Hiring a contractor - no insurance?

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Okay, I need a new roof (tear off and re-shingle) and am getting three bids. Two contractors were recommended by a lumber yard (not a big box store) and the third was mentioned but not recommended so I am down to two no matter what the price. The one that was the most highly recommended works by himself (he is a licensed contractor) and does a lot of work for doctors, other professionals, companies, etc. When I asked him about insurance he said that because he worked alone he does not need to carry workman's comp.
My home is two story and the roof has pitches of 12:12 and 16:12 so obviously it is high and steep. It would seem to me that he should have some kind of insurance so my tush is covered if he falls. OTOH, he is very professional and does a lot of work for the "big boys" so maybe not.
What are your opinions?
Don
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What sort of Homeowners insurance do You have?
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On 9/5/2011 10:13 PM, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

State Farm....will check with them to see if I am covered.
Don
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There's another bad idea. Someone who will consider an uninsured contractor might be construed as a "risk taker".
Never call your insurer to see if you are covered for this or that Insurers tend to assume the damage is done (and it was your fault). -----
- gpsman
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True, he does not need workman's comp. He should have some other type of coverage to cover his expenses if he injures himself and liability insurance in case he damages your property.
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I believe that varies with the State, Ed. And I am only speaking of Nevada, where I was a licensed contractor.
Steve
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Workman's Comp covers employees. If the guy works by himself and is the owner of the company, he doesn't need WC. At least in NY, but I think it's the same in most states. Here's the NY State WC Board web site's info on the matter: http://www.wcb.state.ny.us/content/main/Employers/Coverage_wc/emp_covNotReqexamples.jsp

Right. And proof of that insurance should be supplied.
I have a sneaking suspicion you may have stumbled upon one of the rare ones. If the guy is really one of the old school I_Do_It_All perfectionist guys, maybe nobody can stand working with him for long! ;)
R
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Just ask the guy to sign a "hold harmless" release form in case of injury, as you do not want his "one man band" type operation to cause you and your homeowner's insurance policy any grief... He would be performing the work at his own risk, rather than you depending on his special ninja skills in magically preventing an on-the-job accident...
If he doesn't want to sign a liability release do not hire him unless he is willing to produce a copy of an insurance certificate covering: personal injury (worker's comp), general liability of at least $500k and job completion surety...
~~ Evan
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It would be quicker if the OP just told the One Man Band guy to fuck off. What you're proposing would have the same effect.
R
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Having him sign a liability release won't do anything to help you collect if drops a hammer on some kid's head. Or if he lets a ladder fall onto your neighbors property, taking out his house's window or crushing his car. Nor will it stop the neighbor from suing you for the injuries or damages and leaving you to pay it.
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On 9/6/2011 8:24 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

worker comp has nothing to do with those situations.
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Neither will a liability release. Liabimity INSURANCE will, however.
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Who ever said it did?
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On 9/7/2011 9:15 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

op. end of 1st paragraph
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Yeah... This is why states are starting to impose insurance requirements on licensed trade professions...
No cert of insurance to the board of licensing, no license...
No license, no legal work...
~~ Evan
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A contractor with no insurance? A man who claims he can remove and replace your roof working alone? What does your contractor's board say when you call them and ask if what he tells you is true?
My opinion is that you are wandering onto a busy freeway with impaired senses. Chances are something bad will happen.
Steve
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On 9/5/2011 10:48 PM, Steve B wrote:

I agree that working alone would be quite a feat and I questions him about it and I also questioned two REAL lumber yards about his work. His answer to how he does it was "12 hrs per day...7 days a week". The REAL lumber yards said that he has been doing it for years and his quality could not be beat. I personally think that the odds of something bad happening are VERY low. I will give State Farm (where my homeowners policy is) a call and see what they say.
Don
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Interesting. No business around here will recommend a particular business or person. It appears to be a liability issue along with getting a bad rapport with other contractors, which were not recommended.
Let's say good Lord forbid something would happen to the contractor, who would complete the job? There are only 2 types of people who would roof alone, fools & idiots. No one plans an accident, that's why they're called accidents.
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Kudos, Sir.
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I've found that to generally be the case in a number of places. Some places will throw out a name or three, others will just shake their heads no. This is one of the things that interests me about this OMB (one man band) - how does the guy do something that doesn't appear to make sense, but manage to get recommended, make a profit and stay in business? I don't see luck being the major player in that equation.

There are many, many companies where you wouldn't want the next guy in line finishing the show anyway. Most roofing companies are pretty small businesses, a guy and his uncle or somesuch and some hired grunts is not atypical. Which one of these guys would you want to finish your roof...?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRDKQqbsm9I

If the guy was laid up, another company/friend-roofer would finish the job. It's funny but what some are taking to be a negative - working alone - I take to be a positive in almost everything but speed.

I understand your skepticism, but drawing assumptions from the little info on the guy that the OP provided, and focusing on the negative instead of wanting more information, the OP might end up throwing out the wheat with the chaff. Aren't you curious if the guy uses roof tie- offs or freeballs it? What exactly does he sub out? Does he do _everything_ himself and it will take weeks to do the roof? How big and complicated is the roof? Does he sub out rip off and removal and just do all of the shingling himself? I'm not convinced that it's impossible for one person to work on a roof safely or reshingle an entire house by themselves. It's more of a question of how long it would take, quality and cost.
R
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