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What Should You Look For As You Look to Purchase Contractor and Construction Surety Bonds?

What Should You Look For As You Look to Purchase Contractor and Construction Surety Bonds?


You may be in the process of starting a new construction business or bidding on a big project that requires surety bonds. Purchasing New York contractor surety bonds can seem confusing if you’ve never done it before. Don’t worry. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know as you look to purchase contractor and construction bonds. It will discuss what surety bonds are, why they’re required, what to look for in a surety bond producer, and tips for getting approved. With the right information, you’ll be able to secure the surety bonds you need with confidence. 

Understand What Surety Bonds Are

Surety bonds are a type of insurance product required by project owners to ensure contractors complete projects according to contract specifications. The three main types of surety bonds used in construction are bid bonds, performance bonds, and payment bonds. Bid bonds provide financial assurance you can deliver on a project if awarded the contract. Performance bonds protect the project owner if you default on the contract. Payment bonds guarantee you’ll pay all subcontractors and material suppliers. Surety bonds provide project owners with the security they need to award contracts.

Know Why Surety Bonds Are Required

Most public construction projects and many private ones require surety bonds to even bid on jobs. They are a sign of your credibility and capacity to take on a project. Bonding requirements help project owners mitigate risk when awarding contracts. By requiring bonds, they ensure contractors have undergone thorough vetting by a surety company. This weeds out irresponsible or unstable contractors. Surety bonds also provide a safety net if a contractor fails to complete work or doesn’t pay subcontractors. The surety company is obligated to step in or provide financial resources.

Look For An Experienced Surety Bond Producer

Surety bonds are issued by surety companies, but you’ll work with a surety bond producer acting as middleman. Finding an experienced producer you trust is key. Look for producers well-versed in your type of construction with established relationships with underwriters. They should walk you through the application process and advocate on your behalf. Also, ensure the producer represents multiple surety carriers. This gives you options to find the best surety bond rates and programs.

Seek Out A Producer That Offers Contractor Guidance

A bond producer should provide guidance beyond just securing surety bonds. Reputable producers act as advisors, making recommendations to strengthen your business and become more bondable. This may include suggesting ways to improve your financials, creating continuity plans for key employees, implement better project management systems, and more. A producer invested in your long-term success can help you grow and handle larger bonded obligations.

Understand The Surety Bond Underwriting Process

Getting approved for surety bonds isn’t just about good credit. Sureties take a holistic look at your business through finances, management expertise, operational capacity and track record, among other factors. Be prepared to submit in-depth applications providing business details. It may take some back-and-forth with additional information requests. An experienced producer will explain the underwriting process, required information, timeframes, and steps you can take to improve bondability.

Provide The Required Financial Information

Financial strength is key in the underwriting process. Expect to submit business and personal financial statements, including tax returns, bank statements, assets/liabilities, and more. You’ll also provide banking and trade credit references. Underwriters analyze finances to determine working capital, liquidity, leverage, profits, and collateral you can use. Solid finances are key to securing bonding at reasonable rates.

Showcase Your Construction Experience

Sureties look closely at your management team’s experience, technical skills, and track record successfully completing similar projects. Provide resumes detailing the experience of key employees, especially executives and project managers. Share statements about your technical abilities, resources, and approach to quality control. Providing evidence of successfully completed past projects helps demonstrate your reliability.

Start Small And Build Trust

The level of surety bonds you can obtain matches your current business capacity. Starting out, you may only qualify for minimal bonding. That’s okay. As you build experience with small bonded projects, you build trust and a track record. Leverage a successful project history to incrementally increase your bonded limits over time. Be patient and focus on quality work. Consistently demonstrating you can deliver on bonded obligations is key.

Purchasing New York construction surety bonds is critical for construction contractors looking to bid on bonded work. While the process involves extensive underwriting, an experienced surety bond producer can guide you through every step. With the right financial management, construction expertise, and trusted relationships, you can get approved for the bonding needed to move your business forward.

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