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Oh, THAT’S The Reason My Contractors Should Carry Insurance

I’ve got a true story for those who mistakenly believe the main reason your contractors should carry insurance is in the unlikely event they sue you after getting injured on your property.

One of our Fix St Louis technicians, we’ll call him Dan, was once high-up on a ladder, painting a vaulted ceiling in a front entry way in a large and beautiful home, when it began to slide out from under him. Dan and the ladder went SMACK against the floor but, because he is young and strong, Dan bounced right back-up again, uninjured. At the same time, an opened $30 can of paint fell down with him, streaming paint all over a grandfather clock, stair railing, carpeting, and a hardwood floor.

After ensuring Dan was OK, we placed a call immediately to the owner of the local Stanley Steemer franchise (believe me, they EARNED this plug), who then dispatched his crew to clean-up the paint before it could do serious damage. When I finally arrived, I couldn’t believe my eyes — they had cleaned-up the paint so well that it was as if nothing had ever happened.

Now, we had been doing this work while the homeowner was on vacation, so when they returned we provided full disclosure as to what had happened, and told them as far as we could tell, no damage had been done. But a day later, the homeowner called asking us to come out and take another look — that a portion of their hardwood floor was not shining as much as before and there were some tiny specks of white paint lodged in some places in the wood grain. On the spot, I offered to pay for the sanding and re-staining of their front entry out of my own pocket. They agreed.

The next day they called and pointed out that there were no thresholds separating that front entry from the adjacent rooms on either side — it was one continuous floor. So they wanted those floors refinished, too, at a cost of between one and two thousand dollars. Gulp! But, given that we at Fix St Louis take our responsibilities and reputation seriously, I agreed to pay for that, too.

But two days later they called AGAIN to tell me that, you know, it’s actually one continuous hardwood floor throughout most of the main floor of this large and beautiful home, so actually ALL of it ought to be refinished. Then it dawned on me. Maybe THIS is why I’ve been writing those large checks to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company every quarter (they ultimate earned this plug, too).

So, a couple of weeks and $5,000 in insurance-provided funds later, our customer not only had no damage from our mishap, she now had beautiful, newly-refinished floors throughout her home. And, I still had a satisfied customer.

So, here’s what I’d like you to think about. If you’re hiring an inexpensive “Chuck-in-a-Truck” type guy to perform your home repairs, who is uninsured as most of those fellows are, and he creates $5,000 worth of damage from a $30 can of paint, what’s the chances he will dig into his pocket to make you whole?

Isn’t that a question that answers itself?