Category Archives: Surety Bonds

Four Popular Surety Bonds for Small Businesses

Surety bonds are often associated with insurance.  This is understandable for a few reasons.  Bonds provide coverage for losses that are incurred and are often sold by insurance agents.  The difference however is that with surety bonds they must be noted where as regular insurance does not.

In the article below we will discuss several types of surety bonds that small businesses need.  There are about twenty five thousand types of surety bonds available.  Below we will discuss the five most common types of bonds that a variety of small businesses should consider having before they begin operating.

Surety Bonds for Construction

Within the construction industry bonds are often required of contractors.  A license and permit bond is often required before a license is issued whereas performance bonds are more job specific.

License and permit bonds are required of contractors before a license can be issued.  This is to safeguard residents within the state from financial losses.  These bonds are often inexpensive based upon the contractor’s credit rating.  They can cost anywhere between two hundred and one thousand dollars.

Performance bonds are issued based upon the job.  It is issued to cover the performance that is contracted; this can be for a variety of reasons such as having a deadline to follow or a budget to stay within.  When a contractor is licensed and bonded it provides a financial confidence to their clients that the project they are contracted to provide will occur as stated within the contract.

Surety Bonds for Cleaning Businesses

When your occupation requires that you enter private property, such as in cleaning and janitorial services, it is important to acquire a janitorial service bond.  With the access workers are given to personal belongings it is important to have reassurance that businesses and homeowners are protected from theft.

When a cleaning crew is licensed and bonded they are providing extra assurance.  Their clients are protected from the service provider and their employees in case of thievery.  These bonds are inexpensive and communicate that your business is one that can be trusted.

Surety Bonds for Notaries

Integrity is important when it comes to notaries and the services that they provide.  A notary is a legal authority that authenticates documents.  A notary bond is purchased to protect against notaries that choose to act unethically.  A notary bond is usually inexpensive often as low as thirty dollars for a four year term and don’t usually provide a concern for those looking to become notaries.

This type of bond is issued based on a set of conditions that must be met in order for the notary to become licensed.  These conditions must be met before they are allowed to conduct notary services within a state.

Surety Bonds for Car Dealers

A motor vehicle dealer bond is required in order to provide protection against unethical practices that are committed by car dealers and their employees.  This is a relatively inexpensive business expense for most car dealers.  A motor vehicle bond prevents customers from being deceived by car dealers.  It offers assurance that car dealers will not sell stolen cars or sell a car based on misleading information.

As you can see is that surety bonds are not insurance but more a type of reassurance that the goods and services that are provided to consumers will be provided in good faith.  Surety bonds are purchased in order to prove that business is done in good faith.  It is an extra guarantee that goods and services are provided as contracted.

Construction Bonding Specialists, LLC are dedicated Surety Bond Professionals that are aligned with several Treasury Listed and AMBest Rated Surety markets which allows them to assist with virtually all Bid, Performance and Payment, Financial Guarantee and Supply bond needs.  Find out more information at http://www.bondingspecialist.com.

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Surety bond guarantee hike seen as boon for small business

The Connecticut Business & Industry Association reports that small businesses will have more contracting opportunities beginning in 2017. A law recently signed by President Obama increases the maximum Small Business Administration surety bond guarantee percentage from the current 70 percent to 90 percent.

“This is the first significant legislative change to the surety bond guarantee program in several decades,” says Frank Lalumiere, surety bond guarantee program director at the SBA. “It will provide increased incentives for surety bond companies and bond producers to participate in the program, which will expand contracting opportunities for small businesses across the country.”

Surety bonds protect project owners in the event a contractor fails to successfully perform the contract. In such an event, the surety company assists the project owner in completing the contract.

The SBA does not provide direct surety bonds to small businesses; surety companies do. But through its Preferred Surety Bond program, the agency guarantees between 70 and 90 percent of the losses and expenses incurred by the surety company if the small business fails to complete the contract. This government guarantee encourages the surety company to issue a bond that it might otherwise not issue. In turn, with the backing of a surety bond, a contractor may bid on a project that otherwise it could not bid on.

