Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Contractors License Bonds
Do You Offer Payment Plans On Contractor Bonds?
Yes, we do offer flexible payment plans on many license bond programs. Financing options, terms and availability vary based on the premium and surety writing the bond.
What Is The Bond Amount For a California State Contractor’s License Bond?
California contractor’s license bonds are currently issued in the amount of $15,000 as required by the CSLB, although this amount is subject to change at their discretion. Over time, the contractor’s license board generally increases the amount required for a license bond.
Why Do California Contractor’s License Bond Rates Fluctuate So Much?
Some contractor’s may experience dramatic rate changes from year to year in bond pricing if there is a major change in their credit or licensing profile such as a bankruptcy, bond claim or a detrimental license status change. Some other factors may include differing underwriting guidelines between surety’s which can change frequently based on current market conditions.
Is My Bond Filed With The Contractor’s State License Board?
Yes, we will electronically file your license bond with the CSLB upon purchase. You should see your license bond update shortly after your renewal date on the CSLB website. The CSLB manually processes all license updates so you may want to check their schedule posted on the CSLB website to see what renewal dates they are currently working on.
What Contractor’s Are Required To Have A License Bond On File?
According to section 7071.6 of the California Business and Professions code, all licensed contractor’s in the state are required to maintain a $15,000 license bond on file with the Contractors State License Board as a condition for having an active license or post collateral in lieu of a bond. While posting collateral is an option, it does have significant drawbacks leaving most contractors to choose the surety bond route. Contractors may want to become informed of both options. If a bond lapses or cancels, the CSLB will generally suspend the offending contractor’s license until the situation is corrected.
What Are The Rates For a California Contractors License Bond?
Contractors bond rates vary between surety’s, but often start at around 1% of the bond amount for contractors with good credit and license history, to well over 10% for those with challenged profiles. Rates will also vary for pool (C-53) and roofing (C-39) contractors vs. other license classifications. Some contractors may have trouble getting bonded at any price with extenuating circumstances such as an open bankruptcy or a prior bond claim to name a few.
Can I Still Get A Competitive Rate On My License Bond If I Have Bad Credit?
Challenging economic times have left many contractors that normally have stellar credit to be grappled with what for many will be a temporarily blemished credit history. If you get declined from our online system through Suretec, please call us at 1-800-682-1552. If we don’t hear from you, we will generally contact you by phone shortly thereafter to explore other bonding options. It’s our policy to work diligently with contractors to find a bonding solution that meets their needs.
When Should I Get My Contractors License Bond?
Many contractors choose to purchase their contractors license bond during the application process when requested by the Contractors State License Board as it will need to be in place prior to a license being issued. For existing contractors, they will need a new bond on renewal to replace any bond that may be expiring. Our online technology automatically pre-fills your information from the CSLB to expedite the quote process and to make sure your application is accurate.
What Surety Is Providing My Online Bond Quote?
Quotes obtained through our website are from Suretec Insurance Company, one of the largest and most experienced providers of contractor license bonds in California.
How Does The Online Instant Bond Quote Process Work?
After entering your information through our website, Suretec Insurance Company, the surety that underwrites our online bond program, will review your credit report and submit a quote back to you in seconds. Some inquiries may require a manual underwriting review and in these instances, you will receive an online message explaining the process. Bond quotes are valid for 30 days and you will also receive a copy of the quote by email, which you can use to purchase your bond online at a later time, should you choose to.
Is The Surety Providing The Online Quote Financially Stable?
Yes. Suretec Insurance Company is rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company, a premier rating agency for the insurance industry. You can visit A.M. Best directly online for a complete analysis of Suretec including the company’s financial strength, operating history and its market profile.
I’m Concerned About Entering My Social Security Number Online. Is The Website Secure?
