5 Things You Should Know Prior To Shopping For A Surety Bond Quote

Bond QuoteShopping for a surety bond is usually new to most of our clients. Typically, people feel very lost, as the entire process is new to them and they often don’t even know what they need. Here is a quick list to bring you up to speed on five things anyone shopping for a surety bond quote should know.

1. What is a surety bond?
Our regular clientele are required to post a surety bond in order to run their business, but they have no idea what the bond is or what it actually does. To put it simply, the bond is a guarantee of your performance. The bond form (provided by whoever is requiring the bond of you) states exactly what the bond is guaranteeing, usually a statute or contract. For more detailed information see our video tutorial, “What is a surety bond?.

2. How does a surety bond work?
A bonding company backs a bond guaranteeing your company’s performance. In return, you pay a premium, which is a percentage of the bond amount. If you fail to perform per the terms of the bond, a claim may be placed against it. If the bonding company pays out on a claim, they will then turn to you for repayment.

3. Shopping with too many agencies can be risky
Some bonding companies will actually decline an applicant for all agents if they receive the applicant from too many different agents. This doesn’t mean that you can’t apply with more than one agency, but you will have to ensure that the agents do not apply to the same carriers.

4. Take verbal quotes with a grain of salt
When shopping for anything, you want to know the cost right away. Unfortunately, one size does not fit all when it comes to surety bond costs. Without applying, the best an agent should be able to do is give you a range, not a precise quote. Agents giving you an exact rate are usually giving you the lowest possible rate, which everyone does not qualify for.

5. Give yourself enough time
Many of our clients apply for their bond weeks or even months prior to when they need it. However, some wait until the day they actually need the bond to call their agent to say they want to move forward with an approval. You should know that all bonding companies are going to require you to sign an agreement prior to allowing the agent to issue the bond. In most cases, an original agreement and payment must be sent to the agency to get the bond issued. After that, it is not reasonable to expect same day turnaround on bond issuance (1-3 business days, depending on volume is our current policy). Keep in mind, it’s crucial that you work with an expert in the surety industry. Learn more about how to ensure you choose the proper bond company. You can also take a look at the most frequent surety bond related questions here.

Eric is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog. He has held a range of different roles within the surety industry, from agent assistant to bond issuer, which gives him a unique insider perspective on surety related topics.



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Clueless owner

We need a MO surety bond for our Tax ID before purchasing a business. We have poor credit. Initially denied, we were offered a bond if we put up half the cost ourselves before. Is this common practice? Do we get this money back at the end of the term?

Thank you,


Eric Weisbrot

Hey there,

Yes, requiring collateral of an applicant with credit issues for a high risk bond is common. Missouri sales tax bonds are considered a very high risk with the amount of claims experienced with them.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

James lynch

Can you tell me if a non profit organization that holds auctions needs to have a surety bond or what type of bond would be needed . Thanks for any help

Eric Weisbrot


It's possible, as there are auctioneer bond requirements. However, this will vary by state, so it's your best bet to contact the state to determine if a bond is required.

Michael Weisbrot

We only handle bonds required by the state or federal government. Is anyone requiring a bond of you? If not, it sounds like you are looking for a fidelity bond which we don't handle; you can take care of that at a local insurance agecny.


Wha.t type of bond, if any, will I need for a small residential cleaning business that I own but of yet, have no employees?


My husand passed and left no will. His son wants truck,that was in my husbands name. The lawyer said I need surety bond. where can I get one in Kentucky.

Michael Weisbrot


Personal credit is taken into account. However, spouse’s credit usually is not. Typically a score of 650+ is what is need to qualify for a standard market rate or 1-3% of the bond amount. Credit scores lower than that will put you in a high risk market closer to 15% of the bond amount. You can apply online for a free quote.


Is personal credit score pulled? What about on spouse too? I want to go to the auto auctions in Florida to buy / sell used cars. My credit is less than perfect. Please advise if credit score is pulled and if so then what do I need to to be eligible. I.e. is 660 too low? Thank you.


I am looking into being bonded as a self-employed Certified Caregiver. What type of bond do I obtain and how much do I obtain?



You are in need of a “lost instrument bond”. A very difficult to place bond type. Our carriers actually require us to have a personal relationship with the client. Therefore, we will not be able to help.

Since many agents may have the same prerequisite, you may want to try to procure this through a Property & Casualty agent you have worked with in the past.

Good luck!


Hi Horace,

Unfortunately, I cannot provide a quote without a completed application. No good agent will give you a quote without knowing about the bond requirement and the amount of risk you present to the surety.

Fortunately, I can provide you with some guideline ranges for auto dealer bonds! Typically, an auto dealer bond is somewhere between 1-3% annually. This would translate to $350 to $1,050 for your $35,000 bond. However, applicants with bad credit can expect much higher rates, somewhere in the range of 7.5% to 15%, or $2,625 to $5,250 in your case.

Your best bet is to apply online for a free auto dealer bond quote.

You also mentioned something about a down payment. You should know that bonding companies always require payment in full in increments of 1 year or more.

Let me know if you have any further questions!


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