Original Source: http://www.centralctcommunications.com/newbritainherald/article_97a7ed64-b8d8-11e5-865e-63255e5dfc14.html

 

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Exactly What is a Construction Surety Bond

A construction surety bond is commonly known as a contractor’s license bond.  It is used to make sure that a construction project is completed as stated within a given contract.  In the event that the contractor is unable to complete said contract on time, within budget or other ramifications stated within the contract the surety company will guarantee payment to the owner to prevent financial loss.  This leaves the contractor on the hook to the surety company to pay back the amount that was paid out by the surety company.

In short a project owner or oblige enters into a contract with the principal or contractor to complete a specified project.  Then the contractor or principal secures a surety bond from a surety company or surety broker who sells contractor’s license bonds.  Local surety brokers can be found throughout online searches by looking under, “surety bonding firms or surety bonding companies”.

If a contractor fails to complete the project as stated within the contract the surety company must compensate the owner of the project for any loss or find another contractor that can complete the contract as stated.  The surety company may then proceed to seek repayment from the original contractor for their losses.

When it comes to any federal, state or local government project the contractor is required, by law, to be bonded in order to bid.  In fact some areas require a bond be in place before they will even consider issuing a contractor a construction license.

Surety bonds don’t only protect the project owner they work to cover subcontractors that are hired in order to complete projects that are contracted.  The surety bond will cover the expense of suppliers, subcontractors and damage that occurs to the property as a direct result of the construction project as well as tools and materials that are damaged or stolen.

Construction surety bonds are only sold through certain agencies that are known as bond producers or bond agencies.  The job of a surety agency is to work with contractors throughout the entire process of obtaining a bond as well as creating a relationship where they continue to supply bonds to the contractor as their construction companies grow and take on new commitments.  A bond producer plays an important role.  They should provide the following services:

  • The surety company offers advice that increases the profitability of the company by looking into management and all the technical aspects of the business.
  • The surety company will help contractors with their relationships with other service providers such as industry experts like accountants and attorneys.
  • In order to ensure that the financial requirements are met by the contractor seeking a surety bond the company is responsible to review all financial documents that are required by contractors seeking bonds.
  • The surety company is responsible for ensuring that the contractor has a surety bond that matches up with their needs. Most surety producers have relationships in which they offer bonds to more than one company.  With this in mind it is important that the surety producer is able to maintain relationships with several various surety carriers at one time.
  • The main point of contact for a contractor is the surety producer. This remains the same throughout the entire bonding process.  The surety company must remain in contact with both the contractor and the carrier throughout the entire process of the project.

Construction Bonding Specialists, LLC are dedicated Surety Bond Professionals that are aligned with several Treasury Listed and AMBest Rated Surety markets which allows them to assist with virtually all Bid, Performance and Payment, Financial Guarantee and Supply bond needs.  Find out more information at http://www.bondingspecialist.com.

 

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Three Basic Bonds Used In the Construction Industry

There are three basic type of bonds used within the construction industry.  They are the bid bond, the performance bond and the payment bond.   These three basic types of bonds are used to guarantee that contractor will perform the work contracted, at the price contracted within the period of time contracted.  If this doesn’t occur the bond company will pay the owner to prevent financial loss and the bond company will collect payment from the contractor.  Below is exactly how bid, performance and payment bonds work.

  • Bid Bonds: This type of bond is obtained to guarantee that the bid that is submitted is in good faith. It states that the contractor enters into the contract at the price that is bid and will perform the required performance and payment bonds.
  • Performance Bonds: This type of bond is obtained to protect the owner of a project from any financial loss if the contractor fails to perform the contractor as stated in the terms and conditions.
  • Payment Bonds: This type of bond assurers that a contractor will pay the price specified to subcontractors, laborers and material suppliers as guaranteed within the contract.

In order to prequalify contractor needs to prove to a sureties company that they are an acceptable risk.  It is up to sureties to accept the risk of contractor’s failure based on a thorough analysis that pre-qualifies the contractor.  This ensures that the contractors business is a risk worth taking.  It is an in-depth analysis that ensures the contractor’s business operations are legit.

The surety company must be completely content that the contractor meets certain criteria before issuing a bond.  The criterion looks something like the following:

  • High-quality references with integrity and solid business reputations.
  • A strong ability to meet all of their current and future obligations in respect to both financial and employee abilities.
  • Industry experience that matches the requirements that are stated within the contract.
  • Equipment that is necessary to perform the work that needs to be done or the ability to obtain it when it is needed.
  • The strength financially to support the desired load of work that is contracted within the contract period.
  • A credit history that is established and a relationship with a bank that extends a line of credit if needed.

