So you are told you need a surety bond. You want to get up and running as fast as possible right? Today we are going to review what to look for in a bond agency and what you can do personally in order to get your surety bond fast!
Choosing the right agency:
The single most important thing you can do when in a time crunch is to choose the right bond agency to turn around your bond quickly. Obviously the rates they have to offer are important, but here are some other things you will want to consider in order to get your bond fast.
1. Are they brokering your business? – It is very common for bond agencies (especially smaller ones) to broker their business to a larger agency with access to more markets. The problem is that you are adding another middle man into the equation. This generally means a slower response time and often a higher rate.
2. Do they issue the bonds out of their office? – Many agencies have power of attorney with the carriers they work with, allowing them to issue the bonds directly out of the agents office. This allows for same day turnaround at times. If the answer to question #1 is “yes”, then you can almost be certain that they do no have the authority to issue bonds out their office.
3. What is their response time to your inquiries? – If an agency isn’t getting back to you within 24 hours with a question you have prior to paying them, there is little chance they will act quickly after you pay them.
4. Do they allow you to apply online? – An agency that still does not take applications online is likely not very technologically automated, which can make them slower to respond to the needs of their clients in comparison to the competition.
5. Ask your agent – Be sure to ask your agent what the average turnaround time is for an approval and for issuance. Some agents will make exaggerated promises of turnaround time, so you may want to request their response by email so you have it in writing.
What you can do to speed up the process:
Simply choosing the right agent doesn’t get you our of the woods yet. You will need to do some things on your end to make sure your original bond is in your hands as fast as possible.
1. Send everything your agent requests in a timely fashion – If your agent requests something of you, be sure to get it to them quickly. A good agent will not ask you to send anything unnecessarily. Most of the time, your application will not be submitted anywhere until you agent has everything they requested. Not sending your agent what they need could result in an extremely high rate or no response at all.
2. Have an open line of communication – Make sure you keep in close contact with your agent. You don’t want to call them unnecessarily and waste their time, but be sure that you are both on the same page. If you fax or email documents to your agent, it is a good idea to confirm receipt of them. Sometimes faxes and emails do not go through properly, which could cause a big delay in your approval or issuance.
3. Pay for overnight delivery – If getting your bond fast is extremely important to you then do not send any payment or original agreements by regular mail. You might be surprised to find out how often the U.S. Post Office loses envelopes. Situations can become even more hairy when cashiers checks are lost. Pay the extra $15-20 and make sure you send what is needed overnight w/ a tracking number from a reliable service like FedEx or UPS.