using non-ins GCs, what can go wrong? - Posted by BigV

Posted by Rich-CA on September 27, 2007 at 09:11:08:

Then you will need to obtain the insurance. I don’t know anything about IL law, but in CA we had a recent court case where the courts held that for a lic. trade, if they had no insurance, then they would be considered your employees for Workers Comp purposes. If you are using them on your own home, check with your Homeowners Insurance agent about coverage for uninsured workers.

using non-ins GCs, what can go wrong? - Posted by BigV

Posted by BigV on September 26, 2007 at 06:43:00:

I seriously don’t know if I’m overthinking or over -worrying about my situation, but here is the deal.

I would like to build an audition to my house. I see my neighbors doing it and they are all using cheap labor paying no more than 75K -100K (1000 sf addition to a ranch style house).

Now, when I get the cost from a builder, they are giving me 140K-160K estimates.

So, here is my question, If I hire a contractor that does not have any insurance (no liability and no workman’s comp) what can possibly go wrong?

My homeowners policy should be able to cover any disasters that happened during the construction (it will cost me about $16/mo extra during the construction period, as I technically could be doing all of the work myself).

However, what else could go wrong? if a worker injures themselves on the job (and I sure hope it never happens) and they sue me, I understand that they can only win if THEY prove their injuries are somehow the result of my negligence, correct?

So, I should be covered by having all contractors and their subs sign a waver, acknowledging that they understand the risks of the construction project, etc…

What do you think? Are there some actual cases where workers sued the owners and won?

We are talking 1000 sf addition, not some big commercial development.


Re: using non-ins GCs, what can go wrong? - Posted by Rich-CA

Posted by Rich-CA on September 26, 2007 at 12:28:52:

What state are you in?

Also, are you sure the GCs had insurance? Did you see their insurance certs?

In some states that’s big trouble - Posted by John Merchant

Posted by John Merchant on September 29, 2007 at 14:52:27:

Rich is right about there being a big risk in your being the GC as, in some states, that’s a recipe for your liability if one of your laborers gets hurt or killed.

And with the power of organized labor in IL, I’d guess that’s about as poisonous a liability atmosphere, legally, as you’re likely to find.

At the very least I’d pay for a conference with one of the trial lawyers in one of the biggest law firms in your city.

One or more of their lawyers will do some insurance defense work and will know a lot about IL WC laws…and what might befall you if you did get into that situation…and if and how you might be the GC safely.

Re: using non-ins GCs, what can go wrong? - Posted by BigV

Posted by BigV on September 27, 2007 at 04:23:23:

hi Rich,

I’m in IL and I’m sure that the GC has NO insurance

Re: In some states that’s big trouble - Posted by BigV

Posted by BigV on September 30, 2007 at 06:48:47:

I feel that I’m really in the minority when I’m worrying about workman’s comp. It seems that noone else cares about it in my area. Why should I pay 160K for the same addition that others are paying 80K for? 80K is worth the risk.

I’ve also decided to have my atterney draft a letter telling subs that they are working on my house at their own risk.

I mean, this is no different than me walking into foreclosed home and falling down breaking my back. Is bank going to pay my medical bills for the rest of my life? I doubt it.

Same here, if I am the homeowner and I’m working with a set group of guys for the FIRST and last time in my life, why should I pay for their workman’s comp?