2022-What Surety Underwriters Review on Your Bond Applications and Construction Contracts


This put up is a part of a collection sponsored by Previous Republic Surety.

Why do surety underwriters ask so many questions of development contractors? We now have solutions so that you can share along with your development insurance coverage shoppers. And in the event that they aren’t but your surety shoppers, too, it’s time to start constructing your e-book of surety enterprise.

Surety underwriters ask lots of questions. They achieve this as a result of in case your group can not perform the phrases of your development contract, your surety insurer could also be standing in your sneakers. This two-part article will familiarize you with bond phrases, contract points that come up in typical development tasks, and clarify why surety underwriters ask so many questions within the surety bond software course of.

Surety development bonds are typically efficiency bonds. In accordance with the Worldwide Threat Administration Institute, a efficiency bond “ensures that the contractor will carry out the work in accordance with the development contract and associated paperwork, thus defending the proprietor from monetary loss as much as the bond restrict (known as the penal sum) within the occasion the contractor fails to meet its contractual obligations.”

If a contractor defaults on a mission or can not full the mission ― for causes resembling chapter or labor challenges, for instance ― the surety should carry out within the contractor’s place. Surety underwriters need to write bonds on tasks the place they’ll by no means be requested to carry out. Due to this fact, they’ll overview your bond software and the accompanying contract earlier than agreeing to write down your bond.

Let’s overview among the members and questions you’ll see in your surety underwriting software.

Efficiency bond events

Obligee. Consider the “o” in obligee because the “proprietor” of the mission. It’s the entity, usually a governmental physique, that requires the bond. It might be a state, native authorities, or perhaps a federal company.

Principal. That’s you. You’re the firm that requests the bond, so you may fulfill the phrases of the obligee’s contractual necessities. Maybe even earlier than you bid on a mission, the proprietor and your underwriter will need to know extra about your character, capability and capital, the “three Cs” of bonding.

Surety. That’s us or any surety insurance coverage firm the place you apply for protection.

Common software questions

Subsequent, underwriters will need to perceive the mission you’re about to undertake, so that they’ll ask for an intensive mission description. Merely attaching the contract is just the beginning. The underwriter will need to know the next, at a minimal:

  • Have you ever, the principal, ever labored with this proprietor or basic contractor (for those who’re a subcontractor)? What was that mission? Was the mission consequence profitable?
  • Can we affirm financing on any non-public mission? This query aligns with Part 2.21 on the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Doc A201.
  • What’s the proposed mission scope? Have you ever labored on an identical mission earlier than, and what was the end result of that mission?
  • Geographically, are there any constraints that might influence your capability to finish the mission? For instance, for those who’re working in a state with proprietary employees’ compensation legal guidelines, are you able to acquire the mandatory insurance coverage protection to adjust to that state’s statutory employees’ compensation necessities?
  • What’s the guarantee interval? Is that this a standard guarantee size, or is it an unusually lengthy guarantee interval?
  • Are any producers concerned within the warranties? Do the contract phrases can help you tender claims to producers?

Different gadgets your surety will overview

  • What’s the contract date? Are all dates possible?
  • What’s the bid bond quantity if this can be a bid bond?
  • What are the beginning and completion mission dates? Are they possible?
  • What does the contract embody as guarantee phrases? Are they wise?
  • What are the fee phrases? Will these phrases realistically enable the overall contractor to handle fund stream all through the lifetime of the mission?
  • Retainage? This can be a holdback of ultimate fee for a selected interval to make sure the contractor and all of the subs have accurately accomplished the mission.
  • What damages apply? We’ll speak extra about these later within the article.
  • Contractor’s value to finish backlog is one other element reviewed by the underwriter. The underwriter might need to see that the backlog gross revenue is no less than 50% of projected basic and administrative prices for the next yr. Falling under this threshold can imply you might be unable to fulfill your monetary obligations within the subsequent yr. This will influence present mission completion.

Partially No. 2, we’ll overview some vital sections of the bond software and your development contract and overview another standards for surety bonding.


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