Tree work can be dangerous work. When cutting a tree near a building or wires (or anywhere for that matter), the list of things that can go wrong is endless. If you need tree work done near your home, and you are not trained to do it yourself, you should consider hiring a competent, professional and licensed tree service provider. But, when you do, be careful not to open yourself up to any liability for injured workers by hiring an uninsured provider.
Some tree service providers advertise “Fully Insured” but do not carry Workman’s Compensation Insurance (Workman’s Comp). Workman’s Comp. pays for medical bills and lost wages after a workplace injury. If a worker is injured (or worse) on your property, and he/she (or their family) has no means to pay their bills, they may seek compensation from you. To be sure that your tree service provider is covered by Workman’s Comp, ask them to have their insurance company issue you a “Certificate of Insurance” that includes Workman’s Comp. Once you have the certificate, straight from the insurance company, if the tree company or individual cancels their insurance, you will be notified. Allowing any tree service provider to work on your property without proper insurance could put your assets at risk.
Workman’s Compensation is very expensive, so some tree service providers try to cut costs by paying their helpers as “subs” or paying them under the table (cash), so as to avoid Workman’s Comp. Also, if a company has no employees, they are not required by law to carry Workman’s Comp., but the fact remains that if a worker gets hurt (or worse) on your property, without any means to pay his/her medical bills and/or lost wages, he/she may seek compensation from you.
So, again, even though providers who carry Workman’s Comp. will be more expensive, it’s worth paying extra for the protection it provides. And, if you decide to tackle those trees yourself, double-check your health and disability insurance and then, be careful!
As a side note, we do carry Workman’s Comp. and we can and will supply a certificate. Our certificate is also listed on our website Q-Team.com.