Hiring an uninsured locksmith is like handing over your house keys to a stranger. If something goes wrong, you'll have nobody to blame but yourself. While not every uninsured locksmith is a crook trying to swindle you out of cash, taking a chance could leave you liable for damages. When choosing a locksmith, making sure they have valid insurance is crucial. In fact, as soon as they arrive on your doorstep, the first thing you should ask them is to see a copy of their insurance papers.
Uninsured Locksmiths Might Scam You
Locksmiths who aren't accredited and insured are often scammers who will perform a sub-par job and hit you with hidden fees when it's complete. In extreme cases they may even use the callout as an opportunity to check your property for security flaws to use later in a break in.
You Will Be Liable For Damages
Qualified locksmiths will follow the Code of Conduct outlined by the Locksmiths Guild of Australia. As stated in clause 7, they will "Engage in industry best practice in the delivery of services..." In some cases damage is unavoidable; however, a qualified and insured locksmith will inform you of the risk prior to undertaking the work. If the "best practice of delivery" causes damage to your property, their insurance is responsible for paying any costs that arise as a direct result of their work. If an uninsured locksmith causes damage to your property, you will be held liable.
Uninsured Locksmiths Might Not Be Qualified
Locksmithing is a highly technical trade. Like plumbers and electricians, locksmiths usually undertake an apprenticeship involving years of practical training and theory. Accreditations are awarded by governing bodies such as the TAFE. There are specialist qualifications, such as Access Control, Automotive, and Safes and Vaults, which often require the locksmith to decipher codes. Having the tools of the trade and a book about lock-picking simply isn't enough. As well as insurance documents, you should always ask to view a copy of your locksmith's trade certificate to ensure they're capable.
It can be tempting to hire an uninsured locksmith if you're in dire straits. When you're locked out of your home or office, getting inside will no doubt be the only thing on your mind. It's easy to let this single priority cloud your judgement, especially if it's late at night. While an uninsured locksmith may get your door unlocked, the possible repercussions and excessive costs could end up causing far more hassle in the long run.