As a surety company it is important that they are satisfied that the contractors that they have extended surety bonds to will satisfy their requirements. The contractor should run a well managed, profitable company that fulfills their word fairly and performs all of their obligations within a timely manner.

Construction Bonding Specialists, LLC are dedicated Surety Bond Professionals that are aligned with several Treasury Listed and AMBest Rated Surety markets which allows them to assist with virtually all Bid, Performance and Payment, Financial Guarantee and Supply bond needs.  Find out more information at http://www.bondingspecialist.com.

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Major Points Of The Claim Process In Auto Dealer Surety Bonds Continued

In this installment of surety bonds we will continue to look at major points of the claim process in auto dealer surety bonds.

Eligibility

Only certain consumers are eligible to process a claim against the auto dealerships surety bond.

–          Consumer Purchaser:  Most of the claims that a consumer will make are related to the auto dealer’s failure to report the sale and not producing a title for the vehicle.  This creates a multitude of issues for the buyer.  Other claims involve the dealership not paying off the vehicle that was traded in, when the mileage on the odometer has been changed or the condition of the car was not reported and clearly becomes evident after the purchase.

–          The Seller of a Motor Vehicle:  A seller may file a claim if an auto dealership fails to pay for cars sold to the dealership or through the dealership.  This seller may be another car dealer, an individual, a consignor, a regional or national auto auction.

Be Prepared

Auto dealers should follow these basic steps when a claim is presented against them.
–          Auto dealers need to understand and follow the rules that are set by your state’s department of motor vehicles.  It is important to meet all of the terms within the contracts to avoid complications later on.

–          Auto dealers should always be honest.  They should ask the claimant for proof of their loss.

–          All communication should be documented.  All correspondence, statements and agreements should have proper documentation.

–          Auto dealerships should always be proactive in finding a solution to problems that have arisen before an official surety bond claim.

Look for assistance from the surety bond agency

When a claim is brought to the attention of the surety bond company all of the parties involved in the argument to explain their side of the story.  The guarantee that is offered by the surety bond company is that if they don’t find the claim to be legitimate they will not pay.  The opposite is true as well, if the evidence is found to be against the dealership the dealer will be obligated to pay the claim up to the bond’s penal sum.

Bonding company’s provide legal defense on your behalf; often leading to a winning verdict on your behalf.  It should be understood that if they end up paying the claim due to the dealerships negligence the legal fees plus the amount of the claim will need to be reimbursed.

Protect yourself and your dealership

Claims do arise against auto dealer surety bonds.  It is important to protect yourself.  Be sure that your dealership follows all industry regulations.  If you are honest in your dealings with customers you have nothing to be worried about.

Keep all licenses up to date, renew bonds on time and file all necessary paperwork diligently.  If a claim happens to arise you will easily be able to plead the case against the dealership without hurting business.

Construction Bonding Specialists, LLC are dedicated Surety Bond Professionals that are aligned with several Treasury Listed and AMBest Rated Surety markets which allows them to assist with virtually all Bid, Performance and Payment, Financial Guarantee and Supply bond needs.  Find out more information at http://www.bondingspecialist.com.

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Comparing Surety Bonds and Insurance Part Two

In our last installment we began comparing surety bonds and insurance.  Many people are under the misconception that because of the similarities between surety bonds and the fact that often insurance companies offer them that they too are a form of insurance.  This however is not true.  As we previously discussed surety bonds are an agreement between three parties as well as that with a surety bond a loss is not expected instead a guarantee in case an obligation is not met.  Insurance on the other hand is an agreement between two parties where a loss is expected.  At some point you expect an insurance policy will pay out whereas with a surety bond you don’t expect to ever have to receive a payout.

A company offering surety bonds expect to recover any losses occurred.  If the principal defaults on the contract and the surety bond have to pay the obligee the surety expects to get repaid from the principal.  The surety has loaned assets to the principal and therefore will seek reimbursement.  Insurance claims are never expected to be repaid.  In fact with an insurance policy a claim is expected.  The whole purpose of insurance is to cover any losses the insured has experienced.

