November 11th, 2020
District of Columbia Electrical Contractor Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help contractors on District of Columbia (Washington D.C) Electrical Contractor bonds
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $175 for the required two year period
- Bond Amount:
- $2,000 for low voltage electrical contractors (49 volts or below)
- $4,000 for regular voltage electrical contractors (50 volts or higher)
- Who Needs It: All electrical contractors operating in the District of Columbia
- Purpose: To ensure the public will receive compensation for any damages should the electrical contractor fail to comply with permit law
- Who Regulates Electrical Contractors in the District of Columbia: The District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
***This page focuses exclusively on the bond and permit requirements for the Electrical Contractor Bond. For information on the Master Electrician Bond and License, view our Master Electrician Bond page.***
Code of the District of Columbia 6-641.09 requires all electrical contractors operating in the District to obtain a permit with the DCRA. The District of Columbia legislature enacted permit laws and regulations to ensure that contractors engage in ethical business practices.
In order to provide financial security for the enforcement of the permit law, electrical contractors must purchase and maintain either a $2,000 or $4,000 electrical contractor surety bond to be eligible for an electrical permit. The bond must expire on November 30th of each odd year (2021, 2023, 2025, etc).
What is the Purpose of the District of Columbia Electrical Contractor Bond?
The District of Columbia requires electrical contractors to purchase the Electrical Contractor Bond as part of the application process for an electrical permit. The bond ensures that the public will receive compensation for financial harm if the electrical contractor fails to comply with the permit regulations. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the electrical contractor breaks permit laws.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a District of Columbia Electrical Contractor Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Washington D.C. Electrical Contractor Bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “contractor” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Electrical Contractor Bond?
Credit checks are not required for the DC Electrical Contractor bond.
How Much Does the District of Columbia Electrical Contractor Bond Cost?
Both the $2,000 and $4,000 DC Electrical Contractor surety bond costs just $175 for the required two year period.
How Does the District of Columbia Define “Electrical Contractor”?
The District of Columbia differentiates between an electrical contractor and a master electrician. The contractor is the actual business entity who employs licensed electricians. Each electrical contractor must employ at least one licensed master electrician. The contracting company will need to obtain an electrical permit for each project with the DCRA to conduct business operations.
How Do Electrical Contractors Apply for a Permit in Washington D.C.?
Contractors in D.C. must navigate several steps to secure an electrical permit. Below are the general guidelines, but electrical contractors should refer to the DCRA’s Permit Application form for details on the process.
Step 1 – Obtain a Business License
All businesses operating in the District of Columbia must obtain a Basic Business License. Contractors can apply for a basic business license here.
Step 2 – Obtain a Master License
Electrical contractor companies must employ at least one licensed master electrician to be eligible for an electrical permit. Contractors can view our Master Electrician Bond page for details on the licensing process.
Step 3 – Determine the Bond Amount
Electrical contractors operating in DC will have different bonding requirements based on the level of voltage their projects deal with. Below are the bond amounts based on voltage classes for the DC Electrical Contractor Bond:
- $2,000 Bond for Low Voltage – 49 volts or lower, this generally applies to smaller jobs such as internet, audio and video repair
- $4,000 Bond for Regular Voltage – 50 volts or higher, this typically applies to jobs involving electrical outlets, light fixtures, etc
Step 4 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Electrical contractors must purchase and maintain either a $2,000 (low voltage) or $4,000 (regular voltage) Electrical Contractor surety bond. The bond must expire on November 30th of each odd numbered year (2021, 2023, etc).
Step 5 – Complete the Permit Application
The DC electrical permit application can be completed online through the DCRA’s permit portal. The permit application process is pretty straightforward, contractors should make sure that their application is submitted by a licensed master electrician in their employ.
Step 6 – Pay Fees
Contractors will need to pay a permit fee specific to the type of electrical work being performed. Contractors can find a list of all electrical permit fees here.
How Do DC Electrical Contractors File Their Bond With The DCRA?
Electrical contractors should scan the completed bond form and submit it online through the DCRA’s licensing portal. The electrical contractor bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the contractor. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name of entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
- Bond amount
- Date the bond is signed
- Date the bond goes into effect
- Bond type (master electrician or contractor)
- Date the bond expires
- Two witness signatures for the licensee
How Can DC Electrical Contractors Avoid Bond Claims?
To avoid claims on the Electrical Contractor Bond, contractors must follow all license and permit regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Do not engage, or allow representatives of the business to engage, in any acts of fraud
- Repair all property damage caused through the course of work
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Contractors in Washington DC?
DC does not require electrical contractors to obtain any form of liability insurance. Most reputable electrical contractors will seek to obtain liability insurance anyway. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any form of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for DC Electrical Contractors?
The District of Columbia conveniently provides a public database to search for active electrical contractors in the state. The database can be accessed here. Contact BondExchange for help developing a marketing piece.
What other Contractor License Bonds are Required in Washington DC?
Contractors in DC will need to obtain specific bonds correlating with their license type. Below are all the different contractor licensing bonds required by the District of Columbia:
- Master Electrician Contractor Bond
- $5,000 Designated Master Plumber/Gas Fitter Bond
- $5,000 Plumbing/Gas Fitting Contractor Bond
- $25,000 Home Improvement Contractor Bond
- $5,000 Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractor Bond
- $5,000 Master Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Bond
- $4,000 Elevator Contractor