WHAT IS LICENSED, INSURED, AND BONDED AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

A quick internet search for handyman services quickly reveals that there’s no shortage of people ready to come to your home and fix whatever needs repairing. The problem is, quantity rarely translates into quality, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the field of home repair. You may talk to somebody who sounds like an expert and who will promise you the moon, but the results delivered may be far from what you’d expected.

Most of us who’ve owned a house or rented a place has had the unfortunate experience of dealing with some type of service provider whose services were… well, less than satisfactory. So, when a problem arises, and you need someone on your doorstep to repair or replace something, how can you make the best-informed decision to hire the right company or individual? The answer is in the title of this article: Hire a company that provides licensed, insured and bonded craftsmen to do the job.

Let’s break down these three things:

Being licensed means that the company and/or the individual you hire holds all the appropriate licenses to do business in your state. He isn’t just someone operating on his own, flying under the radar.

Being insured demonstrates that the company and/or the individual craftsman holds a liability policy. This covers two things: Property damage and employee injury. And it means that in the event of a problem, the company has insurance to cover it, and the homeowner’s own insurance policy will not be affected.

Being bonded guarantees protection for the customer against any sort of fraudulent acts or dishonesty.

Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned money any faster than we have to, and it’s a natural instinct to want to hire the person or the company that charges the least for their services, whatever those services may be. And sometimes, that works out great for everyone involved. But it’s much better to practice due diligence. Why are one company’s services so much cheaper than another’s? The “bargain” you think you are getting may not be such a bargain, after all.

If you are inviting a stranger into your home for a repair or a remodeling project, you are entitled—in fact, you are obligated—to ask the hard questions.

“Do you have a license to do the kind of work you are doing?” “What kind of insurance do you carry?” “Are you and every one of your employees who will be setting foot in my house bonded?” (Some home repair businesses hire only subcontractors, and they may not be bonded or covered under the company’s insurance policy.)

Ace Handyman Services requires that all of its offices be licensed, insured and bonded. Detailed background checks are conducted on all craftsmen who wear the Ace Handyman Services logo. Kim Hobden, manager of the Denver North Metro office explains the company’s philosophy this way:

“When a customer calls seeking help and inquiring about our services and the prices we charge, I give them a brief background on us and how we conduct business. There are times, naturally, when the customer says they are still ‘looking around’ and maybe back in touch after they’ve talked to some other home repair companies, whether it’s because they’re hoping for something cheaper, or they simply want to gather as much information as possible. I completely understand, and I always encourage people to make certain that they ask every company they talk to whether or not they are licensed, insured and bonded. Whether that individual becomes a customer of ours or chooses to go with somebody else, I want to make sure they are safe and in good hands. It’s just the right thing to do.

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