What is the Maryland Home Improvement Contractor Bond?
The Maryland Department of Labor regulates the licensing of home improvement contractors in the state. As part of the home improvement contractor’s license application, the state of Maryland requires all home improvement contractors who do not meet the financial solvency requirement to obtain a Maryland Home Improvement Contractor Bond with a $20,000 bond amount.
Who needs this bond?
Every individual who wishes to obtain a home improvement contractor license in Maryland must meet a financial solvency requirement. To meet this requirement, the applicant must establish that their net worth (your assets minus your liabilities) is at least $20,000. Why $20,000?
The Maryland Department of Labor established a Home Improvement Commission Guaranty Fund to provide homeowners a way to recover damages if a licensed contractor abandons a home improvement job or completes a job in an unworkmanlike, incorrect, or incomplete manner. The maximum amount that an individual can recover from the fund is $20,000. Therefore, if an applicant for a home improvement contractor license does not meet the financial solvency requirement, they must obtain a $20,000 surety bond if they wish to be licensed.
How much does a Home Improvement Contractor Bond cost in Maryland?
Like most contractor bonds, the home improvement bond in Maryland requires underwriting, meaning the surety company will perform a soft credit check to determine your premium rate. They may also consider years of experience and several other factors. This bond typically has a two-year term. At EZ Surety Bonds, we’ve seen this bond issued as low as $350 for two years for individuals with excellent credit.
The obligee, which is the entity that requires you to have a home improvement bond, is the Maryland Department of Labor. If you have questions or need more information, contact the MD Home Improvement Commission:
Maryland Home Improvement Commission
1100 N Eutaw Street, Room 300
Baltimore, MD 21201
How to get your Maryland Home Improvement Contractor Bond?
At EZ Surety Bonds, we make applying for bonds quick, easy, and free. Find the bond you need on our website and fill out the short application. For the Maryland Home Improvement Commission Guaranty Fund Home Improvement Contractor Bond, once you finish the application, you can expect to hear back from us within 24 hours with your free quote. If you have any questions, reach out to our surety experts at email@example.com or call us at 1-866-546-4605.
Frequently asked questions
To get your Maryland Home Improvement Contractor (MHIC) License, you must complete the following steps:
1. Register your business and trade name with the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation
2. Pass the licensing exam through PSI
3. Complete the MHIC license application; provide the following:
– Demonstrate Financial Solvency (financial statement form). If not met, provide a:
• $20,000 surety bond, OR;
• Obtain an Indemnitor
– Copy of real estate and bank statements
– Credit report
– Certificate of Liability Insurance for $50,000 or more
– A copy of all conviction records (if applicable)
4. Submit the application with a photo and a check or money order for $370.
A home improvement surety bond ensures that home improvement contractors fully complete the jobs they are hired to do in a workmanlike and accurate manner. Typically home improvement contractor bonds are a requirement of the contractor licensing application. They provide homeowners with the ability to recover damages when a licensed home improvement contractor fails to complete the job as agreed upon or abandons the job entirely.
After you purchase your bond, we will mail the original out to you. When you get the original bond in the mail, you’ll be able to forward it to the obligee. The obligee for this bond is the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. They require the bond to be signed by the license applicant before it is filed with them. Most obligees require you to file the original bond as opposed to a copy; however, always check your obligee’s filing requirements.