What is a Surety Bond and How it Differs from Insurance – Contractors

In the world of business, there are several tools which can be used to provide protection against financial loss. Both surety bonds and insurance offer a safeguard to individuals working in construction an certain trades, but there are subtle differences between the two which should be understood. If you’re working as a licensed contractor or tradesman, knowing what a surety bond is, how insurance differs, how each is priced, and the requirements for having one – or both – in place is a necessary part of operating a sound business. Here’s what you need to know about surety bonds and insurance.

What is a Surety Bond?

It is common to confuse a surety bond with an insurance policy. However, a surety bond works differently than insurance even though both offer a form of protection. With a surety bond, a contractor or tradesman purchases coverage from a surety agency which is meant to protect the project owner, not the contractor himself. This protection is to safeguard the project owner from fraudulent practices or incomplete work.

When a claim is made against a surety bond, the surety agency holding the bond for the contractor or tradesman pays out the claim, up to the limits of the bond. Unlike an insurance policy, a surety bond claim is then repaid by the contractor back to the surety agency.

Understanding Insurance Coverage

Insurance policies for contractors and tradespeople differ from surety bonds in several ways. First, an insurance policy is not meant to provide protection to the customer of a contractor, but instead, it offers protection to the contractor himself. When damage to a building or project site takes place, or theft occurs, insurance coverage is there is help offset the financial loss. The customers of contractors and tradespeople do not receive any benefit from insurance in these cases.


Additionally, insurance coverage benefits paid out to a contractor once a claim is made have no requirement of repayment. The insurance company takes on the risk of loss, up to the limits of the policy coverage, and the contractor is protected should an event take place in the future. Several different types of insurance policies are available to contractors, including general liability, workers’ compensation, and builder’s risk insurance.

Differences in Pricing

Above and beyond the differences in protection offered by surety bonds and insurance policies, differences also exist in the pricing structure of each. Surety bonds are priced as a percentage of the total bond amount. This percentage is also determined by the risk factors associated with the contractor and his or her business. For instance, an individual with bad credit history, including late payments to creditors, tax liens, and court judgments, will pay more than a contractor with a strong credit score and clean credit history. These financial factors play a role in surety bond pricing because a bond is essentially a form of credit extended to the contractor.


Insurance coverage, on the other hand, is priced based on the amount at risk for the insurance company. For example, a general liability policy for a contractor ranges in price depending on the claims history of the individual as well as the total amount of coverage requested. Contractors who work on high-risk projects, those who have a long history of claims made against other policies, and those who have been in business a short amount of time will pay higher premiums than contractors who do not show these traits.

Requirements for Either

In nearly all states, counties and cities require licensed contractors to secure a surety bond to operate their business legally. The amount of the bond varies greatly from one location to the next, making it necessary for contractors and tradespeople to look into their state’s requirements for bonding. Insurance coverage is not always a requirement for contractors, but it may be a need regardless. Insurance policies can significantly reduce the risk of financial loss to the business, helping contractors stay afloat should a disaster or theft take place.

Construction contractors and tradespeople need to evaluate their business needs to determine whether a surety bond, insurance coverage, or a combination of the two protection strategies is needed. It is also necessary to determine the cost of a surety bond and insurance, and plan ahead for this expense. Having the right protection in place not only satisfies legal requirements to operate a business, but it also lays the foundation for safeguarding project owners, customers, and the business over time.

Four Ways to Stay Safe While Cleaning

Cleaning jobs require physical strength and stamina. Whether it is in private homes or organizations such as schools, hospitals or hotels, you’ll be stretching, lifting and/or bending – activities that can all potentially lead to health problems and injuries. However, there are ways of staying healthy while working as a cleaner.

Don’t be slippin’ out here in these streets. Not surprisingly, slips and falls are the most common accidents that cleaners experience. While cleaning, wear appropriate footwear that will be comfortable and safe. Athletic footwear such as trainers are the best option since they provide stable support for the feet and have soles that will keep you safely grounded. Open-toe shoes and sandals are for the beach, not for cleaning.

Exhibit proper form by channeling your inner ballerina. Cleaning requires a lot of lifting and stretching, so performing these activities in a way that does not injure the body is important. Learning the right way to lift, for example, by bending the knees rather than the waist, will lessen the risk of injury. Also, try to ensure that any equipment you use has been ergonomically designed to prevent injuries due to repetitive movements. If you are required to use specialized cleaning equipment such as buffers, your employer should ensure that you have been adequately trained in its use (if you’re a professional cleaner). If you have to clean the top of wardrobes or other high places, make sure that you use a proper ladder or stepping stool – do not try to channel your inner Shaquille O’Neil.

You are what you breathe. When dusting, do not use a feather duster, as this will increase the risk of inhalation. Instead, use damp dusting methods. When sweeping, you should also reduce the risk of dust inhalation by using a damp mop or vacuuming. Cleaning agents are commonly used in cleaning, but it is better to use pump sprayers rather than aerosols. Spray a small amount on to a cloth for cleaning rather than smothering the surface. This will reduce the number of fumes that you inhale. If you have to use caustic cleaning agents, always wear gloves to protect your skin.

