Understanding the Surety Process

The surety underwriting procedure can often be viewed as being an agonizing ordeal for insurance agents as well as applicants needing to obtain bonds. Many times, the entire process can be very aggravating and stressful if an applicant is under a specific deadline or needs a bond very quickly. Here are some items that the surety company will most likely require. It is important to know what crucial information that a surety company or agency will require in order to be approved for any type of surety bond.

Like insurance, the surety industry is recurring. In the mid 90s, the surety industry was very pliable, and there was little underwriting being performed. A combination of the slowing economy and the poor underwriting practices from years prior caused the surety industry to suffer for the first five of five consecutive years in 2000. However, a booming economy led to more bond approvals and issuance, even for applicants that were less than qualified.

Fortunately, these losing years caused the market to fluctuate almost overnight underwriting standards were tightened and premiums increased substantially. Capacity quickly became an issue for contractors, particularly at both the small and large ends of the spectrum. Small, emerging contractors were finding it increasingly more difficult to obtain any bonding capacity and large contractors were also feeling the affects of the more stringent industry. The market has fluctuated over the past couple of years, and contract bonds and some commercial bonds can still be difficult to obtain. Some items that are crucial to obtaining prior to applying for a surety bond are:

A surety bond is a form of credit. The underwriter requiring financial information from an applicant is making a credit decision without ever meeting the contractor or applicant.. There may be a substantial amount of paperwork required; however, it may be the extra paperwork required that will get an applicant approved for a bond. An underwriter will most likely request the following:

Business financials It is beneficial and most often a requirement that these are prepared by a CPA. If it is a new company, submitting the most recent business financials will suffice.