Business Service Bonds: Consumer Protection Series

Dealing with theft from hiring a company without a bond is more common and damaging than we realize. For Denise Moore, this exact scenario became a reality. Moore is a Missouri woman who hired a maid service to clean her home. According to an article on AngiesList.com, after inviting the company into her home, Moore realized a bank card and $100 were missing. She wasn’t the only victim of this specific cleaning company, either; two other clients posted poor reviews with similar accusations. 

These accusations led to a court case that ended in the owner of the company pleading guilty to residential burglary and a felony theft charge. The owner was ordered to provide restitution to her victims. For the persons affected, this process was extensive.

Evaluating credibility can save you from becoming the victim in a similar situation. Credibility can be proven in various ways. For homeowners, doing your due diligence when hiring professionals for a job is the best way to ensure your trust won’t be breached. For companies, one way to demonstrate credibility is to become bonded. Purchasing a type of fidelity bond, such as a business service bond, demonstrates legitimacy to potential clients by increasing responsibility.

What is a business service bond?

A business service bond is a binding agreement between a homeowner and a company that protects consumers from employee theft. Any company that has access to a person’s belongings and valuables can purchase a business service bond. This includes cleaning services, babysitting, and lawn care companies.

Although business service bonds are not legally required, many companies elect to purchase them. In fact, some consumers require businesses to be bonded before they consider employing the company. By acquiring a business service bond, companies are showing customers that financial protection is available in the event that a theft occurs and the employee is found guilty in a court of law.

How does a business service bond ensure trustworthiness?

Companies with business service bonds prove they are professional, trustworthy, and looking out for the customer. If theft occurs, a customer who selects a bonded company can recoup the financial losses he or she might endure. In a situation where a crime is committed and a company is proven guilty of theft in a court of law, the surety company would repay the affected consumer. As a result, the business would be expected to reimburse the surety company that issued the bond.

How to find a reputable business

When hiring a business, make sure the company is licensed and/or registered, insured, and bonded. In the instances where states or cities don’t offer a license for a company, it is crucial that the company is bonded.

Questions to ask when checking company credibility

Is the company licensed and/or registered?

Only certain types of companies can be licensed with the state, such as contracting companies or an individual contractor. Other states may require a contracting company to be licensed at a local level.

While each state has different ways of finding licensed companies, the state’s website should provide you with the information you need to verify a license.

Does the company have insurance?

Inquire whether the company has a worker’s compensation policy for its employees in case an employee is injured while on your property. Next, ask the company to give you the name of its insurance company and agent. Keep those names for your records.

Is the company bonded?

Make sure the company is adequately bonded for not only the type of work it provides, but also for specific amounts. Business service bonds range from $10,000 to $100,000. The amount of coverage a company’s bond provides depends on the size of the company and the venues it serves. For example, a smaller company with only one or two employees working in a residential setting may want a $10,000 bond. Larger companies that deal mostly with commercial properties may choose bonds with higher amounts for more coverage.

What happens if I don’t hire a bonded company?

While choosing a bonded business doesn’t eliminate all the downfalls of outsourcing home tasks, it can certainly provide you with protection and peace of mind. Hiring a bonded company can be the difference between satisfactory service and theft and damage to your home.

How to purchase a business service bond

SuretyBonds.com is proud to offer business service bonds. Visit our business service bond page or call 1 (800) 308-4358 for answers to any questions you may have about business service bonds or to get your free, no-obligation quote.

About the Author

Carly Levine
Carly is a senior at the University of Missouri studying Communications with an emphasis in Mass Media. She is a member of the marketing department and outreach team for SuretyBonds.com, a leading provider of online bonding for clients nationwide. She loves creative writing, reading, and most importantly, sushi.