Don’t repeat if you sense defeat. Repetitive strain injuries occur when the body is asked to perform a physical task over and over again (like singing that Tim McGraw song featuring Nelly over and over again). Even repetitive “non-demanding” tasks can lead to long-term health complications, like typing at a computer, which can lead to RMI injuries. Common RMIs include tendonitis, bursitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Once developed, these can be very painful and will significantly impact on productivity. If you have suffered a muscle injury, compression clothing may help. Copper is known to have anti-bacterial properties, so a copper brace may be beneficial not only for support but also for preventing infection. A back brace for women may be worn to provide support and to provide relief from aches and pains. As the brace improves circulation, it can help to reduce muscle fatigue.

Cleaning can seem like a safe task, but without taking the proper precautions, you’ll put yourself in grave danger. Follow these four guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to a safe and responsible cleaning lifestyle. In all honesty however, the safest thing you can possibly do is call Maid Sailors.


4 Simple Ways To Maintain Home Security Cameras

Home security is one of the significant issues in the present modern society, which has about $12. 6 billion in costs of crime. As a result, home security systems have a high demand in the market. In fact, almost every household in the United States is now equipped with security systems.  

The problem lay when these tools became ineffective due to lack of maintenance. Technical issues, system malfunctions, blurry shots, and low-quality images are some of the typical surveillance issues whenever cameras are not taken care of well. 

Maintaining home security might be difficult and time-consuming, but it would be more challenging to overlook burglars due to ineffective surveillance. To get the best optimal performance while ensuring gain from the investment, follow these four simple ways in maintaining home security cameras.

Prevent Spider Webs on Cameras

Expect that there will be spiders on your outdoor security cameras. Spiders like dark corners, wherein cameras are often installed. Also, spiders web in front of the camera lens, because bugs are attracted to IR lights emitted from camera lens and spiders, feed on insects. While bugs are attracted to IR lights, the spider webs on the cameras will trap and daze them. 

Get rid of these webs with a broom weekly. Regularly sweeping off the webs will let spiders realize that your camera is not a safe place to stay at. You can also periodically use a spray repellent to ward off spiders. As stated earlier, make sure you are not spraying the camera lens as most repellents contain diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), which is a kind of solvent. 

If you do not have much time to clean spiders on cameras, use dome cameras. Due to its round shape, spiders will have limited grab point to latch onto and build webs. Place dome cameras beneath eaves to be protected from inclement weather.

Remove Moving Spots on Cameras

Other than spider webs, you may encounter other moving spots in front of your cameras that negatively affect the quality of video taken at night. This can be due to foggy weather. In a fog type weather condition, water droplets that are suspended in the air can reflect the infrared and lead particles to rise and fall, appearing as what you thought as moving spots. 

To remove moving spots in cameras, cover the security cameras with a hood or visor. Also, avoid placing the cameras in dusty areas. On the one hand, other cameras like that of Frontpoint Security System have better night vision features, so you do need to worry about video quality on foggy days. Try checking out frontpoint full review

Brush Off Loose Dust and Dirt on Camera Lens

Security cameras often become dirty and dusty when mounted outside, especially when installed in uncovered areas. Your security camera lens’ night performance will be severely affected when dirt and dust will reflect infrared (IR) light back into the lens. 

It is recommended to clean your security cameras’ lens a few times a year, or it is indispensable so you can optimize both day and night picture and video quality. To safely clean the lens, use compressed air to blow off the dirt and dust from the lens. If you do not have one, blow air with your mouth. 

Blow at a shallow angle. This would make sure that the dust is blown off away and would not be driven into or down back into the other parts of the lens. Better start with the lens before other parts of the camera. Keep the tin upright to prevent liquid from coming out. 

Ultimately, wipe the lens with a microfiber cloth with gentle pressure. Pour a small amount of lens cleaner solution on the microfiber cloth. If you do not have any cleaner solution, damp a tiny amount of water on the fabric or softly exhale on the lens to produce moisture.  

Do not ever use ant-bacterial (harsh/extra-strength) detergents, solvents like ammonia and alcohol, or rough materials like newspaper and paper towels on the camera lens. Instead of improving the camera’s lens qualities, these materials would instead damage the cameras, causing IR clarity and distortion. 

Protect Camera Connection from Cable Corrosion

Corrosion occurs when security cameras and its system cables are exposed to the marine environment and moist.  It triggers refined materials to convert. It causes poor connection that can result in loss of video feed or camera image quality issue. 

Regularly cleaning the cables can prevent corrosion, though. You can use a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and salt as a cleaning agent. Another standard way is to utilize tensioned electrical wrap with a silicone dielectric grease, which can fill air spaces and keep moisture out of the connections. You may also use heat-shrink tubing over the connection. 

Author’s Bio:

Tyler Pack is a real estate consultant and journalist, with a passion for smart homes technology. He is keen on writing about home and property security, and cybersecurity.