Yes, your transaction on our website is secure. Maintaining your security is very important to us. We utilize industry standard SSL encryption to protect your personal information in addition to proprietary security layers provided by our host to keep the bad guys out. The SSL encryption can be verified by the closed lock symbol on the left side of your web browser (i.e. the top left corner of your computer screen). The technology behind our website is provided by Suretec Insurance Company through their portal, CaliforniaContractorBonds.co and is certified secure through Verisign, an industry leader in privacy protection. Their website is verisign.com
What If My Company Is A Partnership Or Corporation?
All business entities including sole proprietors, corporations, LLC’s and partnerships can obtain a license bond quote online using the same simple process.
How Can I Track My Bond Purchase?
After purchasing a bond through our website, you will receive an email confirmation with a copy of your bond, your transaction details, a receipt and a bond ID card. Within a week or so, you will also receive a plastic wallet ID card by mail as well. Your bond will be electronically filed with the Contractors State License Board on your behalf and it generally appears on your profile within a few days of the effective date. The CSLB posts their bond processing times on their website and their policy is to accept bond filings on the bond’s effective date.
When Will My Bond Become Effective?
You have the opportunity to choose your effective date within certain parameters. By default, your bond quote will show the current date, though you have the opportunity to change this to a different date as well.
How Can I Cancel My Bond?
Please call or email us if you wish to cancel your bond. We will need your request in writing (an email works fine). Depending on the surety, short rate cancellations may apply and in some instances, the premium may be fully earned. For Suretec, the first $100 of bond premium is fully earned.
How Fast Will The CSLB Update My License Bond Information?
The CSLB is generally a few days behind in updating bonds they have received. To see the most current CSLB processing times, please click here.
Can I Get a C-39 (Roofing) or C-53 (Pool) Bond Quote Online?
Yes, roofers and pool contractors can obtain a quote online.
Can I Get A Bond Of Qualifying Individual (BQI) Quote Online?
Yes, the online rating system will allow for instant online BQI quotes.
Is My Privacy Protected?
After Getting A Website Bond Quote, How Can I Get My Credit Report?
You may request a copy of your credit report, when allowed by law and the surety that provided your quote. Each surety will have their own guidelines pertaining to providing a copy of the credit report used in the underwriting process, when and if they choose to do so. A list of surety’s and their contact information can be found here. If you have any questions, or need assistance, just give us a call and we would be happy to help.
Online website quotes are provided by Suretec Insurance Company. Their contact information is:
SURETEC INSURANCE COMPANY
1330 POST OAK BLVD, SUITE 1100
HOUSTON, TX 77056
Phone: (818) 867-6900
What Type Of Credit Pull Is Used For Online Bond Quotes?
License bond quotes obtained through our website are through Suretec Insurance Company. They have informed us the type of request they use in obtaining credit for quotes is a “soft pull.”
Do You Work With More Than One Surety Bond Company?
Yes, we do work with multiple surety bond company’s experienced in writing California contractor license bonds. Each surety will have a different set of underwriting guidelines, so what works best in one situation, may not be the best option for another. Online bond quotes from our website are provided by Suretec Insurance Company and they generally provide a very good value and experience for a broad range of contractor profiles.
How Do I Change The Business Name On My License Bond?
If the information in your bond quote is showing an old business name, you can proceed with the quote and purchase the bond under the old business name. After purchasing your bond, give us a call or send us an email with the new business name and we will have the surety create an endorsement for your bond with the new name and send it to the CSLB right away. It is a very simple procedure and changing a business name by itself will not require a new bond. However, please read the next question carefully if you also plan to submit a business entity change along with a business name change as the process will change.
If I Change Business Entities, Will I Need A New License Bond?
Yes. Contractor license bonds are not transferable between business entities so if you change from a sole proprietor to a corporation for example, you will need to purchase a new bond under the corporation. Please keep this in mind if you purchase a bond and plan to change business entities in the near future because cancelling an old bond may incur short rate charges from the surety, so planning ahead is important. Please feel free to give us a call if you plan on changing business entities and we would be happy to assist.