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    tlc12345's Avatar
    tlc12345 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    May 22, 2008, 06:41 AM
    Home Owners Insurance On New Roof
    We are planning to have a new roof put on our home in Wisconsin this summer. We have two estimates - one from a nationwide major construction company and one from a local free-lance roofer who just does roofs on the side. The construction company sales person told us that in the future if we would ever have to claim damage on the roof from storms/weather we would have to prove that whoever put the roof on was a licensed contractor and that they had a building permit when they did it. In other words, he's saying that if we have the free lance roofer do the roof, it is no longer covered by our home owners insurance. I think he said this may be specific to Wisconsin insurance policies - I'm not sure though, because he talked way too much! Could there be any truth to this? :confused:
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #2

    May 22, 2008, 06:54 AM
    Hello t:

    I don't know...

    But, unless the free lancer's price is extremely low, why would you want an UN licensed person working on or NEAR your home?? If he screws up, you can't complain to the licensing board. He's certainly NOT bonded. If he gets hurt or one of his workers does, he's certainly not covered by Workman's comp... I don't even know if a small claims court judge would grant you a judgment if you KNEW he wasn't licensed...

    And, after I've thought about it for a minute, I'm sure your insurance company wouldn't pay a claim for a damaged roof either... Why would they?? They're looking for ways NOT to pay, and you're handing them one on a silver platter!

    Look, I understand why you want a cheap price... Just be aware of how it COULD cost you in the long run.

    excon
    tlc12345's Avatar
    tlc12345 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    May 22, 2008, 07:17 AM
    Totally all about the money - the contractor's quote is $10,000 and the free lancer's is $4000. The free lancer has done two roofs in our neighborhood and they look beautiful. He does the roofs himself - no overhead for workers, pays for the supplies and the rest is cash in his pocket. Pretty risky for us I guess, but for $6000 I'll have to keep thinking...

    T
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #4

    May 22, 2008, 07:29 AM
    Umm, that's what you have insurance agents for. Why aren't you asking your agent instead of us? They would not charge for such a question. So better be safe than sorry and call him.

    I would also shop around some more. You may be able to find a price more in the middle from a local licensed contractor.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
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    #5

    May 22, 2008, 07:31 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by tlc12345
    Totally all about the money - the contractor's quote is $10,000 and the free lancer's is $4000. The free lancer has done two roofs in our neighborhood and they look beautiful. He does the roofs himself - no overhead for workers, pays for the supplies and the rest is cash in his pocket. Pretty risky for us I guess, but for $6000 I'll have to keep thinking......

    t


    Call your Homeowners and ask - why take the chance?

    My concern would be that the other roofs look good - but how functional and long-lasting are they?

    PLUS if you go with the free lance get proof of insurance and notify your Homeowners to make sure you have insurance against injuries - an on-site accident could cost you, at least in NYS where the homeowner is "presumed" to be in charge of the job (believe it or not!) - I do these investigations all the time and the homeowner is "presumed" to have partial responsibility. Not saying it's fair.

    The unlicensed roofer (which apparently is allowed in your area) may be cutting corners in all sorts of ways, Workers Comp and liability insurance among them. I see a LOT of these free-lance jobs where the property is damaged and the "contractor" has no liability insurance. Suddenly your chimney is on its side in your livingroom, having fallen through your roof, and the explanation is "whoops."

    One other thing - if the roofer is guaranteeing the job and is free-lancing what guarantee/warranty do you have if there are problems next year or the year after that and you can't find him? With a business you at least have some chance of tracking the people down.
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
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    #6

    May 22, 2008, 07:54 AM
    Insurance for the workers is paramount in my opinion. 10 years ago I had a similar decision. I could have saved about $ 4,000 with unlicesnsed, uninsured workers. My insurance co. said they do not pay for uninsured contractor injuries. They say that if a workmens comp issue. It was explained to me that if a worker fell, and suffered injuries that put him on his back for the next 30 years, I would be paying his bills. I am not sure that was true and laws vary from state to state, but I wasn't willing to take the chance.
    readersr's Avatar
    readersr Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Jun 8, 2008, 07:41 PM
    First you should have a licensed and insured contractor and one that maintains work comp, because you will be responsible of someone falls. Second the home insurance will cover you if permits were pulled and the resulting work was approved by the building inspector, saying that if there was shoddy work knowingly performed and your contractor has no insurance then you will need to pay a contractor to fix/repair and hope that your carrier takes pity on you.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #8

    Jun 8, 2008, 07:49 PM
    In all my years no one has ever asked me on a claim who put your roof on, I do all my own work.

    But you have gotten the worst of two bids, a large company that uses high powered sales people, trained to streach the truth to make you buy from them, and someone without license, no workers comp insurance and no liabliity insurance.

    How about getting a third and fourth bid from small but licensed and insuranced contractors.

    Also are the bids equal, how many squares are each bid for. Are they taking off any of the old roof material, if so do they have permits for hauling off the material.

    And no matter who is doing it, you have to get a building permit from our city.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
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    #9

    Jun 9, 2008, 05:33 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by readersr
    First you should have a licensed and insured contractor and one that maintains work comp, because you will be responsible of someone falls. Second the home insurance will cover you if permits were pulled and the resulting work was approved by the building inspector, saying that if there was shoddy work knowingly performed and your contractor has no insurance then you will need to pay a contractor to fix/repair and hope that yur carrier takes pity on you.

    This must vary from location to location - in my area permits are a means for the municipality to make money. If you use a licensed contractor no one inspects the work.

    What do you mean "home insurance will cover you," and so forth?

    Are you talking about homeowners insurance?

    At least in my area your homeowners insurance NEVER pays to re-do/fix/repair shoddy work.

    I always recommend that homeowners maintain their own workers comp - you can't possibly check with the insurance carrier every morning to make sure the contractor still carries insurance and none of the people working at your house are "off the books" and, therefore, not covered.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
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    #10

    Jun 9, 2008, 07:34 AM
    To Smearcase = don't know how to answer a "greenie" and so -

    The Homeowners Workers Comp is a rider on your basic HO insurance. I carry it (in additional to am umbrella) year 'round for anyone who works on my property. The same company writes all my insurance - auto, homeowners, umbrella, work liability, riders - so it's one (astonishing!) bill, but it looks like it's an extra $144 a year for $100,000 in coverage at which time the umbrella takes over. I do know that last year I was asked (along with how many miles I drive and all that good stuff) what I paid people working on my property during the year so it is probably rated on a dollar amount, similar to Unemployment Insurance.

    My policy does say "NYS Workers Comp" so I don't know if it's available all over. That is a good question for insurance agents, though. It is listed as "NYS Workers Comp, employees on premises."

    Unfortunately for my bank account because my job is to find negligence and coverage I tend to almost be over insured (which delights my agent) in my own life. I've seen enough strange circumstances to make me wary, very wary.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
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    #11

    Jun 9, 2008, 07:50 AM
    excon agrees: I'm warry, warry verried too...



    I see you are back in top form again!

    (That was my Elmer Fudd impersonation. Or Bugs Bunny. One or the other. And now I will do my impression of Charo. Cuchi-cuchi, And, yes, I am available to entertain at house parties.)

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