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What is a Bonded Contractor?

You’ve heard and seen many contractors advertise that they are “bonded.”  But do you know what it means to be bonded? Most don’t, including the contractors themselves. Here’s a quick rundown of what  it means when a contractor is bonded, which bonds are needed to become bonded and how to get bonded if you’re a contractor yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be Bonded?

When a contractor states they are bonded, it means they either have a surety bond, fidelity bond or both. Most state or local governments require contractor license surety bonds for contractors to obtain their license, so let’s start with them.


Contractor License Bonds:

Contractor license bonds primarily protect the public’s interest – they guarantee contractors will perform according to the terms of their license  and sometimes this can even guarantee the contractor’s work performance. The bond guarantee varies by the government agency that’s requiring the bond – each one has their own bond requirements, bond form language and explicit guarantees. If a contractor does not fulfill the obligation under the license bond then a claim can be filed against the bond, which they will be responsible to pay or correct.

Fidelity Bonds:

It is also possible that a bonded contractor has a fidelity bond, in place. These are are very different from surety bonds, and are not a surety guarantee at all. Rather,  fidelity bonds are an insurance policy that protect against employee dishonesty such as theft and forgery. They may protect the company that they work for…or it’s customers (third party fidelity) Fidelity Bonds are typically an optional coverage and are not required by a particular party.

Contract Bonds:

Lastly, a contractor who wants to perform work on public construction projects and some private projects needs to be bonded. This is a surety bond of a different type…typically called a contract bond. Contract bonds, such as bid and performance bonds, payment bonds –  guarantee that the contractor’s work will be done according to a contract and related subcontractors and suppliers will be paid.  Like claims on license bonds, if a contractor does not perform according to the contract, a claim can be filed which they are responsible to pay.

How Do I Get Bonded?

You can apply  with us online to get bonded  or contact us by phone or email. Whether you are a contractor who needs a surety bond or are interested in a fidelity bond, we’re here to make the process as simple and  as painless as possible.  Thanks to expertise in the business and our broad spectrum of programs, you can even qualify for a bonds with credit issues or other challenging circumstances. Hopefully you now have a little better understanding of bonding and what it means.  You can also find out more information by using this link: If you have any additional questions, please feel free to  contact a bond expert in our office.