Whenever a company offers its services, it's generally quick to note that it's bonded, licensed, and insured (when it applies and if they are) but are you certain what that actually means? You should only hire someone if they're bonded, licensed (if applicable) and insured. Often times someone who isn't will be cheaper, but you will have to accept all of the responsibility if something bad happens and, as Murphy's Law clearly states - if something bad can happen, it will.
Being bonded means that a bonding company has secured money that is available to the consumer in the event they file a claim against the company. The secured money is in the control of the state, a bond, and not under the control of the company. Let's say that you hire a sign company to install some signs and they never show up and you can't get a hold of them and they have the signs or you have hired them to do some other work and they don't finish it? Well, you would file a claim against the company and, after an investigation, would be paid out by this bond. A company that is bonded means that a bonding company has funds.
For certain professions, a license is necessary to show that you're competent and permitted to conduct business in the city, municipality, or state in which the license was issued. For example, home improvement contractors will have to be licensed to perform certain types of work and that license number will be printed on every advertisement they print. You can take that license number and look up their performance at the Contractors State Board.
This is probably the most commonly understood of the three (second to being licensed) and this refers to what happens if someone gets hurt on the job. Let's say a company is installing your sign and an employee falls and hurts him or herself. If the company isn't insured, then the claim gets filed against your insurance (bad). If the company is insured, then the claim gets filed against their own insurance.
In summary, it's important that anyone you work with is licensed, bonded, and insured. There's no reason why you should have to work with someone who isn't all three, unless being licensed doesn't apply. Once you know that they are, research and confirm that they are being truthful and are actually bonded.
The Sign Studio is a fully insured, bonded and licensed Sign Electrical Contractor Company in the State of California with a Commercial General Liability Insurance policy of $2,000,000 by The Hartford. Specific numbers and policy photocopies are available upon request. We are proud to have a 0 occurrence rating for any Workers' Comp. claim.
If you have any questions or need a licensed contractor to do your installations, please give us a call at (818) 843-9200 or send us an e-mail at email@example.com