It is not uncommon to assume that uninsured and/or unlicensed workers are “not your concern,” but the truth is, when you hire them, they become your concern. If the worker you are hiring is uninsured and unlicensed when working on your property, by default, you become the “employer” or general contractor. It then becomes the employer’s (your) responsibly to provide worker’s compensation if any accidents occur on the job. This means that if the worker injures themselves on the job, and they have no worker’s compensation, as the general contractor, you are responsible for this worker’s medical bills, and lost wages from time off the job due to this injury. It also means that you are responsible for any severe damages to your home caused by less than par work.
It’s not just uninsured workers that become your responsibility, but also unlicensed contractors. Did you know that most homeowner’s insurance policies specifically exclude damages caused from the work of unlicensed contractors? Meaning this policy will not protect you from such damages.
With all that being said, it is important to realize that these forms of insurance and certifications are the responsibility of the contracting professionals. They are required to have these licenses and certifications to protect themselves and the general contractor or employer, but also to protect you, the homeowner.
Now knowing this, ask yourself two questions:
- Do you feel like hiring licensed professionals is important and worth potentially a higher estimated project cost?
- How does this higher upfront cost for safe workers compare to the potential cost for damages associated with hiring the unlicensed worker?
When answering these questions, it is very important to weigh both sides and calculate if you believe you can afford to take this risk.
Uninsured workers are often not only cheaper, but also not trained at the same professional level that licensed contractors are, nor are they typically OSHA certified. This means they may work more quickly and carelessly due to lack of education and training, making the risk and chance of accidents happening even greater.
So, how do you find out if the worker you are looking to hire is licensed and insured? When you are meeting with a contractor it is very important to ask outright if they, and their workers, are insured and licensed. It is not enough for the contractor to just say yes, but also make sure they show you written proof of these certifications. Sometimes, these certifications can be faked, so it may even be wise to double check with your state.
All workers at The Brothers that just do Gutters are insured, provided worker’s compensation, and OSHA 10 certified. OSHA was created by congress to assure safe and healthy working conditions by setting and enforcing standards. To become certified, training and education is required. On top of being extensively trained on safety, our workers are equally trained in their trade. The Brothers that just do Gutters utilize a Skills Ladder in the field. Each level requires a specific set of hard and soft skills to be completed before entering the next level. All new employees are trained by the highest, senior-level staff.
We understand accidents happen and we take all measures necessary to try to prevent them at all costs. We also understand that worker’s compensation, and safety of hired workers shouldn’t be the homeowner’s responsibly. When hiring any type of contractor to work on your home, it is important to think bigger picture. Although the cost to hire an unlicensed, one-man-show worker may be cheaper, the risk and cost of accidents (which we established happen) will come with a much bigger price tag than the cost difference in estimate bids. This brings us back to the question of how does this higher upfront cost for safe workers compare to the potential cost for damages associated with hiring the unlicensed worker? The simple answer is, it doesn’t.