In the world of property services, one phrase continually comes up: licensed and insured.
That’s because licensure and insurance are two crucial considerations when selecting service providers to work on your property. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of licensing and insurance in the property services industry as well as the risks of ignoring these aspects and how to choose the right providers.
Let’s get started!
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At the most basic level, licensing and insurance are important because they ensure the quality and reliability of the services that providers complete on a property.
Property projects are high-risk, expensive, and can have catastrophic results if not completed correctly. That’s why it is so important for the providers you choose to work with to be experts in their field and to have demonstrated this expertise in a regulated setting so they walk away with a certified license proving their knowledge. Insurance adds another layer of protection for both providers and property owners and contributes to the overall success of a project.
Obtaining a license is not just a formality but an essential requirement for anyone offering property services. The licensing process protects you as a consumer by ensuring that service providers meet certain qualifications and standards and have the necessary skills to perform their job competently and ethically. It also shows a level of commitment to their craft when a provider has done the work to become licensed and maintain their status. Most licensing exams are complex and not just anyone can pass them!
Moreover, licensing helps to regulate the industry and maintain a level playing field. It prevents unqualified providers from offering services alongside their qualified competition, thus protecting consumers from potential scams or subpar work.
When hiring a new service provider, be sure to ask for their license number and use your state and city government websites to ensure it is in good standing. Be wary of any providers who do not list their licensure status on their website or provide it when asked!
While licensing ensures the competence of service providers, insurance ensures that all parties are protected against unforeseen circumstances and financial risks. For service providers, proper insurance coverage forms a safety net that protects against the liabilities that result from accidents or damage while onsite. This means that the financial well-being of both service providers and you as a property owner are safeguarded throughout the project.
From a property owner’s perspective, hiring an insured service provider is vital. In the unfortunate event of property damage or an accident, insurance coverage compensates for any losses that might occur. This peace of mind is priceless when embarking on a property project of any type or size.
It’s important to mention that while insurance is an expensive cost for providers, those who don’t obtain coverage are usually doing so for a reason. Whether it be a history of unsafe work conditions, frequent accidents, or improper licensure, there is most likely a reason insurance coverage is missing. Be sure to always ask for a Certificate of Insurance (COI) from your service providers and you may even want to request that you be listed as additionally insured on their policy.
Even though the benefits and overall importance of proper licensing and insurance are clear, there are still many providers who are improperly or completely lacking licensure and insurance coverage. Sometimes these providers come with a lower price tag but beware; these providers also come with a much higher level of risk that you as a client will assume a large portion of. Let’s explore the potential pitfalls of unlicensed and uninsured property service providers.
Choosing to work with unlicensed service providers may seem tempting due to lower costs, but it comes with significant risks. Without a license, these individuals may lack proper training and knowledge, leading to subpar workmanship and potential legal issues.
By hiring unlicensed services, clients expose themselves to the danger of incomplete or shoddy work. In the long run, these risks can result in costly repairs or even legal repercussions.
There is a risk that you may even be left high and dry before your work is complete, meaning you now must find and hire a new provider to finish the work the first provider abandoned.
Uninsured service providers pose an entirely different set of risks to you as a property owner. In the event of an accident or property damage, clients may find themselves bearing the financial burden of these events if their service provider does not have adequate coverage. Without insurance coverage, there is no guarantee that clients will receive compensation for any losses incurred.
Uninsured service providers may also lack the resources to rectify mistakes, leaving you in a precarious situation. The potential for financial strain and legal battles makes it crucial to avoid uninsured property services and ensure your home insurance is ironclad. Consult with your home insurance provider when embarking on a project so you know what questions to ask of your providers and to ensure your coverage protects you 100%.
Choosing the right property service provider requires careful consideration of many different factors such as reputation, experience, and customer reviews. It is important to research a wide range of service providers, asking for references and portfolios of their previous work ideally with projects that are similar to yours. By doing so, you can assess the quality of their services and ensure they are a good fit for their specific needs. Customer reviews can go a long way in speaking to the more relational aspects of working with a certain provider such as their level of communication, punctuality, transparency, and respect.
When evaluating potential service providers, asking the right questions is vital. Some important questions to consider include:
Asking these questions will not only help you gather the necessary information but will also give you insight into the professionalism and expertise of the service provider. You are well within your rights to request a license number and Certificate of Insurance from any provider. While it may require some research on your end, with this information you can check the laws in your city and state to ensure the provider is in good standing. This information can also be used to file a formal complaint with insurance agencies and governing bodies should the need arise in the future!
The simplest way to ensure you work with only the highest quality providers is to hire a professional property management company for all of your property needs!
At Evernest, we provide maintenance services for thousands of homes across the nation. And every single service is coordinated by the local Evernest team. This means you can be confident that the service providers working at your property are insured, licensed, and entirely reliable. Head to our website and find the Evernest team in your area to get started today!
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