Training New Surety Professionals

Basics of Surety Bonds

Surety bonds have been a valuable tool for centuries. While suretyship has a long history, it wasn’t until the 19th century that corporate surety bonds were used. Discover the basic principals of contract surety and learn how surety bonds can ensure the completion of a project by selecting a topic below.
10 Things You Should Know About Surety Bonding
The Importance of Surety Bonds in Construction
When You Build… Bond

How to Obtain Surety Bonds

Federal, state, and local governments require surety bonds in order to manage risk on construction projects and protect taxpayer dollars. However, surety bonds are not limited to public construction. Many private project owners and lenders require bonding on their projects and prime contractors may require subcontractors to obtain bonds.

In today’s competitive construction environment, a contractor’s ability to obtain surety bonds has a significant effect on that contractor’s ability to acquire work.

Learn more about obtaining a surety bond by selecting a topic below.
How to Obtain Surety Bonds
SBA’s Surety Bond Program
Your First Bond
Helping Contractors Grow: Surety Bonding for New & Emerging Contractors

Qualifying a Surety Company

It is important to know whom you are dealing with when applying for surety bonds. Most large property and casualty insurance companies have surety departments. In addition, there are some insurance companies for which surety bonds make up all or most of their business.

Before accepting a surety bond, it is important to verify that it is from a licensed and reputable surety company.

Learn how easy it is to verify that the surety company is reputable and licensed to do business in your state by selecting the topic below.
Surety Companies: What They Are & How to Find Out About Them
The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA)
National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP)

Comparison to Other Risk Management Products

When it comes to limiting exposure to the inherent risks of construction, there is no substitute for time-tested contract surety bonds. While proponents of bank letters of credit claim they provide adequate protection, they fall short of the protection and services of a surety bond.

Learn the differences between surety bonds and bank letters of credit by selecting a topic below.
Surety Bonds Vs. Bank Letters of Credit
Our Letters Are Not Their Bonds(RMA Journal, February 2006)
Subcontractor Default Insurance

Claims Process

In the unfortunate event of contractor failure on a bonded project, it is important to understand the claims process, the participants, and the complexities of a surety bond claim.

Learn about surety bond claims by selecting the topic below.
A Construction Project Owners’s Guide to Surety Bond Claims

Protecting Taxpayer Dollars

In 1894, Congress passed The Heard Act, which was supplanted by the Miller Act in 1935. Since then, the federal government has required that contractors obtain surety bonds for public works, and virtually all the states have followed with their own statutes, called “Little Miller Acts.”

Learn how surety bonds protect public construction projects by selecting a topic below.
The Surety Safeguard: How Bonding Protects Taxpayer Dollars
Why Bid Performance & Payment Bonds Are Required for Public Construction Projects
Public Flash Presentation

Contractor Failure

Construction is a complicated business that faces ever-challenging conditions, and those who are not prepared or capable of meeting these demands may ultimately fail. Thousands of contractors, whether they have been in business for two years or 20, fail each year, leaving behind unfinished private and public construction projects with billions of dollars in losses to project owners.

Learn about the warning signs and events that can lead to contractor failure by selecting a topic below.
Why Do Contractors Fail?

Managing Risk

For years, surety bonds have been mandated by law for federal public construction projects under the Miller Act of 1935. Many state and local governments also require surety bonds on their public construction projects with “Little Miller Acts.” Surety bonds also are used for many private projects as well. Moreover, an increasing number of construction lenders are now recognizing the wisdom of requiring contract surety bonds to protect loans secured by private sector projects.

Information about the benefits of surety bonding for private owners and bankers may be found here.