Secrets of Bonding #127: “The Call”

A couple of times every week we talk to a new contractor who wants to get their bond account set up for the first time.  Here’s how it always goes:

  • Contractor: We want to go after bonded projects but we’ve never had bonds before.  What’s involved?
  • Surety: OK Hi! Who am I speaking to?
  • Contractor: I’m Humphrey.
  • Surety: All right Humphrey, can we start by asking you a few questions?  What is the size and nature of the work you intend to pursue?TelefMan-07

Scenario #1 (Pursuing contracts up to $350,000)

  • Contractor: We have performed residential and light commercial work.  We want to go after general construction contracts up to about $250,000.
  • Surety: Great! Tell me the ownership and structure of your company.
  • Contractor: The company is an LLC owned by me and my partner Bogart.
  • Surety: Are you both married?
  • Contractor: Yes, but not to each other.
  • Surety: We have a very easy program that may be a perfect starting point for you.  To be eligible, the owners and spouses must have good personal credit reports. Are the reports favorable?
  • Contractor: Yes.
  • Surety: There are some other criteria.  For example, the program cannot be used for long-term contracts or difficult / unique construction – needs to be plain vanilla.  The good thing is that no financial statements or other documentation is required, only a simple one page app. If this program fits your needs, you’ll never find anything easier or faster! Give me your email address and we’ll send you the one page app.  We can probably get you pre-qualified within 24 hours!

Scenario #2 (Pursuing contracts in excess of $350,000, or for applicants with low credit scores)

  • Surety: We find that most contractors are able to qualify for bonding if their account is developed properly.  That’s where our expertise (since 1979!)  comes into play.
  • Contractor: What info will be needed?
  • Surety:  Getting approved for bonding is like applying for a bank loan. The same kind of financial and background info is needed.  Your relationship with the surety is similar to banking and you promise to protect the surety from loss, just like signing a promissory note with a lender.  That’s why surety bonds are not insurance policies.
  • Contractor: OK what’s the next step and how much does it cost?
  • Surety: We don’t charge for setting up your account!  We’ll send you an email with a list of items that are needed initially.  Gather as much as you can and send over so we can get started.  The process normally takes a week or two.  You don’t pay until you win a contract and need a performance bond.

Conclusion

Have we oversimplified the process? Actually, no.  It is easier than people assume to get their bond account arranged – when you know the ropes.  That’s our niche.  We don’t pretend to be good at everything, but we are experts at this!

FIA Surety is a NJ based bonding company (carrier) that has specialized in Site, Subdivision and Contract Surety Bonds since 1979 – we’re good at it!  Call us with your next one.

Steve Golia, Marketing Mgr.: 856-304-7348

First Indemnity of America Ins. Co.

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