A short simple answer, yes and no, is not really what you wanted to hear, but it is true. We will take a look at both sides because this is that one question most cleaning service customers seem to “know to ask.” In a recent Home Cleaner Magazine poll, 27% of house cleaning service owners said they felt bonding creates a false sense of security for customers; another 49% said they feel that it somewhat does create a false sense of security, but that customers really do not understand what being bonded means. Perhaps we can arm you with some new information here.
First, bonding does protect customers who may hire a cleaning service; it could offer protection and be a very good thing. Theft, although not a real problem for most professional cleaning services, can be a very serious problem when it does occur; this is what bonding covers. Most bonds (don’t call it a policy because it is not insurance) cover theft with the following conditions: If an employee steals, is arrested, or tried and convicted, the bonding company will pay for the loss up to the amount of bond carried by the company.
In the real world where a case of theft occurs, this is not usually the case; however, in extreme cases it can cover big losses. This is specifically the reason it costs so little to bond an entire cleaning company, usually for less than $200 a year. There are some bonds that service owners can elect to carry that will pay without a conviction, but these bonds are pretty expensive.
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In years past, before we entered the information age, bonding was much more important than it is now with our quick access to online information and criminal background checks. Before all of those were an option, bonding did play an important role for protection when “a bad apple made its way into the bunch.” Now with technology, hiring is easier so cases of theft are lower than they once were.
However, the first question that most service owners get asked is “Are you bonded?” which translates to, “Is it safe for me to hire your company to clean my home?” The real question should be, “Are you properly insured, including liability and worker’s compensation insurance?” Another great question would be “Who will be cleaning my home and how do you select, hire, and train workers?”
While bonding can be useful in an extreme, concrete case of theft and will pay to replace items stolen, it is by far not the most important question home owners should be asking while getting estimates for cleaning service before the key to their home is handed over.
This information is brought to you by the Verified Home Cleaning Pro, an independent screening and verification program for professional home services. Service owners who enroll and participate in the program are required to meet stringent criteria and are screened and approved to be accepted into the program. Visit www.verifiedhomecleaningpro.com for complete information on the program and to locate a provider in your area. If you are a professional home cleaning company, contact us about enrolling today to ensure you are in the network of service owners in your area participating in this program.
Maid service owners that found this information useful may also want to listen to this recorded educational session with a leading insurance industry expert. “Why Bother Being Bonded” (member log in and access required)
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