corporate surety

Changing Horses: Site & Subdivision Bonds #169

Abe Lincoln said it.  And it’s mostly true.  But here is one time when it really does make sense to “Change Horses In Mid-Stream!”

When Developers and Home Builders start a new project, they give security to the city or township guaranteeing the construction of public improvements (streets, curbs, lights, water, sewer, etc.) The security may be in the form of cash, a bank issued irrevocable letter of credit (ILOC), or a surety bond.

They’re all the same to the township, but there are huge differences for the contractor. The most obvious is the loss of use of their funds. How long will the money be tied up? It can take much longer than expected to get these obligations released (the township is in no hurry!)

If a dispute arises and cash or an ILOC was used, the township just takes the contractor’s money.  It’s all over.  With a surety bond, there is a discovery process through the claims department.  The contractor has input and may affect the outcome.

So, back to the horses.  For clients that have already posted cash or an ILOC, they can swap it out with a surety bond!  Get their money back. Gain more control. Protect company assets.  Put the cash to good use!

How to start? Call FIA Surety.  Since 1979, we have been a steady provider of site and subdivision bonds.  We do little $20,000 site bonds for commercial property owners and have written multi-multi million dollar subdivision projects.  Come to the experts to swap in a surety bond, or to write a new project. We get them done!

Read expert analysis: Why Surety Bonds are the way to go here.

Call FIA Surety: 973-541-3417

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

 

FIA Surety: Turning “DUH!” into “TA-DAH!”

How it started: “Hi Steve, I have a strange scenario I hope you can help me with.”

Our agent had a performance bond client established with a surety and the SBA program.  They needed a P&P bond for a municipal project and the surety demanded payment in advance.  The client could not comply.

The award and notice to proceed were issued and the contractor commenced with the work – but the obligee forgot about the bond, until now. The contract is completed but the client cannot receive their final payment until they file a maintenance bond.  Due to weak credit, the surety is refusing to issue unless they add additional indemnitors.  The job is finished: DUH!

We gathered a file and asked for a status inquiry form from the obligee (to confirm the degree of completion and obligee’s satisfaction with the project.)  The contractor passed along the form, but the project manager refused to complete it, stating he “never saw one of these before.” DUH #2!

We made contact with the township engineer and after a friendly conversation, were able to verify everything was OK and they promptly completed the form for our records.  We evaluated the bonding requirements and determined that the Performance bond form contained an 18 month maintenance clause (no separate maintenance bond), so the P&P bond was still needed.  FIA Surety issued it, and with no SBA support or additional indemnity required: TA-DAH!

The agent is happy.  The contractor is happy.  The township has a completed project with maintenance coverage. We bonded a job that was completed and accepted.  Now was that so hard?

FIA Surety is First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, your go-to carrier for Site, Subdivision, Bid and Performance bonds. Call 856-304-7348

Making TA-DAH moments for our clients since 1979.

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

FREE CE!

First Indemnity of America Insurance Company

An “A Rated” Carrier

2740 Rt. 10 West, Suite 205
Morris Plains, NJ 07950
Office: 973-541-3417

FIA Surety is First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, a provider of Site, Subdivision, Bid and Performance Bonds since 1979.  Call us when you need a surety bond!

Through our accredited FIA Surety School, we offer continuing education courses for insurance agents.  These courses are provided free of charge, a service of FIA Surety. You can participate in these teleconference sessions from the convenience of your home or office computer.

Use the registration form below and join us for the next CE webinar!

At the current time our teleconference courses are approved for resident agents of:

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Additional states coming soon!

Upcoming:

  • November 2, 2020, Monday 9:00 am to 12 noon Eastern Time, teleconference CE class “Surety Bonds 101 Webinar” (3 CE credits)
  • December 1, 2020, Tuesday, 9:00 am to 12 noon Eastern Time, teleconference CE class “Understanding Site and Subdivision Bonds Webinar” (3 CE credits)
  • There WILL be future dates added for both courses.

To attend our webinars, please complete the form below and we will send you a confirmation email. Please register at lease five days before the scheduled class date.

