After working in and around your home for many years, you might develop a relationship with your landscaper or handyman, but unless that person is insured and bonded, do not let them get on your roof.
Your landscaper may offer to get up on the roof to clear off leaves, pollinizers, or tree debris in your valleys. That way he can clear that off the grounds and make it look great. It’s a very genuine, kind offer of service, but it could end up costing you plenty.
We had a client with a beautiful home in the West Hills who just loved his yard guy. Just like the above scenario, the landscaper offered to go up and blow some debris off the roof and our client replied, “Great! Sounds good.” With that reply, he essentially gave his landscaper permission.
Well, the landscaper got his tripod ladder, sat it sideways to the gutter, and climbed up. When he got to the top, the ladder fell. On the way down, he caught his leg in the rung, which snapped his lower leg. He landed on his head, broke his neck and collarbone, and cracked three ribs.
The fall was so bad that it basically paralyzed him. He is unable to go back to work. And he didn’t have worker’s compensation, because he owned his own business and wasn’t required to carry it on himself.
About a month later, our client gets lawsuit papers from the family of this young landscaper. He took it to court and lost. To pay for the medical bills, he was forced to give up his $980,000 home.
The moral of the story is, you’ve got to be careful about who you give permission to get onto your roof. If the person isn’t insured or you don’t have approval from your homeowner’s policy, you’re not covered at all. You’re one hundred percent liable for what happens to that person.
And that’s not just landscapers – check out anyone working on your gutters or any part of your roof. Go to the Oregon State Contractor’s Board and simply put in the license number – anyone serving you has one by law. You can check if they have worker’s comp on themselves and their employees.
You can also call your insurance company and ask to give your landscaper permission. You’ll need to get a rider attached to your policy, in writing. If you have that, you’re protected.
Roof Life of Oregon has a general liability policy with an umbrella of two million dollars to protect your estate. And all the guys that work for us are covered by worker’s compensation. So when you work with us, you don’t have any exposure; we’ve got you covered. All of our teams are trained and wear safety gear, but if something were to happen, we have the insurance to back it up.
If you aren’t sure if you’re protected by insurance, keep your landscaper or handyman off of your roof.