When the premium is paid on a surety bond it is acting as a service charge for the bond by the principal.  In fact surety companies get to be incredibly selective when choosing companies that they agree to bond.  This is because bonds serve as a non-collateral loan unlike a car or mortgage payment.  A surety company asks for a fee anywhere from half a percent to three percent of the contract amount.  The fee will be dependent upon the financial strength of the principal.  The premium is usually paid on an annual basis.

This is different than insurance premiums in that the premium that is paid is to cover the expenses and losses that are expected to occur. An insurance policy is something that nearly everyone can be issued.  The premium that is paid will depend upon the risk of the person or people being insured.  The greater risk to the insurance company the higher the premium.

As previously stated, surety companies are incredibly careful when choosing companies that they bond.  Years of running a successful business, financial stability and a record of completing projects on time and within the projected budget allotted within the original contract.  Agents handing out surety bonds are trained to ensure they don’t make loans that will default.

Insurance agents however are a lot more flexible when it comes to writing insurance policies.  Insurance companies offer up a higher volume of business in order to make a profit as well as cover any losses experienced.  This allows agents to be flexible with whom they offer insurance policies to.  Although as an example, if a car owner is seeking insurance and they have been in multiple accidents they will pay a higher premium then a client who has not been involved in an accident or had a previous ticket.

There are key distinctions between surety bonds and insurance policies.  Although they function differently they both meet a need that protect someone from experiencing a loss.

Construction Bonding Specialists, LLC are dedicated Surety Bond Professionals that are aligned with several Treasury Listed and AMBest Rated Surety markets which allows them to assist with virtually all Bid, Performance and Payment, Financial Guarantee and Supply bond needs.  Find out more information at http://www.bondingspecialist.com.

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Comparing Surety Bonds and Insurance Part One

Most people assume that because surety bonds are offered through an insurance company that a surety bond is a type of insurance policy.  This however is untrue.  Even though surety bonds and insurance policies have a few insignificant likenesses they are not the same thing at all.  In this installment we will discuss the differences between surety bonds and insurance.

The first difference between surety bonds and insurance is the number of individuals involved in the agreement.  With a surety bond there is a three-party agreement that connects the bond issuer, who is known as the surety, with the second party, who is the principal, into a financial guarantee to the third party, who is known as the obligee.  The agreement states that principal fulfills the obligations set forth in the contract.  The principal relies on the monetary power of the surety in order to acquire a contract with the obligee.

The difference with insurance is that the agreement between two parties; the two parties being the insurance company and the insured.  This arrangement is in place to guarantee that if the insured has a loss or is damaged the insurance company agrees to pay an amount set forth in the original policy.

Another distinction between surety bonds and insurance is that losses are not to be expected under a surety bond.  The contracting company to which the bond is issued needs to be financially stout and secure to be eligible for bonding.  The surety company carries out a thorough background check into the contractor’s character, their credit worthiness, the talent and capability to finish a project as contracted.

It is also important that they meet the specific check points in place within the contract.  A surety bond is sought out because the contractor is asked to provide one because the project owner mandates it.   The surety bond amount decreases as certain check points, which are stated in the contract, are met.  Less surety is needed as the job gets closer to the agreed upon end.  As each stage is completed the contractor is required to carry less surety to meet their obligation to the project owner.

An insurance policy is purchased because a loss is eventually expected.  The insurance policy rates are always changing and need to be adjusted based on the law of averages, expenses and losses.  A perfect example is when purchasing car insurance.  The rates are high at first because the expense is greater to cover the amount owed on the car loan.  If the car is in an accident a large amount of money is needed to cover the expense of repair or to cover the payoff on the loan.  As time passes the amount owed becomes less and less, the expense to repair the car decreases and because of all of these factors the insurance policy costs decrease.

In our next installment we will look at more comparisons between surety bonds and insurance companies.  These two very different industries and products have qualities that are similar but they are indeed two very different things when side by side comparisons are completed.

Construction Bonding Specialists, LLC are dedicated Surety Bond Professionals that are aligned with several Treasury Listed and AMBest Rated Surety markets which allows them to assist with virtually all Bid, Performance and Payment, Financial Guarantee and Supply bond needs.  Find out more information at http://www.bondingspecialist.com.

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