Don’t take an unnecessary chance when building a new pool….
There are many reasons to purchase a new pool from a professional pool builder you like and there are also a few reasons the you might with to keep looking for the next one. Let me enlighten you please. Texas and many states do not require licensing or bonding for swimming pool contractors. This is why there are so many small guys working out of their pickup trucks building pools here in Texas. I do not like to belittle anyone, but the pool industry here is filled with pool builders that sold pools for year or two with a big pool company and then went into the biz for themselves. You just cannot learn to be a qualified swimming pool builder in 1 or 2 years. Don’t give up hope though, there is an easy way for you to qualify your pool guy. ASK FOR A COPY OF THEIR GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE (GL) AND ALSO A COPY OF THEIR WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE (WC). Just so you know, neither are required by the state. A fraction of your potential pool builders will be able to comply if you request General Liability Insurance verification. Probably 1 out of 20 will be able to comply if you request Workers Compensation Insurance verification. If could be that you are not interested or informed about this or perhaps your only purchasing goal is the lowest price, or really like the sales person, or really like the design of the pool. Here’s why you should be interested in more than those reasons to purchase a pool…
1. If the pool builder does not have GL, if something on your property accidentally gets damaged, or injury occurs after the pool is built by a construction flaw; you will likely be dipping into your pocket to address these. What can this cost? The sky’s the limit. Some pool guys will tell you they don’t need GL since they sub-contract all the work and make their subs carry the insurance. Well here’s a tip, there may be instances where the sub’s insurance will not cover many things and besides, a sub is not your general contractor; the pool company is your responsible party. Over the years on some of my expert witness cases, I have seen forged certificates, fake certificates, even one dunce pool guy that used a lot of White Out and then hand wrote his company name on the insurance certificate! Also, if your builder has GL insurance, he can contact his agent and have a copy to you in a business day. Don’t let anyone tell you they will get it to you in a few days.
2. If the pool builder you select does not have WC insurance, if one of the workers gets injured in your yard, guess what happens? In Texas, the law says that the property owner is the ultimate responsible party to make sure that the injured person is legally and financially taken care of. I will bet most of you did not know this. If a WC policy is in force, you as the property owner are out of the loop on this injury. OK, now you can’t say you have not been informed. If you elect to pick a pool builder that does not have GL or WC insurance, you’re gambling with your money. It does not matter how inexpensive the pool bid is, it just ain’t worth it! Insist on getting a copy of all insurance docs prior to making your decision.
In closing, a pool company having all this insurance does not give you a 100% chance of having a perfect pool, but in my opinion it gets you closer to that than buying from a pool company with little or no insurance. I can tell you that this blog entry is going to make a whole lot of pool guys mad at me, but such is life. If you intend to be in business, be a good business man and fully protect your client! American Pools is happy to state that we are fully insured. We carry General Liability Insurance AND Workers Compensation Insurance. You can be fully assured that any and all unforeseen circumstances are fully covered by our insurance.
Thought of the day: “A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” John Bowring
P.O. Box 40112
Houston, TX 77240
Toll Free: 1-800-324-7665