Why Should I Use Licensed & Bonded Contractors?
I hear your radio commercials that say use licensed bonded and insured contractors. Why should I do that?
- Frank in Prescott Valley
Frank, don’t get ripped-off by unlicensed contractor scams! There are always those people looking for the opportunity to take advantage of the situation. Unfortunately there are those who prey on the misfortune of others in unscrupulous and often illegal ways. Our goal at YCCA is to help you protect yourself with enough information and advice to avoid scams. Do not feel rushed into making agreements with contractors. It is in the best interest of both homeowners and legitimate, licensed contractors to protect homeowners from scams by unlicensed contractors. Please read this link about all persons not required to have a contractors license.
There are many reasons to use a licensed contractor, even if you think you can save a few dollars by accepting an unlicensed contractor’s bid. It is cheap insurance using a licensed contractor. If the homeowner contracts with an unlicensed person or company, then the homeowner can be held liable for on-the-job injuries sustained by that unlicensed person’s or company’s employees. Sometimes even the homeowner’s insurance will not cover this, all because the contractor is unlicensed. This exposes you, the homeowner to liability you never dreamed of, all because the contractor lied to you about being licensed. Using a licensed contractor offers protection to the homeowner in the following ways: The contractor knows his trade and has been tested and is bonded for this. They must post a bond which is some monetary protection against violation. The State of Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC) will help investigate claims and disputes against licensed contractors at no cost to the homeowner. What has been happening lately is that scam contractors present credentials (license numbers, business cards, etc) of legitimate licensed contractors, even though they are not affiliated with these businesses. Or else, the unlicensed contractor presents his license number, and the homeowner DOES NOT CHECK this license number through YCCA and the license has been revoked and/or suspended and now the homeowner is doing work with an unlicensed contractor. From here, the scam contractor will try to get money up-front for work to be done. There will be excuses such as needing materials, supplies, etc. There may be promises of getting at the top of the list, or discounts. Once the money is in their hands, you have lost! The best way to confirm that a contractor is licensed and is who he says he is, is to call YCCA, ask the contractor for proof of current liability and workers comp insurance, ask to see a current bond, or call YCCA for a referral for quality, reliable contractors.