I see contractors throw around the phrase “LICENSED AND INSURED”.  

But does it mean anything?

Maybe, maybe not. 

At a glance, it sounds reassuring and validating, but it really doesn’t say much.

Most people hear “licensed”, they assume it means the person or biz is licensed as a contractor, but it does it?  Technically, anyone who can park a truck in your parking lot or driveway is licensed (to drive) and insured (auto GL).

At a recent arbitration a contractor was asked, under oath, if he was licensed.  He stated that he was, though the attorney knew that he was not a licensed general contractor.  

Finally, when pushed, the contractor admitted that his was a business license – it had nothing to do with his ability to perform construction services, much less commercial construction.

He had no general contractor’s license.

But it gets better.  

Not only did he not have a commercial general contractor license, but he paid a someone with a commercial license to pull his permit so he could work illegally!  

So before you hire someone, get their license type and number.  Then go to the state licensing board’s webpage and do a search.  You will find out quickly if they have an active license

And without a GC license, the “insured” part of the claim falls apart.  Insurance companies simply do not cover anyone without a license as heir work by definition is an illegal activity – but I’ll talk more about that another time.