, and will receive the same coverage that the WSIB provides to other covered workers in Ontario. For more information on this coverage, please see the Benefits of Coverage page.

Have Questions?

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please see our FAQs, our Administrative Practice Documents, send us an email at needWSIBcoverage@wsib.on.ca or call us Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 416-344-1000 or 1-800-387-0750 (TTY 1-800-387-0050).