I have a rental property, single family home, and my own home that I use a…

I have a rental property, single family home, and my own home that I use a gardener at both locations and a pool service at my current home. I understand that these companies should have a business license, liability insurance and workmen comp insurance for their and my protection. If they do not have the above insurance and license would a Hold Harmless Contract protect our property and us against a lawsuit from them if they were injured while working on my property? Also if this is a valid contract for protection and they have employees do all of the employees have to sign the contract so we are protected or is it good enough for the employer to sign the contract?

2 thoughts on “I have a rental property, single family home, and my own home that I use a…

  1. A contract in which the owner agrees to indemnify you for their failure to maintain the proper insurances is probably going to be worth the paper it is written on, and that’s about it. Further, his employees cannot legally waive their right to be protected by worker’s compensation insurance, so their signing a contract would be similarly of little or no value. How would you know, from week to week if the contractor brought new or different employees with him who may or may not have signed your agreement. There are reasons for requirements that employers carry worker’s compensation insurance, and because they are broad, public policy kinds of issues, it is almost impossible to contract your way around that liability.

    One of the many reasons a contract in which the company owner indemnifies you has such little value is you will find that these types of contractors who do not carry insurance have no money or assets to which you may look for indemnity in the event that something goes wrong. You may have a contract, but if the contractor has no means of backing that obligation, it is truly worthless. If you want to be protected, insist that they carry worker’s compensation insurance at a minimum. You will also want to talk to your insurance company about casual labor coverages. Sometimes you can buy a relatively inexpensive worker’s compensation policy that will cover casual labor. I am not sure it would cover an employee of a contractor you hired – such as landscaping or pool maintenance – so check with your insurance company to see what they can do for you.

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    David Gibbs
    The Gibbs Law Firm, APC
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  2. If you illegally fail to carry workers compensation insurance and an employee makes a claim, for example someone claims to have strained their back, you will owe the state $50,000 plus interest until the day you die, and no amount of contracts will save you. Use a licensed landscaping contractor, and call and verify their insurance before you allow anyone to set foot on your property.

    Michael Stone
    Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE
    3020 Old Ranch Parkway, Suite 300
    Seal Beach, CA 90740

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