A risk is involved in letting strangers into your home or business to perform various tasks. For this reason, you should hire contractors who are licensed and bonded. If you fail to do so, you will be exposing yourself to significant risks that may lead to other issues like a lawsuit. The insurance and bonding of contractors are vital forms of protection for you, the customer. They help ensure that you are working with a reputable contractor and offer some recourse if anything goes wrong. A difference exists between a licensed and a bonded professional. You need to consider both of these things before hiring a contractor.
Why you need to hire a licensed contractor
If a contractor is licensed, you can rest assured that he or she can perform any form of skilled labor in your home. The authorities in any city usually require plumbers, ‘drywallers’ and electricians to be licensed. Other professionals are also required to meet state licensing requirements. In many states, contractors are required to be bonded before they can get a license. To find out if a contractor’s license is valid, you can contact the licensing board in your state.
What is bonding?
Being bonded means that a contractor has bought a “surety bond”. This is a kind of insurance policy, which protects consumers from risks of further damages. For example, if a contractor does not complete a job correctly, the bond can offer compensation to you. The bond will also protect you if the contractor does not meet other financial obligations like paying subcontractors, paying for supplies. It can also cover property damage caused by workers.
For contractors to be bonded, they usually pay premiums for a surety firm. If you are hiring a contractor in California, you can confirm that he or she is appropriately bonded by asking for a bond number and certification. Alternatively, you may communicate with the company that specializes in California license bonds directly if the contractor fails to complete the work or you feel that it is subpar. Requirements regarding bonding differ based on the municipality and state you live in. Therefore, you should research these requirements before hiring a contractor.
Why you should only work with a bonded contractor
Most people know that hiring contractors who have a government-mandated license is essential. If a contractor does not have a license, there is no way you can know if he or she is following the law. Such a contractor may also not have the proper skill, permits and inspection requirements. On the other hand, not everyone knows the importance of hiring a bonded contractor. If you hire a bonded contractor, you can rest assured that your warranty claims are protected. Bonding will protect you from poor workmanship. If a contractor does a job poorly, you may file a complaint in civil court. However, there is a chance that the professional will not pay for the damages caused, easily if he or she is not bonded. Bonding makes contractors responsible for paying their damages.
In most states and localities, contractors are required to have insurance, a license, and bonding. Ensuring that a contractor is insured, licensed and bonded may seem like additional work. However, it all adds up to making sure that you’re interested are protected. Confirming that a contractor is licensed and bonded will give you the assurance that you are working with a reputable and reliable professional.