The Risk of Hiring Unlicensed Contractors

We all have a friend or family member that knows that can fix anything. The glowing review of this person, along with the cheap rate, might be tempting but here’s why you should be hesitant before hiring that friend of a friend.

What Can Go Wrong

Licensed contractors take on a lot of liability when signing on to do a job, which is why they always carry a heavy insurance policy. Even if the contractor parcels out portions of the job to subcontractors, they will either be covered by their own insurance or the contractor’s insurance. If, however, you bring an unlicensed contractor on board, you are now liable for everyone involved with the job should something not go according to plan.

Hiring Friends Doesn’t Help

Bringing on a friend as a contractor will not reduce the liability risk. You may have the utmost confidence in your friend’s abilities, but the moment he or she injures themselves, you’re opening yourself up to a whole legal and financial nightmare. One would like to think a friend would never sue another friend, but it has happened before.

How Bad Can it be for You?

Bringing an unlicensed contractor on board basically means that you are the general contractor. This means that if that friend of a friend you hired takes out a power line, you’re on the hook for that. If a worker is injured, you’re responsible for the medical bills and lost wages. Even if you have insurance, chances are there is a line excluding damages arising from the work of unlicensed contractors so you won’t be covered.

Not Worth the Gamble

Going all-in and risking everything you have to save a few dollars while hoping the roulette ball doesn’t land on bankruptcy just isn’t worth it. Be sure to properly vet and hire reputable, licensed, contractors. It will most likely be a bit more expensive than hiring a friend or family member, but that extra cost will help protect you from losing everything.

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