When contractors are looking for a surety agent, they should consider several factors to ensure they find the right fit for their business. Here are some key factors to consider:
- Experience and expertise: Look for a surety agent with a solid track record in the industry, especially in your specific niche. The agent should have experience working with contractors of a similar size and type, as well as a deep understanding of the bonding process and the construction market.
- Strong relationships with surety companies: A good surety agent should have established relationships with multiple reputable surety companies. This can increase the chances of securing a bond, not to mention obtaining the best bond rates and terms, including higher limits.
- Responsiveness and communication: Choose a surety agent who is accessible and responsive. They should provide clear communication and be available to answer your questions and address your concerns promptly.
- Professional credentials: Verify that the surety agent holds the necessary licenses and certifications, such as a property and casualty insurance license or a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation.
- Tailored solutions: Look for a surety agent who takes the time to understand your business and offers customized solutions based on your unique needs and risk profile.
- Financial stability: Ensure that the surety agent works with financially stable surety companies. A.M. Best, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Ratings are among the organizations that rate the financial strength of surety companies.
- Knowledge of local regulations: It's important that your surety agent is familiar with the local regulations and requirements for obtaining bonds in your area. This can help streamline the bonding process and ensure compliance with applicable laws.
- Ongoing support: A good surety agent should provide ongoing support throughout the life of the bond, including assisting with bond renewals, claims, and any modifications that may be necessary.
- Positive reputation and referrals: Research the surety agent's reputation within the industry and among their clients. Ask for referrals from other contractors or industry professionals and read online reviews to gauge customer satisfaction.
- Transparency: Your surety agent should be transparent about the fees, commissions, and any other costs associated with obtaining and maintaining your bond. They should also be willing to explain the terms and conditions of the bond in detail.
By considering these factors, contractors can find a surety agent who is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and well-suited to help them with their bonding needs for years to come.
The Mahoney Group, based in Mesa, Ariz., is one of the largest independent insurance and employee benefits brokerages in the U.S. An employee-owned organization, we’ve been providing our clients with the confidence to face whatever lies ahead for more than 100 years. For more information, contact us online or call 877-440-3304.
This article is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.