What Contractors Should Look for in a Surety Bond Agent

If you’re looking for a surety bond agent, make sure you’re considering someone who has real expertise in surety bonding. Not all insurance agents do.

A mentor, educator and advisor. The right surety bond agent can be all of the above and, if you’re in the construction business, can make all of the difference in the world. That’s assuming you’ve hired someone with the right qualifications, an agent with: an understanding of the construction industry and the construction management process… Read more »

How to Qualify for a Performance Surety Bond

Construction surety bond underwriters don’t get any pleasure in saying “no.” Here are three things you need to be sure you've nailed down to get a “yes.”

Surety bond underwriters don’t get any special pleasure in saying “no.” Hard to believe, right? But the fact of the matter is that surety companies are in the business of issuing bonds, not denying them. So why do you keep getting the cold shoulder? The list of possibilities will, of course, be unique to you… Read more »

Insurers Expanding into Subcontractor Default Insurance Market

subcontractor default insurance market

There’s good news to share for those in the commercial construction trade: The year ahead is likely to usher in a new era in Subcontractor Default Insurance, or SDI. For years, Zurich Insurance Ltd. had been the only insurer that offered SDI, in a line that it called Subguard. That slowly changed, however, as other… Read more »

Kitchen-Table Bookkeeping Is Keeping You Small

Contractors hoping to get approved for larger projects will need their financials audited. Doing this work at the kitchen table just won’t cut.

As any building contractor will attest, the past few years have been very, very, very good for most anyone capable of swinging a hammer. A construction boom in the Denver metro area, underway for several years, has shown no sign of letting up, with as much as $4 billion in big projects either breaking ground… Read more »

Why It’s Important to Always Verify a Surety Bond

surety bond fraud

President Ronald Reagan is often remembered for using the phrase, “Trust, but verify.” It was a Russian proverb that the president liked to use whenever he discussed U.S. relations with the former Soviet Union. It’s an adage that more general contractors and subcontractors should adopt when it comes to each other’s surety bonds. Not to… Read more »

Construction Contract Clauses You’ll Want to Negotiate

Construction surety bond underwriters don’t get any pleasure in saying “no.” Here are three things you need to be sure you've nailed down to get a “yes.”

Notice provisions. Indemnification clauses. Limitations of liability. No-damages-for-delay provisions. Also known as risk-shifting tactics, any of the above can create a headache and worse for anyone in the construction trade. The best way to tackle risk-shifting is to understand it when you see it and know how to deal with it. But even seasoned GCs… Read more »

6 Ways to Increase Your Contract Bond Capacity

What can a contractor do to not only ensure they get the bonding they need, but to increase their contract bond capacity at a time when demand for their work is so high?

Trust. In business, as in life, you’re sunk without it. That’s just as true in the surety world as it might be elsewhere. Any general contractor or subcontractor hoping to grow their business and land larger projects won’t get far without the trust of a bond underwriter. How do you go about establishing that trust?… Read more »

Want to Guarantee Infrastructure Projects Get Done? Require a Surety Bond

infrastructure projects bonds

If President Trump can get Congress to sign off on his $1.5 trillion plan to rebuild America’s highways, airports and railroads, there’s the potential for a lot more work for those in the construction business. Unfortunately, there’s also the potential for subcontractors and suppliers to end up on public projects where the general contractor, for… Read more »