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Surety Bond Rates Explained

What Are Surety Bond Rates?

Surety bond rates are used in a formula to determine your bond costs.

The guide below will explain what bond rates are, how they are used to calculate bond costs and what factors are looked at when determining your rate.

Surety Bond Rates: A Simple Explanation

Your rate is the percentage of the full bond amount you need to pay, and a direct reflection of how risky you appear to the surety companies.

Rates will vary depending on your likelihood of causing claims by failing to follow through with what your bond guarantees.

Keep in mind, if you cause bond claims the surety company will pay them at first.

However, when a surety company writes a bond they are vouching for you by saying if you trigger bond claims, you'll pay them back in full (which can be as large as the full bond amount). If you'd like to learn more about what surety bonds are and how they work, you can read our detailed guide here.

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How is Your Risk Determined?

Surety companies will get an idea of your risk for causing bond claims by looking at how you handle your financial responsibilities, which is usually done by reviewing your personal credit. When it comes to larger bonds, surety companies will look deeper by reviewing your personal credit, business credit, personal/business financial statements, your industry experience and anything else the underwriter can get their hands on to give them an idea of your likelihood to cause claims. In today's digital world, underwriters will also use search engines and social media to see what they can gather on you. Your risk can also be boosted by what your bond guarantees, as some bonds are considered riskier than others due to the large number of claims that occur.

Construction Bond Rates

Contract bond rates for performance bonds are typically higher for smaller jobs, as the bonding companies usually approve them based on personal credit alone (bid bond costs are nominal). As the bond amount grows, the underwriter will use the typical factors listed above to assess your risk. The most heavily weighted and most scrutinized item is often your business financial statement. Therefore, it is imperative that your CPA uses the proper method and appropriate details for your financial statement. If you don't have CPA prepared financial statements, you can still qualify for smaller contract bonds using tax returns instead. Read our guide to learn more about construction bonds.

How to Get the Lowest Rate

There is quite a bit that goes into getting the lowest construction bond rates. However, getting the lowest rate on a license and permit bond is a bit more simplistic. If you are a contractor that uses bonds regularly, your rate could make a big difference on your overall competitiveness on bids and ultimately your net profit. It is a good idea to do your homework and make sure you do everything you can to assist your agent in getting you a good rate. 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.

How Are Premiums Calculated?

Surety bond rates are usually given as dollars per thousand, represented by a dollar amount with a capital 'M' (the Roman numeral for one thousand). The formula for determining the premium is: BOND AMOUNT x RATE / 1000. You can also take a look at our most frequently asked surety bond questions.

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Surety Bond Rate Example Table

$10 / M $15 / M $30 / M $50 / M $75 / M
$5,000 Surety Bond $100* $100* $150 $250 $375
$10,000 Surety Bond $100 $150 $300 $500 $750
$12,500 Surety Bond $125 $188 $375 $625 $938
$25,000 Surety Bond $250 $375 $750 $1,250 $1,875
$30,000 Surety Bond $300 $450 $900 $1,500 $2,250
$50,000 Surety Bond $500 $750 $1,125 $2,250 $3,750
$75,000 Surety Bond $750 $1,125 $2,250 $3,750 $5,625
$100,000 Surety Bond $1,000 $1,500 $3,000 $5,000 $7,500

The Consumer’s Guide to Surety Bonds E-Book

If you want the most thorough answers available to all of the fundamental questions related to getting a surety bond (such as "how is my rate determined?"), you can download our free "Consumer's Guide to Surety Bonds" e-book. The topics covered in the e-book include:

  • How surety bonds work
  • Surety bond rates
  • How indemnity agreements affect you
  • The various surety bond types required
  • How to get bonded
  • How claims affect you

This e-book was created with first time applicants in mind, and is an excellent resource if you're unfamiliar with how surety bonds work, pricing and how they can greatly affect you or your business.

Consumer's Guide to Surety Bonds