Legal Question in Construction Law in California

I hired a landscaper who has general liabiilty insurance. However, I found out he was performing unlicensed work on the property. The law allows for disgorgement or the return of the fees I paid to him for the unlicensed work. His insurer has already offered some compensation for the property damage resulting from the unlicensed work. Will his insurer also refund the fees I paid to him for the unlicensed work or would this not be covered under his general liability policy? This is not a homework assignment.

Asked on 6/23/10, 9:28 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

The contractual payment for work under an illegal contract would not be covered under any insurance policy. There is no insurance for breach of contract, and being unlicensed for the work contracted is a breach of an implied term of the contract.

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Answered on 6/23/10, 12:36 pm
Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Yes; and if you have any thoughts of going to small claims to collect for breach of contract damages, be careful about any release you sign if you accept money from the insurance company for the tort (negligence) damages.

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Answered on 6/27/10, 11:15 am

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