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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am finally getting serious after 20 years of self employment and no employees. The loads of lumber seem to be getting heavier and I no longer look at a day of digging or demo with much enthusiasm. So I decided it was time to take on a helper, perhaps 2 in the summer, and see how it worked. I have done alot of volunteer work with the local schools and for Habitat so I know I can accomodate varying skill levels on the job.

So I start calling around for insurance, both liability and comp....nobody seems to be willing to cover me. What is the trick? I fill out the questionairs and am honest- yes I'll be working over 15 feet in the air, I'll have some subs do some work (trades). I also mentioning I'd be building a house on my own property between jobs, that seemed to put one company off.

Another problem may be (although nobody has said so, just a guess) that I haven't had any insurance for the past few years. Crazy risk I know, but everything went fine.

I am in S.E Michigan. I have a good job coming up and an eager youngster ready to work. I need help here.

Thanks
 

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DGR,IABD
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9,683 Posts
I can't say that I've ever heard of a guy having trouble buying insurance, save one time. The fellow's credit was quite poor. Your local builder's association should either provide or have the contacts for such insurance products in your area. This is on of the things that they help you with.
 

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23 Posts
I would continue to look a several insurance companies, most do not like the fact that you have operated without insurance, the same as if you had no insurance on a vehicle for a while. they have to go to substandard insurance for a while.

I would look for an independant insurance company they can write for several.

I would not operate my business without insurance. It will help you get jobs (I warn people about doing business with a contractor that is not insured) sorry. What would happen if you had a major problem, you would have to file bankruptcy. :eek:

AFTER you get liability insurance, if you want you can have employees work as "subcontractors" in Iowa as long as they carry their own G/L insur they could be paid as subs. Your laws may be different. --- Make it known, I do not do this but it can be done ---


hope this helps

make much dinero :Thumbs:
 

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smartazz contractor
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81 Posts
insurance companies tend not to like us in general

going without puts you in a tough spot now they really dont want you
 

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Painting Contractor
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1,176 Posts
Are you using an agent or going straight to the insurance companies? I use an agent and obviously they will search many companies for you, possible giving you a better chance of one that will cover you. I am however in a lower risk business than you...
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
advice

I have good credit, thanks for the advice about the builder's association, I will pursue!





mdshunk said:
I can't say that I've ever heard of a guy having trouble buying insurance, save one time. The fellow's credit was quite poor. Your local builder's association should either provide or have the contacts for such insurance products in your area. This is on of the things that they help you with.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
more advice thanks

I have always felt odd about working under the radar insurance-wise, and an incident last year cost me quite abit, a harsh way to learn a lesson. It was only because of a good relationship between me and my long-term client that all has "worked out". But I did cease operating and will not go back onto a site befor I am legit. Meanwhile I just draw for a living because I can do that from my house as a service. I much prefer to build what I design.... I've spoken with a couple local builders who operate as you describe- all guys with their own liability, but that doesn't allow for the entry level helpers who only get paid $10-12/hr.
Thanks for the input.
 

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269 Posts
Do a google search for michigan business insurance, you'll be amazed at the options you have.
 
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