Contractor question - workman's compensation

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I read all the post to date.
To answer your question. Maybe.
If he hires another licensed insured contractor and they both waive worker-comp rights in the interest to freely contract for work under the uniform commercial code. Then where I am your butt would be covered. In the People Republic of CA, I don't have a clue.
By the same measurement, here, if he hired an unlicensed person without your consent or knowledge you would be covered.
Since you do not have a homeowner's policy to fall back on, I suggest you proceed with extreme caution and CYA.
Colbyt
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Dan_Musicant wrote:

You might not be liable, but that might not be determined until someone sues and you litigate. I am all for hiring contractors who are equipped to do the job, which means adequate tools and equipment. A contractor who has to "try to hire a tough competent guy" is not equipped to do your work. There is a big difference between cheap and economical, and some folks never figure out the difference.
We had a painter hired by our condo assn. to do some small exterior paint jobs. He knocked on my door and asked to borrow a paint brush! He hit up another resident for lunch money!
I, personally, would not bid on a job I was not prepared to complete. Life is too short. There is probably a contractor with a fleet of trucks and a yard full of heavy equipment. Why not hire the folks with experience?
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:Dan_Musicant wrote: :> I've made arrangements to have my water main replaced by a licensed :> plumbing contractor in CA. I just met him last night and the work isn't :> going to start for a week, so I can back out of this if I call him today :> or tomorrow easily enough. I have another decent bid and I could go with :> them (a pretty large company). :> :> I just looked up his license and he's a sole owner and it says "This :> license is exempt from having workers compensation insurance; they :> certified that they have no employees at this time." :> :> He said he'd try to hire a tough competent guy to help with the :> trenching. What happens if that guy is hurt on the job? Am I going to be :> liable? :> :> TIA for information. :> :> Dan : :You might not be liable, but that might not be determined until someone :sues and you litigate. I am all for hiring contractors who are equipped :to do the job, which means adequate tools and equipment. A contractor :who has to "try to hire a tough competent guy" is not equipped to do :your work. There is a big difference between cheap and economical, and :some folks never figure out the difference. : :We had a painter hired by our condo assn. to do some small exterior :paint jobs. He knocked on my door and asked to borrow a paint brush! He :hit up another resident for lunch money! : :I, personally, would not bid on a job I was not prepared to complete. :Life is too short. There is probably a contractor with a fleet of :trucks and a yard full of heavy equipment. Why not hire the folks with :experience?
I think this guy pretty much has the experience. The toughest aspect of this job (everything else appears to be very easy) is going to be tunneling under the sidewalk to run copper tubing from the meter under my front lawn. Even the big plumbing company who are doing my sewer laterals said they thought that might be tough. The reason is that the water meter is RIGHT next to a pretty large tree, and there are sure to be roots pretty thick in there. So, they anticipate running directly from the meter AWAY from the tree trunk for a few feet, and THEN under the sidewalk. Still, you can't see what's under there and it could be tough.
I asked the uninsured guy how you get pipe under the sidewalk and he described in detail the device used. I didn't ask him if he owns it or is going to borrow or rent it.
I think he'd probably do a very good job. I'm just concerned about the insurance angle on this. I don't want to expose myself to risk and as people are saying in this thread, unless I have some solid assurances I should assume I'm taking quite a risk in hiring this guy. His bid is only $100 under the big company's ($2200 vs. $2399), although he says he'll use 3/4" L copper under the house. I may ask the big company if they will do that. Or, I may just accept 3/4" M under there.
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You would be, yes.
Have the plumber hire a sub and provide the necessary proofs of insurance. Or, hire a general laborer from a temp employment agency (some of them specialize in construction help). Then the temp agency has the necessary workmen's comp covered. Still get proof.
R
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wrote:
: :
:> I've made arrangements to have my water main replaced by a licensed :> plumbing contractor in CA. I just met him last night and the work isn't :> going to start for a week, so I can back out of this if I call him today :> or tomorrow easily enough. I have another decent bid and I could go with :> them (a pretty large company). :> :> I just looked up his license and he's a sole owner and it says "This :> license is exempt from having workers compensation insurance; they :> certified that they have no employees at this time." :> :> He said he'd try to hire a tough competent guy to help with the :> trenching. What happens if that guy is hurt on the job? Am I going to be :> liable? : :You would be, yes. : :Have the plumber hire a sub and provide the necessary proofs of :insurance. Or, hire a general laborer from a temp employment agency :(some of them specialize in construction help). Then the temp agency :has the necessary workmen's comp covered. Still get proof. : :R
I just talked to the plumber and he said he would do just that. Problem is he didn't answer my call for almost 24 hours, so I'd called the other bidder and made arrangements with him instead. It's $100 more, but I know he's properly insured and he will also start the work tomorrow instead of in 6 days. Either one would do the same job using the same materials, as I make out from conversations with them.
Dan
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clipped