Questions?  Call us!  Steve Golia, Director 856-304-7348

FAQS:

  • Q. Are the Continuing Education classes approved by the state? A. Yes all our courses are fully approved by each state where we offer them.
  • Q. How many credits are provided in each course?  A. Three CE credits per course.  You can get credits for each course once per license cycle.
  • Q. Who is eligible to attend these classes.  A. Any licensed P&C agent is allowed to take our courses.
  • Q. How many people from our agency may attend? A. One or more may attend.  Tell your colleagues not to miss it.
  • Q. How much do the courses cost?  A. All our courses are free, a service of FIA Surety.
  • Q. How is the course delivered?  A. These are teleconference courses (webinars) you may attend from any computer at work or home.
  • Q. Do I need special software?  Do I have to buy anything?  A. This is a “Zoom” meeting.  Free!
  • Q. How do I attend a future course?  A. Complete the brief registration form below and we will process your reservation.
  • Q. Can I take a course immediately before my license renewal date?  A. You can take our courses any time during the term of your license.  However, time is needed to post and process your credits, therefore we recommend attending the courses at lease 60 days prior to your anniversary.
  • Q. What do I need to do during the course?  A. You need to be present continuously, give the program your undivided attention and respond to our attendance verification prompts.
  • Q. When are the classes held?  A. From 8:45 am to 12:15 pm (includes set-up and break time.)
  • Q. Is there a final exam?  A. No.

REGISTRATION FORM

Thanks for submitting your registration!

Get to Know FIA Surety: Bruce Nash

Here is surprising info about Bruce Nash, a key person at FIA Surety.

Nurture vs. Nature.

Bruce didn’t have a choice. His family was married to the lake.

Our Bruce was born in the beautiful town of Lake George, NY and he has two siblings. The main feature of the town is… obviously the lake. 32 miles long, with over 170 islands, this is a gorgeous Adirondack setting. And Bruce’s family had strong ties to it.

The family business was a marina his grandfather founded in 1928. Bruce grew up in the business where he did “everything.” They loved the water, and this meant boating and also sea planes flown on the lake.

Bruce’s grandmother was the first female commercial pilot in Warren County, New York and part of the WAACS (Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps) during WWII. Bruce’s grandmother and grandfather both trained pilots before, during and after the war.

This is his grandfather’s 1928 Garwood, “The Jug,” it was the super boat of its day. Some were called “Rum Runners,” because those equipped with V-12 engines could outrun the prohibition era police boats! Bruce’s grandfather was a Garwood dealer and bought it new. Bruce won dozens of awards for maintaining it in its original condition.

Bruce worked three jobs to put himself through college, a graduate of DePaul’s computer programming school in Chicago.

When boating season ends, upstate New Yorkers turn to winter sports. After college Bruce took a position with Bombardier Corp, a snowmobile manufacturer. Over the course of ten years he rose to become Director Systems and Marketing for the U.S. operations in Chicago.

His next employment was with the owners of The Robert Plan (Div. of AIG) where he became President of a boat manufacturing facility located just outside of Nashville, TN. After a few years he moved to N.Y. where he became Sr. VP and Chief Information Officer of their Assigned Risk Auto business. His Robert Plan boss left the firm to become president of FIA’s sister company First MCO, and he enticed Bruce to join him.

He became head of our IT department and is now the President and COO of our sister company First Managed Care Option, Inc. and ActiveCare Scheduling (a PT and Imaging Facility scheduling service.)

Bruce designed a state-of-the-art system for the managed care of auto and workers comp claims – which is the function of First MCO. This rapidly growing business currently employs eighty people and is housed at FIA’s Morris Plains home office.

He also developed a specialized imaging system that allowed FIA to move all its archived and active paper files into one central electronic location.

“IT Geek?” No, not Bruce! Like his grandfather and grandmother before him, he became an aviator. Naturally, this led to skydiving (gulp!). The snowmobile business inspired him to become an accomplished snow racer. He was also a SCUBA diver and moto-cross (motorcycle) racer!

Today, Bruce manages to skip most of the high-risk activities, but he is a Merchant Marine Captain and avid deep-sea fisherman.

Bruce brings great technical skills, plus a bit of “dash” to our FIA family. He is a valued member of the team!

For Site, Subdivision, Bid and Performance Bonds call Steve Golia: 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

How Did a Fireman Become the Top Executive of a Bonding Company?

Get to Know FIA Surety: Patrick Lynch Sr.

How did a fireman become the top executive of a bonding company?

Pat Senior (we have two) grew up in Newark NJ, the oldest of five children.  Since 1943 his family was the owner / operator of The Ark, a Newark restaurant, bar and liquor store.  Pat grew up in the business and at age 19 was thrust into a management role upon the untimely death of his father.

Pat proceeded to run and grow the business over the course of the next 20 years, building up their volume more than 10-fold! The business was concluded when the city took over the Ark property for construction of a new housing project.

For 14 years Pat served the city of Newark as a fireman. He survived the 1967 riots – a tragic period that resulted in the shooting death of his boss, Capt. Mike Moran Sr.

Pat served as a board member and finance chairman for the Shepherds of Youth Charitable Trust in Newark.  He was also chairman of the Veterans Hospital.

He became a professional lobbyist during these years, which gave him contact with group insurance programs and lead to the formation of an insurance company.  In 1979, First Indemnity of America, aka FIA Surety was born under Pat’s leadership!

