A surety carrier guarantees your surety bond, but most surety carriers use surety bond brokers to deal directly with the companies and people who need bonds. Surety bond brokers must be licensed by the state and appointed by the surety carrier in order to provide your bond. Some brokers are independent and represent multiple carriers. Some brokers are what’s called “captive” and only represent a single carrier. Some insurance agents are appointed to write both insurance and surety. Some are not but can still help with your bond through their surety broker contacts.
Step 1: Understand the bond requirements
What type of bond you need, the bond amount and if there’s a specific bond form you need. The Obligee (who is requiring the bond) should be able to tell you these specifics if you don’t already know. The obligee is the one that sets these requirements, but a good broker should also be able to help you figure them out.
Step 2: Submit your bond request to a broker via a bond application
This stage is completely dependent on the sophistication of the broker. It may be through their website, email, fax, mail or phone. Whatever the format, you will have to communicate the bond type, amount, state, your business and contact info and other data they will need for the bond.
Step 3: The bond must be underwritten and approved
A variety of factors affect what may be needed for underwriting. These include things like bond type, bond amount, total number of bonds, state and your financial condition. Your bond broker will let you know what exactly is needed for this stage. It may be nothing more than the application, or it may include financial statements, supplemental questionnaires or applications, etc. Once approved, your broker should send you the final quote for approval.
Step 4: Broker will complete the bond
After accepting the quote, the broker will execute the bond on behalf of the surety and send you the original bond. In most cases, you will need to sign the original and possibly notarize it. Then, you will send the original bond along with any other required paperwork to the Obligee.
Please note: Some brokers require you to pay the full amount owed before they will release the bond, while others will release the bond and then send you an invoice. This is entirely up to the broker’s internal policies and may be influence by the bond type and/or the underwriting that was performed.
If you’re wondering how long all this takes, we’ve also answered the question “how long does it take to get a surety bond“.
Alpha Surety just does surety bonds, and we’d love to help you with your bonding needs. We are an independent broker who represents many different surety carriers and are licensed nationwide. Feel free to call, email or submit a new bond application through our website any time.