What is a Freight Broker Bond?
The BMC-84 (also known as a freight broker surety bond) is a specific type of surety bond that protects shippers/motor carriers, which is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) in order to obtain a brokerage authority.
What is a Freight Broker Bond Used For?
Having a BMC-84 bond helps ensures that you, as the broker, abide by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules and regulations. Should you fail to do so, a claim can be made against your bond. You are then responsible to repay the claim amount.
As an example, freight brokers who do not pay motor carriers in a timely fashion may have a claim brought against their bond. This can be a costly issue for licensed freight brokers, and it can put your brokerage at risk. For these reasons, it is essential to understand what a BMC-84 is and how it works in practice.
How Much Does a Freight Broker Bond Cost?
The cost of a freight broker bond will be dependent upon multiple factors. If you are a new freight broker business and recently received your Brokerage Authority or MC #, the cost of your freight broker bond will range from $1,500 - $9,000. However, if your freight brokerage has been in business for at least 3 consecutive years, and the owners of the business have great personal credit and assets, then your bond premium ranges from $938 to $6,000. The pricing is calculated as a small percentage of the full $75,000 bond amount, typically between 1.5% to 12%. The percentage you pay as your bond rate is based on your financial strength, including your personal credit.
"Unlike alternatives, our freight broker bonds usually don't require collateral to obtain, which is crucial for smaller freight brokers." Eric Weisbrot, Digital Marketing Manager
How to Get a Freight Broker Bond (BMC-84)
If you’re starting a new freight brokerage, you'll need to register with the FMCSA in order to obtain your freight broker authority. You will also want to ensure you have a business plan in place.
Once registered, you’ll need to get a freight broker bond (BMC-84) from a bond company and ensure your bond gets filed with the FMCSA. Find out what a surety bond is and get your free quote directly on our website.
“Ensuring your bond provider can handle claims effectively is crucial, especially in the high claim activity freight broker market. Our company has an in-house claims department to defend our clients from invalid claims.“
Eric Weisbrot, Digital Marketing Manager
You can also read our complete guide to getting your freight broker license for more detailed information.
BMC-84 or BMC-85: What’s Right for You?
To meet the requirements of becoming a licensed freight broker, you have two options: obtaining a freight broker bond (BMC-84) or a trust fund (BMC-85). They both offer advantages and disadvantages depending on the needs of you and your brokerage. Read our detailed article to determine whether you should get a BMC-84 or BMC-85.
Freight Broker E-Book Guides
We have put together several free freight broker guides that cover the most essential information you'll need to know as a freight broker. Take a look at the topics covered in our e-book guides below:
These e-book guides were created specifically with freight brokers in mind, and they provide all of the crucial information you need to help ensure your brokerage thrives in this competitive profession.
Frequently Asked Questions
In many cases, yes. We can approve nearly any freight broker or forwarder, even if credit is an issue. Also, no collateral is required as it is with a freight broker trust. Apply to get an instant approval. This is made possible by our high-risk market, which is exclusive to our agency. If you go to another agency, they will likely broker the bond through us, possibly costing you extra money and time.
For most freight brokers, the answer is yes. The trust fund (BMC-85) ties up your money by requiring 100% collateral, while the bond only requires an annual payment which is a percentage of the bond amount. The bond also comes with a team of claim specialists that will assist you in fighting false claims, which is priceless since the freight broker business has a high frequency of false claims. Learn how your brokerage can stand out from the crowd with $100,000 excess bond coverage.
A $75,000 bond is required for licensed freight brokers. We strongly advise that all freight brokers are compliant before they continue operations so that they keep their authority and avoid unnecessary fines.
You must contact us immediately, as we have a team of claim specialists here to find a resolution for you. It is essential that you work with an expert in the surety industry to help avoid the costs of false claims. Learn more about how to ensure you choose the proper bond company.
We are a family owned and operated agency, established in 2003. We started with just two people, and grew to become the largest volume bond and insurance producer in the nation with 50+ employees and over 40,000 clients. With our 20 years of experience, we write over $4,000,000,000 in surety bonds and insurance each year.