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Question DetailsAsked on 8/9/2015

Is it safe to hire a contractor who is not bonded, but he is insured?

I'm interviewing contractors to paint very old paneling in the downstairs bedroom, hallway, family room and entry way. Their is one contractor who is insured, but not bonded.

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2 Answers


Here is an AL article on insurance, bonding, and licensing -

Bonding give you some protection against the contractor running off with your money and not doing the job, leaving partly unfinished or incomplete work, and substandard work - the bonding company basically either pays you back some of the money to get it done right yourself, or pays another contractor to finish the job or repair the bad work - up to the bond limit, which is usually limited to the original contract amount.

Obviously, less critical for a painter to be bonded than say an HVAC contractor or remodel general contractor because you have less at risk and the damage he can do is generally less (i.e. fire due to poor workmanship or house falling down during remodel) - but what if the painting is sloppy and has runs in it and such so has to be sanded and repainted, puts on wrong color in wrong location, he paints things that were not supposed to be (trim, doors, windows, etc) or spills on floors and carpet and such ? Certainly the contractor with bonding, all other things being equal and both with good reviews, should be the preferred.

One other thing - if your state or city requires bonding (check the state and local city/county contractor licensing sites using google) and he is not bonded, not only is he operating illegally (which is unfair to the other contracters playing by the rules becauase his costs are less), but if he does not have bonding it may be because he has had excessive prior claims and no bonding company will cover him, or at least not at a reasonable rate (typically 1-4% of contract amounts), meaning he might be a bad risk both to them and to you.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD



It sounds like you could also benefit from reading these questions you need to ask a contractor before hiring. It should cover everything you need to remember to ask.

Answered 4 years ago by thomasj

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