I got a text from a guy with a 2yo house, pretty easy…30 single hung windows. We went out to price them and as he was out for dinner, I cheerfully texted back the price. He said it would have to be ‘cleared with the boss’ but would get back with me as he wanted to get another bid.
Fine, standard stuff. It started to turn south when he asked if I could do the outs only, then asked me to email over a copy of my insurance policy.
I politely but firmly said this is discouraged by my insurance provider but I would show a copy of the cover page when we arrive…as I’ve done before.
He just said “ok”. I’ve encountered this scenario before, it wasn’t pleasant. Pass.
We rarely get asked to see insurance but it has happened. So basically I say if or when you’ve approved our estimate/cost, I’ll email it over asap. Well, they agreed with the price, we emailed it over, scheduled it, did it & paid, and moved on. Simple.
The insurance thing is simple, just give his contact information to your broker and they are happy to verify that you are insured. You also have the right to turn down work or price it so it gets turned down. But to tell a story about your insurer is hard against showing insurance coverage is unprofessional.
I don’t mail or email a copy of the policy to customers. If they want to see my coverages on a cover page in person, that’s fine.
In the past, whenever they start demanding to see insurance, bonding, wanting to know what “solution I use” etc etc, it really sends up a red flag as they tend to find anything wrong and blame me for it, ESPECIALLY on a brand new house.
We already told him about our 300+ reviews on AL, my 22 years in business and many references I can provide. If they are still skeptical, then so an I.
Imagine you’re a veteran doctor with many credentials. A patient comes along and asks to see your insurance, coverages and wants to scrutinize your medical license. Do you really think they’d provide that? No. They have medical practice insurance, patient is told they do…now how may I help you?
Frankly I’m a little surprised at the responses. Many veteran window cleaners have experienced potential scam artists, it should send up a red flag when someone with a brand new house needs to have a look at insurance coverages before having them do the windows, especially since he doesn’t want to do the legwork to find out who I am as a company.
My initial response for someone ( Residential Jobs ) asking if I am Insured isn’t that I am being taken advantage of potentially but that they are concerned about their liability and exposure. I never show them the Insurance or handle this myself. I simply email my Ins co and they email the person My Certificate of Insurance. Same with commercial which is more typical to be required.
I also own rental properties. Any major work I have done ( Roofing, Tree removals, Etc. ) - I always require the contractors are Insured and Current. Or they don’t get the job. Its that simple.
In 26 Years I have never had My Insurance discourage me from not giving out that Information.
I agree with Gary, that keeping it a big secret from the potential customer seems like you’re presuming that they are getting ready to file some bogus suit against you.
Around here people are just thankful you called back, and to have someone start questioning your credentials just really rubs me the wrong way. There just comes a point in your career you don’t need to keep proving to the uninitiated you are a veteran, professional window cleaner with thousands of happy, wonderful customers. It’s this Nextdoor app, they don’t know me from Adam and it can be irritating. It’s like starting from year 1 all over again.
If I say I have standard GL window cleaning insurance, that should be enough.
In my experience, these type of customers start nitpicking everything you do, and every imperfection in the glass is pointed out.
I have zero problems if a customer asks me if I’m insured, licensed, bonded etc. I’m more than happy to show them my statements page when I see them.
It’s when they demand to have a copy sent to them first after knowing FULL WELL I’m an established, credentialed, veteran window cleaner that I have a problem.
Here, next time you go eat at Wendy’s, go get your car fixed at the dealer, go shopping at a mall, go see your doctor…ask them every time for their insurance policy. No, you won’t. That would be rude and absurd.
I can think if 10 “established, credentialed veteran window cleaners” I can think of in my immediate area that run completely off the books. One even went so far as to put bogus association affiliations on their website (PWRA, WCRA, UAMCC, IWCA) that were’t legit. The only reason i looked into it is because the twat’s company tagline was a direct swipe at my brand and he had fake reviews of MY company on HIS website lol.
It doesn’t matter how professional a company appears, it can still be BS.
I could put up a website today that says I am a licensed, credentialed veteran tree surgeon. I’m not a tree surgeon, and never will be, but unless someone asks for proof they’ll never know that, right?
Unless your customer has been screwed in the past by contractors working uninsured or unlicensed. Perhaps even letting the policies expire. You may have picked up a vibe from him that you are responding to, but him asking for a certificate that proves you are current is not outrageous. I’m actually surprised it doesn’t happen more often.
I’d say people ask if I have insurance about 10 times a year, but only a couple want to physically see the statement page…which is fine, but I’m not emailing anything. 95% of the others are quite thrilled we do what we are supposed to do, which unfortunately is pretty rare here by some of the horror stories my customers tell me.
It wasn’t a ‘bad vibe’ from me, it was ‘no vibe’. Like I said, Nextdoor can be great, but also aggravating as they have no idea as to my background and experience, whereas a true referral has me already ‘pre-vetted’ and works much better.
You’d get pretty irritated if every customer demanded your insurance, license etc every time you got a call. Why? Because you are established and shouldn’t have to do that.
Whatever though guys, I’m making this out to be a bigger deal than it was, just a bit surprised other window cleaners are so eager to surrender their information. I was mostly pointing out a potential pitfall and figured there would be similar stories, I guess this isn’t really a concern.
We include our CoI in every single Residential and Large Commercial proposal. Upfront without the customer asking. It has our Insurance Agent’s information on it so the potential customer can call and ask any questions they want.
I see what you are saying @dcbrock that it may seem like this customer is being a hassle but it really is not a big deal.