Licensed, Bonded and Insured: What It Means and Why You Should Care
When hiring an HVAC contractor, homeowners want to feel secure about whom they will be doing business with.
This is why you hear about the importance of an air conditioning business being “Licensed, Bonded and Insured.” But what the heck does that mean anyway? And why is it important? We’re glad you asked!
Before we get into what it means, we want you to know something. Super Heat & Air is licensed, bonded and insured. It’s all about credibility and trust. And it’s about giving you, our customers, the confidence that we’re reputable, reliable and responsible for doing business the right way. So now that we got that out of the way, let’s get down to it:
Florida and other states issue licenses as required by local or state law. A contractor must pass through testing or an accredited program to prove its competence and capabilities to obtain a license. And licenses must be renewed regularly to ensure the minimum requirements for staying in business are being met. The Construction Industry Licensing Board handles HVAC licenses in Florida.
A license is necessary for some businesses to show competency to conduct business in the city or state in which it was issued. And HVAC contractors are required to be licensed to do business in Florida. Also, the license number for an air conditioning business has to be printed on all advertising, including business cards. This allows a customer to look up that license number and do a check on the contractor’s performance history.
Super Heat & Air’s license number is CAC-1818204. And we encourage all of our customers to request it if it hasn’t been provided. So if an HVAC contractor can’t produce a valid license number, you shouldn’t do business with them. A great place to find an HVAC contractor’s license number is on their business card. Our license number is at the bottom of ours. So if an HVAC contractor hands you their business card and their license number is not on it, ask them for it.
Being bonded means a contractor has purchased a protection for customers should something go wrong with the job.These surety bonds compensate customers for problems such as incomplete work, missing work permits, inadequate service or poor workmanship. And in some cases, the customer can go after the bonding company for compensation.
A bond is secured money available to the consumer in the event they file a claim against the contractor. And that money is under the control of the state, not the company itself. So in simple terms, bonding is a consumer protection businesses like ours provide to give customers added confidence and security. It also brings accountability, reputability and credibility to a business. Bonding also protects consumers if the contractor fails to complete a job; doesn’t pay for permits; or fails to meet other financial obligations such as covering damage that workers may cause to your property. Ask an HVAC contractor for a bond number and certification before hiring them. Super Heat & Air will happily provide it upon request.
We’re pretty sure this one is clear to most homeowners. But nevertheless, you should always ensure an HVAC contractor you hire is insured. It’s especially important for a business to be insured if someone gets hurt on the job. So let’s say, for example, one of our technicians is fixing an AC unit on top of your roof, falls off a ladder and gets seriously injured. If Super Heat & Air wasn’t insured, the claim would get filed against your homeowner’s insurance. But since we are insured, you don’t have to worry about that! So if any contractor you do business with — HVAC or otherwise — is insured, the claim gets filed to the contractor’s insurance.
Insurance provides compensation if a customer’s property is damaged on the job. And it also protects the contractor if workers are injured. This is why you should never hire an HVAC contractor that’s not insured, as the injury liability could fall into your hands. We also recommend you request a copy of a contractor’s certificate of insurance before hiring them. Super Heat & Air provides a copy upon request.
Protection and Credibility
Hiring an HVAC contractor that is licensed, bonded and insured provides protection against shady contractors and scammers. An HVAC contractor’s ability to provide proof of being licensed, bonded and insured is a great way to verify its legitimacy. So if an HVAC contractor you’re thinking of hiring is “none of the above”, buyer beware! You get what you paid for. Unlicensed contractors are essentially breaking the law by operating without a license. That also means said HVAC contractor may not comply with permitting and inspection requirements. So if your HVAC installation is not up to code, it may result in additional costs to you if your home is inspected.
An HVAC contractor who is not licensed, bonded and insured is also very likely to provide poor workmanship. Unlicensed HVAC contractors have not been reviewed for competency by a licensing board, so what do you expect? Additionally, by hiring an unlicensed HVAC contractor, it will be very hard to make any warranty claims against them should something go wrong.
We can go on and on about what you could be subjecting yourself to by hiring an HVAC contractor who is not licensed, bonded and insured. But we’ll just leave it at this: DON’T! The work being performed might be cheaper in price, but you could end up paying a lot more in the long run.
Ready to hire a licensed, bonded and insured HVAC contractor in the Greater Tampa Bay area? Call us!
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