Completion, Performance, Site, Subdivision Bonds: What’s the DIF?!

Po’boy, hoagie, grinder, heroe, sub: You get the idea. Different names for the same thing. 

So what about these surety bond names?  Over the years I’ve heard them all used for the same transaction. But are they really the same?  No, No, Nooooooooo!  We will explain.

“Who’s” on first: (brief definitions)

Principal – is the construction company whose actions are the subject of the bond

Obligee – is the party protected by the bond

Surety – is the bonding company providing the guarantee

  • Performance Bonds: Issued in connection with a contract that is referenced in the bond.  Guarantees that the principal will complete the project on time and in compliance with all written conditions.  The obligee is the beneficiary of the bond and is the “project owner” of the contract (they are hiring the contractor and paying for the work).  The obligee could be a public or private entity. A Dual Obligee Rider could add parties with a financial interest – such as the construction lender. They would share in the bond amount in the event of a claim.
  • Completion Bonds: Issued in connection with a construction loan. These are issued directly to the construction lender and protect the loan.  The lender is not a party to the construction contract.
  • Another version is a Movie Completion Bond for the film industry – guarantees that the new movie gets produced and “in the can.”
  • Site Bonds: Issued in connection with a specific project.  Could be a business owner modifying the company property, parking lot, driveways, etc.  The public body with jurisdiction over the job site is the beneficiary (obligee.) The bond promises that “public improvements” required by the planning board will be built at the principal’s (property owner’s) expense.  Such work is not paid for by the township.  The township is not party to a construction contract. The principal pays for the work out of pocket, or though a construction loan.
  • Subdivision: This is the same as a site bond, although on a larger scale. The difference is that it involves multiple sites all covered under one bond.  The bond promises that “public improvements” required by the planning board will be built at the principal’s (the developer’s) expense.  These improvements are later deeded over to the township – such as streets, curbs, lighting, water and sewer lines, etc. These bonds do not concern the building of homes or buildings. The guaranteed work is not paid for by the township.

It’s no surprise that folks use these terms interchangeably.  They all involve the contractor’s performance, but with a slightly different purpose.

You can assume all bond people know these differences.  But can you assume all bonding companies provide these bonds?  No, no,  nooooo!

Developers are the applicants for subdivision bonds, but any business can require a site bond. You need to know that FIA Surety is a leading provider of Site and Subdivision bonds. We write them and we’re good at it!

Next time you need a site, subdivision or performance bond, give us a call.

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

FIA Surety

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