sometimes the subcontractor will make a few payments on the his insurance and stop further payments, leading to a situation where he can show me a piece of paper claiming he has insurance when he does not.
Can you call the insurance company to check if the policy is paid up?
The short answer is "I don't know."
The longer answer will be that even if it is legal, I will become Babysitter Extraordinaire if I'm supposed to call every month to every sub's insurance company to see if his payments are current.
What about his tax liabilities? Should I call the IRS and ask if he's paying all his taxes? Should I call the State and City and asked if he's paid all his taxes?
What about his employees' legal status? Should I hire a private investigator to determine whose employees are illegal alien? Should I hire a forgery expert to determine which sub's employees are working with phony papers?
It's bad enough as it is right now with the amount of paperwork I'm supposed to maintain. The system has become too complicated, riddled with legal pitfalls and menacing lawsuits.
Furthermore, the subs have plenty of other tricks up their sleeves. He can set up a fake answering service where a person answers preteding to be the insurance agent, for example.
As I said, this is just a mouse-and-cat game, and I realize that if the sub does not have millions to pay the lawyers, the laywers and their friendly judges will always come after the deep pockets. Everything else is irrelevant.