If you’ve given up looking for a job and have decided to become a self employed housekeeper or handyman instead, having yourself bonded is a strategy that will make you more marketable. To be bonded for a job, or “get bonded” means that a person is being insured against theft. For customers concerned about the honesty of housekeepers and handymen coming into their homes, a bond ensures that the individual’s criminal background has been thoroughly checked out by an insurance company. It also means that the insurance company has secured funds that are available to the customer in case of theft. If for example, a housekeeper walks off with a HDTV or a ruby necklace, the insurance company will make every effort to track down the valuables and prosecute the thief if found. In the event that the items are not recoverable, the insurance company will settle a claim with the property owner.
Being bondable or bonded gives a self employed worker a serious advantage against the competition, especially when there is so much competition out there right now for any type of job.
How the process starts is with a phone call to your insurance agent. Many insurance companies provide this service and should be able to give you the best rates for a policy. If you don’t have an insurance agent, another place to check on the internet or in your local phone book. Bonding companies are listed under “Bonds: Surety amp; Fidelity.” You might even wish to compare rates and shop around for the best deals.
The application usually asks for a social security number, the type of business being operated, and the value of what is being insured. For a housekeeper or handyman, the insurance agent can advise you as to what is a realistic dollar amount.
What you pay for the bond depends on what is being insured and how risky the company feels you may be. The standard fee for a bond of this type seems to run between .5% – 1% of the amount needed. For a very small housecleaning or handyman enterprise, the bond will cost you approximately $100-$150 a year.
Once you’ve cleared the background check from the insurance company, you are mailed a document which shows that you have been bonded. This paper contains the name of your company, the insurance company and the dollar amount being insured. When a customer asks if you are bonded, you can furnish a copy of this document as proof that you are indeed a “bonded” worker.