No written bid? You saw his proof of insurance?
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:clipped :> :> I just talked to the plumber and he said he would do just that. Problem :> is he didn't answer my call for almost 24 hours, so I'd called the other :> bidder and made arrangements with him instead. It's $100 more, but I :> know he's properly insured and he will also start the work tomorrow :> instead of in 6 days. Either one would do the same job using the same :> materials, as I make out from conversations with them. :> :> Dan :> : :No written bid? You saw his proof of insurance? I got no written bid from the sole proprietor who I cancelled. I did get a written bid from the other company, however I cancelled it about a week ago. Now, I have told them to go ahead with the work, but I asked for a couple of changes in minor details (an extra hose bibb, 3/4" L copper under the house, and an assurance that they will install a bonding jumper at the meter). When I see the guy I talked to I guess I should have him make some notes on my signed bid. They are the same folks who are doing the trenchless sewer lateral replacement for me. I know they're insured. There guys have been around for around 50 years and are a good sized company. The CSLB website says their insurance and bonding is in good standing. Maybe I should ask them for proof of insurance. Is that standard practice when hiring a contractor? Then you call the insurance company and have a conversation?
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Most insurance agents have a standard form they send out for proof of insurance. That is all you should need.
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wrote in message

Yes, no, maybe, and definitely.
When I was a steel erection contractor, the customer was sent a certificate of insurance DIRECTLY from the agency where I had my policy. It was unacceptable for the contractor to give the customer a "copy" of anything regarding their insurance. It had to come from directly from the agency, or it was not considered valid.
That being said, all jurisdictions are not the same. But, something directly from the company who wrote the policy is definitely better than a "copy" that a guy can make up on his home computer.
Steve
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wrote:

imho:
That is all you need to 'start'. I've talked to agents that say they get calls from customers asking about their insured, but arent' valid. The work person pays the downpayment, and then never pays any following installments, but still show their summary page.
Call, find out.
tom @ www.BlankHelp.com
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Three things, Dan. - The difference between $2200 and $2399 is two hundred bucks, not one hundred bucks. - Contracting businesses may pay their employees, if any, by the hour, but the business itself is run by the day. The return phone call did not come 24 hours later, it came the next day. Unless there is an emergency a next day call is perfectly acceptable in just about everybody's book. The guy is also a sole proprietor which may increase or decrease his response time depending on how busy he is and what juggling he has to do that day. - You've probably burnt a bridge with that sole proprietor. Giving the job to another guy because the first guy returned your call the next day would be considered capricious by many, and he might not appreciate what he considers to be your wasting his time.
R
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wrote:
:> wrote: :> :
:> :> I've made arrangements to have my water main replaced by a licensed :> :> plumbing contractor in CA. I just met him last night and the work isn't :> :> going to start for a week, so I can back out of this if I call him today :> :> or tomorrow easily enough. I have another decent bid and I could go with :> :> them (a pretty large company). :> :> :> :> I just looked up his license and he's a sole owner and it says "This :> :> license is exempt from having workers compensation insurance; they :> :> certified that they have no employees at this time." :> :> :> :> He said he'd try to hire a tough competent guy to help with the :> :> trenching. What happens if that guy is hurt on the job? Am I going to be :> :> liable? :> : :> :You would be, yes. :> : :> :Have the plumber hire a sub and provide the necessary proofs of :> :insurance. Or, hire a general laborer from a temp employment agency :> :(some of them specialize in construction help). Then the temp agency :> :has the necessary workmen's comp covered. Still get proof. :> : :> :R :> :> I just talked to the plumber and he said he would do just that. Problem :> is he didn't answer my call for almost 24 hours, so I'd called the other :> bidder and made arrangements with him instead. It's $100 more, but I :> know he's properly insured and he will also start the work tomorrow :> instead of in 6 days. Either one would do the same job using the same :> materials, as I make out from conversations with them. : :Three things, Dan. :- The difference between $2200 and $2399 is two hundred bucks, not one :hundred bucks.
Right, that was a typo and I didn't notice it until I'd already sent it. I thought it a bit silly to correct it with a followup, but I will here since you mention it, and it is a valid point. I meant to type $2300.
:- Contracting businesses may pay their employees, if any, by the hour, :but the business itself is run by the day. The return phone call did :not come 24 hours later, it came the next day. Unless there is an :emergency a next day call is perfectly acceptable in just about :everybody's book. The guy is also a sole proprietor which may increase :or decrease his response time depending on how busy he is and what :juggling he has to do that day. :- You've probably burnt a bridge with that sole proprietor. Giving the :job to another guy because the first guy returned your call the next :day would be considered capricious by many, and he might not appreciate :what he considers to be your wasting his time. : :R
You're right, of course. When I first called him he called me back within about 5 minutes. We had a verbal understanding that I might call him within a day to cancel the job. Thus when I called him 24 hours later and said I had something to ask him, I thought the fact that he didn't return my call for almost another full day somewhat strange. He knew I had another good bid. People in this thread said that with my lack of a basic homeowner's policy I should be "extremely cautious." Also, I feel that the plumbing company that I'm currently dealing with has treated me rather well. Free inspection with camera, considerably underbid the competitors and fixed a very problematical clogged drain for free. Their bid was only $100 more than the sole proprietor, who was evidently uninsured. I didn't feel good cancelling either, to be truthful. Sometimes you can't win. My water main is broken and I'm prevailing upon my neighbors and using their water. It's coming through a couple of hoses and I'm wondering about how safe it is to drink.
I tried to be politic with the sole proprietor, and not burn my bridges. Look, we never even signed a bid. It was so informal and the work was to begin more than a week later. The man's busy, and he wasn't put out beyond coming over and looking and talking to me at length about the proposed job. On top of that, he lives close by so his travel wasn't much. I don't think he will refuse to consider me for future work. He doesn't seem like that kind of guy. Still I realize that cancelling the job without having talked to him first doesn't leave me at the top of his list of favorite potential customers.
Dan
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