Subcontractors without Insurance

27 Replies

I am hiring my brother inlaw and his crew to do a tear off and new roof on one of my rentals. In most cases, I wouldn't be too worried about it, but he is talking about using 7 guys. All of these guys do this work on the side. My concern here is that my brother inlaw nor his crew carries insurance and if one of these guys gets hurt on my property I could get hosed.

Is there a bullet proof release I can have these guys sign off on or is a release of liablity about as good as a hand shake?


No release will protect you.

2 options, you can ask your insurance agent about getting some insurance to cover the job. Or, best option is to hire your guys through a temp service. The temp service provides all the insurance and all the government paperwork.

Any temp service will set you up using your own guys. You don't have to use their employees.

By the way, I don't think that liability is the biggest worry. Disability is the biggest danger. If one of those guys gets crippled falling off your roof, and he doesn't have disability insurance, guess who gets to support him and his family for the rest of his life?

(Liability is a big issue, too, not trying to down-play it)

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OK.. lets not getting crazy and start talking permits and stuff. I don't pull permits, Plain and simple. All of these guys are professional roofers and pick up side jobs, such as mine. As far as 1099 and tax issue's. No, I pay all my people in cash, when I use people.

Thanks for advice guys. I was just hoping someone knew of a cover your butt form or a loop hole in the system.. Such as, " I don't know who these people are that just fell off my roof, I think he was trying to break in through a window", type loop hole.

BTW: Jim,

Where I come from, $200.00 bucks makes problems like this, no longer problems.

"If you are a "contractor license" sate your brother in law could be subject to fines, penalties as well as prosecution if the "license board guys " were
to drive by and stop. happens all the time! "

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Damn Brother!

The 200 bucks, if you would have read, was referring to dealing with city officals, not some jerk off falling off my roof.


So now I am responsible for this guy and his family who has choosen to work side jobs for cash to make an extra buck. We are all trying to make a buck, but just because some guy falls off a roof when he choose to climb up there without any insurance, now thats my problem? I don't think so. I pay 400 bucks a month to provide insurance for my family. This guy chooses not to do so and to pocket that money and you think that is my problem. No, it is not.

And just what rules are you talking about. The rules where the city expects me to pay 250 bucks for a permit to put a new roof on my house and the same city who says that I can only hire certain contractors that they approve of? I don't think so. Last time I checked, this was a free country and I'll be damned, if I will pay someone an extra 500 bucks to follow the rules and then have to pay an extra 3K to hire a so called city approved contractors who happens to be family members of those city officals.. Brother, I have worked the streets, the city and the county and know exactly how the game is played. I can tell you stories of things that has happened in court and after court that would make your head spin.

Don't preach to me about following the rules when it comes to government policy.

You answered my orginal question, too bad it was a little radical..

One response since this already so off topic..

You mean to tell me with all your contracting exprience you have never ran into a situtation where you could fix a problem with an city offical by tickets to a game, a nice dinner, a weekend at a ski resort, CASH!

I call Bull ****!

You dont have to answer that..

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Just wanted to follow up and say thanks for the advice, on and off line. Sometimes it is very hard to get rid of that backwoods mentality, especially after a drinks of Dewar's.. :)

Thanks again for the great advice. Still can't follow it, but it is great advice.


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Did you ever find the loop hole?
I hired subcontractors before that doesn't even sign contracts, but that was for little things. But have the same concern with a bigger job like the roof.

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Liability cannot be stressed enough, especially in California, it only takes one time. Remember you get the best, you only cry once. :D

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Originally posted by "TC":
One response since this already so off topic..

You mean to tell me with all your contracting exprience you have never ran into a situtation where you could fix a problem with an city offical by tickets to a game, a nice dinner, a weekend at a ski resort, CASH!

Shaking my head here - this is not the first time I've seen people talk about using fraud and bribery to deal with REI issues...IN A PUBLIC FORUM! Whatever you decide to do, there are just some things you don't talk about IN A PUBLIC FORUM! Even Tony Soprano would agree....

Don't give the authorities ammo to get you. You never know when you will do something wrong for real and need to be made a public example of. Stay legit. It's just easier that way.

BTW - there is another option. Any decent temporary labor service that services the construction industry will have a service called "payrolling". The employees are yours to direct in the work they do, but on paper they are employees of the temp agency. You pay an hourly rate for them that is typically quite less than an employee they would provide to you (it should be that way as they did not use any overhead getting that employee) and they take care of the employee's payroll, insurance, compliance, etc.....

Workers comp is a lot better than it was 3 or 4 years ago though, liability seems to be more reasonable too, payroll taxes make me wench every 14th though, that 15% self employment tax I love, it's like, lets just assume everyone is cheating! But I agree you gotta play by the rules, I'm seeing guys drop left and right, a lot of it is because of the economy but part of it is because they try to cut corners and not treat it as a business, I'm grateful for my contacts and try to do my part to keep them, seems to work well, I am able to stay busy without advertising :D

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Thats good to hear Flipper, I work hard to make most of my customers happy, KM is definitly getting hit hard like the other paint stores and contractors, some good guys I know getting hurt right now, went through it myself sometime back. I stopped using 1240 awhile back, just had to many problems with it, I heard they reformulated but have'nt tried it, it's not the most affordable product either. As for REO's out here I really don't see any slow down in price drop anytime soon, I'm looking to start investing out of state, Indiana, Mississippi or Alabama hopefully, so if anyone has any advice or insight it would be appreciated

First.. It looks like I need to clear something up. I did not say that I pay off city officials. Look back at what I said. Can it be done? You bet, its done every day in the private and public sectors.

And to answer the question. I didn't need a loop hole. The job was done on the weekend, as a side job, by guys who do it professional. Yes, I saved around 4K. Did I take a risk, sure. Was it worth it? $4000.00 bucks will completely rehab my current project. So it was certainly worth it to me.

Thanks for all the great advice.

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