The company started with six employees and occupied three locations over the years.  Our staff eventually grew to 40.  Our home office is now in beautiful Morris Plains, NW of Newark, NJ.

For FIA Surety, the “big break” came when an active writer of subdivision bonds withdrew from the market in 1980.  We moved in, filled the vacuum, and have been a major writer of site and subdivision bonds ever since!

Today Pat is still “captain of the ship” FIA Surety, and is also a deep-sea fishing captain.  Two of his three children work in the business, and he boasts five grandchildren.

Pat built our business on relationships and he remains accessible to our agents and clients every day.

Office:  (973) 402-1200

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

Banker Holding Back

Sure, your banker loves you. But here is important info they want to keep from Home Builders, Developers and their Agents.

When starting a new project, developers must secure the project with the township. This can be in the form of:

  1. Cash
  2. Bank issued Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILOC,)
  3. Or a surety issued Site/Subdivision Bond

The International Risk Management Institute says a surety bond is better than an ILOC:

“Corporate surety bonds are far and away the most preferred option for most owner/developers when you consider the potential disadvantages of the alternative guarantee forms.”

Now you know. Too late if an ILOC was already filed with the township… or is it? Actually, our surety bonds can be filed to replace / release the ILOC. Your banker won’t tell you that either!

This is a great move for developers! Get back your cash. Use it to acquire or start a new project. It’s NOT too late the fix the ILOC mistake if you know where to go. Most sureties won’t write this type of bond but at FIA, it’s our specialty!

FIA is also one of the few bonding companies that will write Down-payment bonds for it’s Home Builders freeing up even more usable cash for your company.

If you have an immediate need for a Site/Subdivision bond or are interested in replacing an existing ILOC with a bond, call us at 856-304-7348.

Steve Golia

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

See Inside FIA Office

OK, that’s not really our office.  But we want to assure you – we’re here issuing bonds, underwriting new business and making new friends!

Be careful and safe like us (not like the picture!)  FIA wants to help with the surety bonds you need including Bid, Performance, Site and Subdivision.

FIA Surety: A bonding company serving independent agents and the construction industry since 1979.

Steve Golia 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

This is NOT about the virus!

We know you’re sick of hearing about the virus! Here is some good news for a change:

FIA is open to help you with Site and Subdivision Bonds!  Most sureties won’t write these but at FIA, it’s our specialty.

More good news: We also write Down-Payment Bonds for Home Builders, freeing up cash and credit for new projects.

Virus or no virus, projects are moving forward, and surety bonds are needed by developers and home builders. If you have an immediate need for a Site/Subdivision bond or want to replace an existing ILOC with a bond, call us at 856-304-7348.

FIA Surety: We’re OPEN for business!

Steve Golia, Marketing Mgr. 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

Surety Bonds: Pay Raise or Title?

Enjoy this scene from Cheers “Woody: Raise or Title?”

We laugh at Woody being duped.  He went after the wrong prize, just like some agents when it comes to commissions.

Agents face this choice: Commission percentage or commission dollars?

You might think a higher commission percentage automatically means higher dollars, but slow down Woody: It ain’t necessarily so! Let’s do the math.

Example 1) Bond Amount: $1,000,000

Premium rate: 2% = $20,000

Commission Percentage: 30%

Commission Dollars: $6,000  

Example 2) Bond Amount: $1,000,000

Premium rate: 2.5% = $25,000

Commission Percentage: 25%

Commission Dollars: $6,250  

Interesting! A lower commission rate can yield higher commission dollars when the premium rate is higher.  When the premium rate goes lower, the commission dollars drop even more.  A 1% rate with a 30% commission yields only $3,000 commission!

What about sliding scales?  At 30% commission, the 25/15/10 rate delivers only $4,050 in commission dollars.

OK so here’s the conclusion: Focus on commission percentage and you may end up being Senior Bartender like Woody. When calculating income, the bond rate makes you a winner!

Since 1979 FIA has been a dependable provider of Bid, Performance, Site and Subdivision Bonds.  Call us with your next one.

Steve Golia, Marketing Mgr. 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

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Claim Your Free Surety Bond Gift!

It’s easy to get in on our Free Continuing Education program. This is a gift from FIA Surety.

“One of the best CE courses I ever attended! Our producers really needed this information.”

Our program last week was a huge success.

Bonding 101 explores the theory of surety bonds including pricing, underwriting and an overview of the marketplace. We track a Bid and Performance Bond from birth to death. It’s all practical info producers need.

Currently, our courses are approved in NJ and PA. And we deliver the program at your location! This is FIA Surety’s free gift to you. Call us for details.

Since 1979 FIA has been a dependable provider of Bid, Performance, Site and Subdivision Bonds.

Steve Golia, Marketing Mgr. 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX