Overview of Hawaii Contractor License Bond Requirements
The Hawaii Contractor License Board requires that general and specialty contractors post a contractor license bond prior to getting licensed to work in the state.
The bond guarantees that contractors comply with the Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 444. More specifically, Hawaii contractor license bonds ensure that contractors’ employees receive wages on time and as per their contract. The bond also aims to protect the public by ensuring that affected parties can receive compensation if they suffer losses due to contractor misconduct. Finally, this bond also ensures that contractors perform work in compliance with applicable building codes and regulations, and that they declare and pay taxes to the state.
If a contractor breaches the terms of the bond agreement, the surety bond company which signed their bond will need to provide prompt compensation to the claimant. The surety will then seek reimbursement from the contractor.
Hawaii Contractor License Bond Cost
The penal sum of this bond is not fixed, but it can be no less than $5,000. To find out the exact bond amount you need to contact the Contractor License Board. Factors that affect this amount include the number of people you employ, your financial situation as well as your experience in the construction industry.
However, this total bond amount only refers to the maximum amount you might be liable for. To get bonded, you only pay a premium which mostly depends on your credit score. However, factors such as financials and industry experience can play a role, too.
In most cases, applicants with good credit and no major credit issues pay as little as 1% of the full bond amount. For a $10,000 bond, this means just $100 yearly. Our surety bond cost guide can provide more detailed information on how your premium is calculated.
Bad Credit Program
Applicants with a low credit score (650 or less), those with no credit history, or a report indicating issues such as tax liens and civil judgements, can successfully get bonded through our bad credit surety bonds program.
There’s good news: in most cases credit score alone will not be an issue. The only difference is that you will need to pay a higher premium because surety companies need to offset the risk associated with signing your bond. This is because your surety company is legally responsible for your actions.
Still, premiums for bad credit applicants rarely go above 5%. If you take steps to improve your credit score and clear past due items from your report, you can expect a lower premium next time you need to renew your contractor license bond. Keep in mind that credit report companies sometimes make mistakes, so request a copy of your report and make sure there aren’t any erroneous items affecting your premium.
Apply for Your Contractor Bond Today!
You can now start your Hawaii contractor license bond application. Be sure, however, to verify your required total amount before your start. It will take you no more than five minutes to complete our one-page application.
After you submit the application, one of our agents will work closely with you to make the whole process easier. You will first receive a free bond quote and then, should you choose to proceed, we’ll let you know what other paperwork we need from you. For example, it’s a standard practice in the industry to sign an indemnity agreement with the surety.
After processing the paperwork and your quote payment, your bond will be mailed to you within just one or two business days.
Handling Claims Against Your Bond
In some states, claims are handled through the licensing authority handling your contractor license. However, Hawaii gives the right to everyone who has been directly affected by wrongful action to file a claim against a contractor’s bond. The Hawaii Revised Statutes explicitly state that claims related to non-payment of wages will take priority over other claims.
So what happens if you have been affected by a claim? You must reimburse the claimant promptly before the claim goes to court. Otherwise, the surety must step in and pay the claim, but it will then sue you to get reimbursement.
It’s best to avoid claims as these can hurt your business more than just financially. Applications with a history of past claims often get rejected by bonding companies.
Want to ask us something about contractor license bonds in Hawaii? Simply call us at 866.450.3412 and we’ll do our best to help.