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  • Jan 15, 2007, 07:58 PM
    Being bonded
    I am starting a cleaning service for peoples homes and offices. The thing is I see in every ad that they are insured and bonded. I am not even sure what being bonded is and do I have to have it or just my employees. Any help on this would be very much help as I really what to keep this on the up and up.:)
  • Jan 16, 2007, 05:22 AM
    A bond is basically just extra coverage from your insurance company. I deal with dozens of contractors and don't put any weight on whether they're bonded or not. In my opinion it's just a fluffy word to make their advertisements sound better. Here's more about it:
    Small Business related FAQ's
  • Feb 19, 2007, 11:53 PM
    First, a cleaning service is a contractor but definitely should not be considered similar to a "construction" contractor. There are fidelity bonds and there are surety bonds. Cleaning or janitorial contractors typically have a genuine need for liability insurance and so do construction contractors as they both face risks that they may take actions that that result in losses to others and may be held legally liable. Construction as well as janitorial contractors have the obligation to abide by local, state and federal laws, but most governmental entities only heavily regulate construction contractors and not janitorial contractors. Most of the laws that regulate construction contractors when discussing bonding is the need to post license/permit bonds with various govt entities and the majority of these surety bonds are stricktly to guraantee compliance with building construction codes. Some of these construction surety license / permit bonds do also guarantee completion of contracts but most generally do not. I know of not govt entity that requirs a license/permit bond of a cleaning contractor unless it relates to public environmental type work being perfomed. It's true that many ads for general cleaning companies will advertise "insured and / or bonded" and there are insurance companies who will issue a special type of bond (not a surety bond) that the insurance company will normally describe as a "fidelity" bond. It normally will pay for dishonest acts of employees of the janitorial firm if it can be proven in a court of law that an employee of the cleaning company committed a dishonest act that caused a loss to a customer. I do disagree with one answer you have been given and that is one should disregard whether a construction contractor is properly bonded - while it's true that very few claims are submitted and paid, it's also true that if the construction contractor fails to follow code on a particular job, the bonding company will stand good to the limits of the bond as required by the obligee (the requiring govt entity) should the contractor either fail to do or so / and / or cannot be located etc. to bring his work up to code. I disagree with another's answer that it's just extra coverage. This might be true for a janitorial contractor who purchases the aforementioned fidelty bond but not true at all for the contractor with a surety license/permit bond. As a matter of fact, if the contractor bonded by a surety bond were not to bring a job up to code or even complete the work in some cases, he/she would be in default, the bonding company would have to hire another contractor to do the job per code and then the surety would sue or seek reimbursement from the negligent contractor. Surety bonds are not "coverage' rather they are "extensions of credit". Fidelty bonds are insurance.
  • Jul 13, 2007, 03:50 PM
    I run a good business licensed and insured, but I am not bonded. Bonded is extra coverage and is good, but I have not come across the need for the extra insurance fees. I do think that big Contractors should have it and I believe that gov. or city work may need to have it. But if you ask your insurance company they can give you all the details.
  • Jul 18, 2007, 06:59 PM
    Even though the question by the original poster is quite old and he or she has not logged back onto this site since Jan. 15, 2007 at 08:13 P.M. and since this thread has now been revived because of someone answering it, I thought that I would put my two cents worth in here also.

    I agree with the answer that Greenfire has given. I am in people's homes a lot because of the various services that I provide for them. Where I live, it is not necessary to be bonded to clean for people or for any of the other things that I do. For me, the subject of my being bonded has never come up with any of my customers.
  • Feb 1, 2013, 07:48 AM
    While I am not the original person that asked this question, I did find these answers very helpful. I have been cleaning on my own for a while now. I was looking at ads for others that clean and they do say insured and bonded so knowing that I do not need it has been very helpful.
    Thank you everyone!!

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