Finding The Best Surety Bond Agency
Most surety bond companies do not offer bonds directly to consumers. Instead, they appoint “surety bond agencies” or “surety bond producers” to handle their sales and customer service. While it’s important to make sure you get bonded with a surety bond company that will meet the requirements to be acceptable by your obligee, it’s also imperative to make sure you choose the right surety bond agency. Settling with the wrong bond agency can not only cost you money, but can also cause delays to the licensing process.
Below are some simple guidelines to consider:
Number of Markets: When all else is equal, most customers usually get bonded with the agency able to offer them the lowest price. Plain and simple. Before taking the time to apply for a quote, you should inquire about the number of surety companies a particular bond agency represents. If they’re appointed with many different sureties, as is the case with our company, they’ll save you time by shopping around a variety of markets for you. Working with a number of sureties allows a surety bond agency to work for their customers to find them the lowest possible price for their bond.
Exclusive Programs: Due to high volume with a particular surety bond company, some bond agencies are able to negotiate exclusive bond programs not offered to other agencies. Identifying these types of programs available for your specific bond requirement can help you save money, and also time, as you won’t have to waste your time applying with countless agencies. Lance Surety currently has a variety of exclusive bond programs, are we’re continuous working to develop new programs to help save our customers money.
What type of surety bond companies do they represent?
The average applicant may not care if a surety company has an A-Rated AM Best rating, or is T-Listed with the U.S. Department of Treasury. They usually are focused on finding their bond for the lowest price. However, most government obligees will only accept bonds from sureties that are both A-Rated and Treasury Listed. If these are requirements, and the surety company you get bonded with does not meet their requirements, you may have just paid for a very expensive, useless piece of paper. Be sure to understand your specific requirements.
How easy are they to work with?
Application Process: How easy is it to complete an application with the bond agency? Do you need to print and fax a copy of the application? Do they ask for additional information that is not always easy to gather, such as business financial statements? In today’s day and age, most customers prefer to apply quickly via an agency’s website. The ease with which a customer is able to apply for a bond, is typically a reflection of how easy other aspects of the bonding process may be.
Quick Approvals: Do you have to wait for 2-3 days to find out whether you’re able to get bonded? Most customers advertise fast approvals, but Lance Surety is one of the only bond agencies able to offer instant online quotes literally within seconds of completing an application. If you need to get bonded fast, turnaround time is crucial and something to be considered before taking the time to apply.
Bond Issuance: Once you’ve decided to get bonded with a particular bond agency, how long will it take to actually get the original bond in your hands? Will your bond agency be issuing your bond directly out of their office, or will they be a middleman in the process. While it’s certainly not a requirement that an agency issue all bonds out of their own office, it’s something to be considered if time is of the essence.
Industry Knowledge & Expertise
Can your bond agent speak intelligently about your specific bond requirement? Have they dealt with it before? If so, you’re likely to feel more comfortable trusting that the bond agent will seamlessly help you through the sometimes stressful bonding process. A little experience can go a long way towards saving you time, and ensuring that your requirements are met without unnecessary delay. At Lance Surety, our agents are highly trained in dealing with countless bond requirements throughout the nation. We have literally helped thousands of customers, and are confident that we can help take the hassle out of your bonding experience.
Will the bond agency do a hard pull of your personal credit?
If you’re shopping around for a lower bond price with many different agencies, this may be something you’ll want to consider. If a dozen different bond agents perform a dozen hard pulls of your credit, those credit inquiries can actually damage your credit profile. Fortunately, at Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc., we only conduct soft pulls of applicant’s credit, which protects their credit profile from any negative inquire effects.