I'm going to hire someone to paint my house and I've received a quote
from a contractor who is licensed, but not currently insured. He says
that he was out of the business for a few years and the state
licensing board's website says that his co. is exempt from needing w/c
insurance since it "has no employees". He mentioned that his crew will
consist of two other assistants (who may or may not be insured).
I realize that there is a risk in hiring an uninsured contractor, but
I was wondering if my liability can be limited through other means,
such as having him sign an indemnification letter that I can prepare.
Or maybe there's some other type of document I can ask him sign to
document that he's an independent contractor, which would limit my
He seems like he would do a good job and seems very interested (even a
little desperate) to get the job (maybe he's fallen on hard times). I
kind of feel a little sorry for him, but I know this is no reason to
hire him if the risk is too high. He said no payment required until
the job is completed.
This is the wrong thing to worry about. Does the guy have a good reputation
as a painter? If he's exempt as you say, then your only worry should be the
quality of his work. You can cite the website that says he's exempt when
you write up a contract.
Thoughts in line:
Red flag. Two kinds of insurance to think about.
First is his lability insurance.
He puts a ladder through your triple pane 5 high x 8 foot wide window.
you report you suspect below about his financial situation, he's in no
posiion to pay
to fix it. You are stuck. He puts a ladder through your neighbor's
triple pane 5 high
x 8 foot wide window. Again, you are stuck.
In my state (Oregon) if he doesn't have both liability insurance and a
his license is void. Fifty states and the District of Columbia have
sets of rules. I don't know what state you are in or the rules there,
as a persoal protection matter, I would not do business with a company
or individual who could not have their insure or broker (not the
contractor, but the insurance compan or broker) send me direcly
both proof of current valid paid up insurance and a rider / binder
premises as an additional insured site.
Again, fifty one sets of rules. Here, a company owner cannot buy
Workers Comp for himself,
he gets hurt, its his problem.
He mentioned that his crew will
HUGE RED FLAG. He has assistants and crew? Not on my property, again
until and unless I get directly from the insurer or the broker proof f
paid up and inforce
I realize that there is a risk in hiring an uninsured contractor,
I don't thgink you do reaize just how big a risk there is.
And the indemnification agreement has just what practical effect if he's
If he hasn't got the money al the indemnification agreements in the world
won't protect you, because he has no money. And you have to sue him to
enforce the indemnification agreement. If he had the money he'd be paying
Like far too many people, you think the phrase "independent contractor"
magic "Colgate wth Gardol" (my age is showing) shield to protect
It ain't. Its useless.
Stick with that feeling.
He said no payment required until
Call your insurance agent and see what happens if he hurts himself and
sues you or burns your house down. In my state, your homeowner's
policy will cover the the unlicensed painter. If you end up with a
claim, your rates will go up--but that is a much smaller risk, then
say losing your retirement account. If it were me, I'd hire a
uninsured painter, assuming he has good references etc. Not an
excavator, plumber, or general contractor, for example, but for a
painter? How big is the risk seriously?
The risk with a uninsured 'painter' comes when one of [his] helpers falls
off the ladder and can't work as a result of the injury. Now, he is hurt on
[your] property! He will ultimately sue YOU since the painter he was
working for doesn't have a dime or insurance.
Also, if the painter decides not to pay his [helpers], they can turn around
and sue you for payment. [Although in California the painter is required to
have a $12,500 bond to be licensed, which you [the homeowner] can lean on
for his failure to perform [or his employee's can also lean on the bond].
"marson" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
I didnt' do it, but that might be a good reason to take pictures of
the land around the house every morning. The homeowner still has to
do something negligent to be liable. I guess one needs a newspaper in
the picture to prove the date it was taken, although it could still be
taken later than that.
If there really is a special risk and you know aobut it, you should
tell them, or you really are negligent. For the same teling them, I
guess you coudl tell them in writing and make all three sign it.
What, though, could be a special risk that isn't obvious?
I wouldn't be so sure of that. That is true if someone comes on your
property as a visitor and trips and falls. However, this is a case
where the guy has an uninsured contractor with two "assistants". I
would not be surprised to find that the homeowner could be held
responsible for workmans comp injuries, where no negligence is
I guess one needs a newspaper in
Thanks for the advice, everyone.
I think most of you are right. It's not worth the risk. Most of the
quotes I've received in this (reasonable) price range are from
uninsured/unlicensed painters or guys who will take shortcuts. Quotes
from more professional contractors are about 50% higher, which is a
decent chunk of change for me.
I thinking about painting the house myself. I'm just trying to get a
good idea of how much time I'll have to put into it. It's an average
size, single story house with stucco siding and wood trim. I'm
thinking 3 to 5 solid days with a couple of friends helping me on the
weekend (assuming I rent a good sprayer). 2 coats on everything. Does
that sound about right?
Overly optimistic estimate. The bulk of the work is scraping, cleaning,
repairing, caulking. This will take some time. And of course then it will
start raining. Consider renting some staging for about a month if you plan
to do this after work and on weekends.
A coat of tinted primer and two coats of paint sounds good to me.
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