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  1. #1
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    Default Workers Comp request from Builder

    I was asked for proof of workmans comp from a builder that obviously wanted to make it difficult for me to inspect. I have read past posts from other members that were able to be exempt from workers comp because they were an officer of their corporation (which I am). Where do you get a letter of exemption? Is that something you get from the state? I live in Florida. I am an independent inspector, no employees. Thanks!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    I've had developers try that crap. I've stood my ground on the basis as you described and asked them if they had WC on themselves. Answer is always, No. Sorry I don't know where to get documentation.
    Usually they pull that and other BS when they are worried about what the insp will find.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    Mathew,

    Fill this form out and follow the instructions, soon you'll have your Exception Card.

    Application:
    http://www.myfloridacfo.com/WC/pdf/DWC-250.pdf

    General Info:
    FL Workers' Comp - Key Coverage and Exemption Eligibility Requirements

    Dom.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    That's great Dom, Thanks. Have you done this? Do you list that you are in the construction industry or non-construction industry?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    BUMP - Thanks Dom.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    Mat,

    Yes, I always had one - for the reasons you are talking about.

    'Construction Industry" - otherwise it will not do you any good (at least not if the builder actually reads it). Don't cause yourself anymore problems than necessary, just go with the construction industry one.

    Have that and $1 mil GL and you can get onto most builders sites without much problem, that's the first two stumbling blocks they usually throw up there to try to keep you out.

    Oh, some will want higher insurance limits on your vehicle too, it does not cost much more (maybe $70 a year or so) so don't complain about that request, just respond with 'no problem, what are those requirements again?', then call your auto insurance company from there, request the increase, then have your agent fax a copy of it to the builders office ... problem solved right then and there.

    Those are the three things I recall most builders putting up as road blocks for HIs. Many HIs steadfastly refused to accommodate the builders on principle (whatever principle they were standing on is beyond me) only a few of us jumped over those hoops, thus we did almost all of the new construction inspections.

    They builders have a right to 'protect themselves', it is their property (until closing), so if you try to argue that the buyer has the right to allow you on (most contracts now allow private inspectors) you will be met with 'yes, but you must have ... ' and that is when you find that the "but you must have" part means meeting those two or three things.

    It's the builder's property until closing, respect them (in that way) and you will get more respect from them (regarding your reports). Cry like a baby over having to meet those things and the builder will look at you like they do a crying baby - makes a lot of noise and knows almost nothing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    Here is a possible option: The buyer telling the builder to allow the inspector in without the workers comp insurance or find another buyer. I can understand the need for general liabilty but let's be real.

    Am I wrong or is the concept of workers comp not based on an employer/employee relationship?

    Eric


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    Here is a possible option: The buyer telling the builder to allow the inspector in without the workers comp insurance or find another buyer. I can understand the need for general liabilty but let's be real.

    Eric
    The only problem with that Eric is the buyer will often be left with no roof over their head as they have already sold their current house and need to vacate. Many buyers have no choice but to abide by the builder's rules. And like Jerry said, until the buyer goes to settlement on the new house, that house is the property of the builder and they have the right to throw out whatever restrictions/roadblocks they like. We don't have to like it but that's the way it is.

    The buyer always has the option of letting the HI come in to perform the inspection after settlement when the builder can't throw out their restrictions as it is not their house anymore. Anything found to be done wrong should still be covered under the builder's warranty.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    Here is a possible option: The buyer telling the builder to allow the inspector in without the workers comp insurance or find another buyer.
    And let the buyer lose their deposit?

    The buyer would rather lose their inspector. If the inspector feels this is not necessary, then the inspector is not acting as the professional the inspector claims to be.

    Am I wrong or is the concept of workers comp not based on an employer/employee relationship?
    You are basically correct, and, while you, the home inspector, is out there inspecting, you are an employee of the company. To say differently would open you up for all kinds of lawsuits if you are not out there in any official company capacity.

    Workers compensation is intended to provide protection for the employee should the employee become injured on the job, and, on the construction site, if the worker is not covered by workers compensation or by an exemption, the builders overall insurance is what would serve as that protection, and, that costs the builder money (if their sub does not have workers compensation or an exemption, the builders workers compensation kicks in and charges the builder for it - it is not a free ride for anyone).

    In my opinion, any inspector who is unwilling or does not want to get workers compensation insurance or an exemption (when required / allowed), they should not be inspecting new construction.

    If you had a painter come out to re-paint your house, would you not ask to see if they were licensed and had workers compensation? If not, then you risk your home to that person, and, if yes, why would you think the builder does not have the same right when you come onto his property?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    Mathew,
    It is pretty simple. In utah you have to Pay WCF 50 bucks for exemption if you own the company. You can contact your state workers compensation fund, jump through the hoops and show the builder the info. Then go to town on the house. Good luck.


  11. #11
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
    Brandon Chew Guest

    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    To say this another way:

    Workman's comp will pay the claim ahead of the builder's general liability insurance. The builder is trying to force you to insure yourself against an injury while doing your job on his property, so that his general liability insurance is not first in line if you get hurt.

    If you are required to carry workman's comp (by being an employee of your company), the builder is making a wise business decision by making you prove you have it. If you are exempt, you'd be making a wise business decision to insure yourself against injury on the job, by purchasing your own insurance to cover the risk.

    Last edited by Brandon Chew; 05-23-2008 at 09:58 AM. Reason: add last paragraph

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    Please note the big smiley face in my original post. In case some of you don't have a sense of humor, the comment about the buyer not closing the deal was intended to be tongue and cheek.

    It is easy to understand that the builders want proof of insurance. It is also a no brainer (at least in my area) that some builders use tactics to prevent/delay inspections from taking place until after closing so that they get their money and can do any warranty repairs at their leisure and quite often at the buyer's inconvenience, sometimes after danage has occured that would have been caught in a pre-closing inspection.
    These tactics include straight out lying to clients about the warranty processs and need for inspections and I have witnessed this quite a few times.

    That being said, that was good explanation about insurance Jerry. As for myself, I am fully insured and often do submit proof of insurance and license/qualifications to builders when requested and have no problem with it. I do have a problem with certain builders jerking buyers around in order to close in time to meet their quotas.

    Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everybody have fun, be careful, and let's not forget why we have this holiday in the first place.

    Eric


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Workers Comp request from Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    Please note the big smiley face in my original post.
    I noted it, but felt that clarification was needed.

    It is also a no brainer (at least in my area) that some builders use tactics to prevent/delay inspections from taking place until after closing so that they get their money and can do any warranty repairs at their leisure and quite often at the buyer's inconvenience, sometimes after danage has occured that would have been caught in a pre-closing inspection.
    Same thing down in South Florida when I was inspecting.

    I do have a problem with certain builders jerking buyers around in order to close in time to meet their quotas.
    I do have a problem with that to, and the best solution I found was to have my clients write on their walkthrough inspection with the builder "This walkthrough inspection includes the inspection report by (name of inspection company) which will be performed after closing as the builder is not allowing a proper inspection before closing.", or wording to that affect.

    When the supt. would not allow my clients to write that, I had already advised them to *not* sign the walkthrough inspection sheet, but, instead, when signing their name (instead of signing their name) to write 'this includes other items to be attached' where they signature would go. The supt. would 'think' they had convinced my client to sign the form, instead, they get the form back with that written where the clients signature should be. No way does that supt. or builder get off with a signature *without agreeing to include my inspection report* as part of the walkthrough.

    Give your clients enough information so they are ahead of the supt. or builder and they can get what they need and the supt. builder not walking all over them.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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