Do House Cleaning Businesses Need to be Bonded?by Melanie Baravik • August 12, 2016
When you began your house cleaning business, you may have had to obtain a license or register with the state. During that process, many industries require the purchase of a surety bond. Housekeepers are rarely required to purchase a bond by law, but a bond can be a wise business investment. Surety bonds increase a business’s trustworthiness and protect its clientele. The most common reason housekeepers and cleaning companies purchase surety bonds is in case of employee theft.
written by guest author Melanie Baravik
What is a Surety Bond?
A surety bond is similar to insurance, except it is for your customers’ financial protection. A bond is an agreement between three parties: - The obligee, the entity requiring the bond - The principal, the person purchasing the surety bond - The surety, the company backing the surety bond
Surety bonds protect consumers from financial loss that results from the business’s misconduct. If the principal—the bond holder—violates the terms of the surety bond and customers sustain financial damages, the customer can file a claim on the bond. If the claim is proven, the bond will pay out the claim up to its full amount—if there is a $5,000 proven claim on a $30,000 bond, the claim will be paid in full.
This is where surety bonds differ from insurance: the principal must reimburse the surety for the amount of the claim. You can see that it’s in the business’s best interest to avoid violating their bond terms so they don’t have to reimburse the surety company.
Cleaning companies spend lots of time in their clients’ homes. If an employee steals from a customer’s home, they can file a claim against the bond to be compensated for the theft.
Benefits of Bonded Cleaning Companies
Housekeeping companies that purchase surety bonds can advertise themselves as “bonded and insured” or “licensed, bonded and insured” (if the phrases apply). These phrases are assurance to customers that your business has gone through the necessary legal channels to make sure they are protected. In addition, a surety bond’s liability lies with you, the principal—so your business has an incentive to honor the terms of the bond.
Many customers will choose a housekeeping service that is bonded over one that is not. A bonded cleaning company is willing to go above and beyond to protect their customers.
How Housekeeping Businesses Can Get Bonded
To purchase a surety bond, contact an approved insurance or surety bond agency. Housekeeper surety bonds can be purchased in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 and are typically issued for a flat-rate premium without a credit check. That may vary depending on where you purchase your bond.
After purchasing the bond, the surety company will issue it to you, usually via mail. You can file it with your industry’s government agency and display it in your office. Being bonded puts your housekeeping business miles ahead of the competition.
About the author Melanie Baravik is a member of the marketing department and outreach team for SuretyBonds.com, a leading provider of online bonding for clients nationwide.
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