WHAT IS IT?
Contract Surety Bonds guarantee the contractual obligations of a contracting entity (the “Contractor”) to the purchaser of their services (the “Owner”). In most circumstances these bonds are required by the Owner as part of the Contractor’s contract terms and conditions.
Trisura offers contract surety facilities primarily to construction companies, service contractors, suppliers and manufacturers for:
- Bids and Tenders – There are commonly two types of bonds that contractors are required to post when bidding work. A Bid Bond guarantees that the Contractor will enter into a contract with the Owner for the amount of its bid, if successful, or the Surety will pay the difference between the Contractor’s bid price and the next lowest price, subject to amount of the bond. An Agreement to Bond is a commitment by the Surety to provide the Owner with Performance and Payment Bonds as required in the tender documents.
- Final Contract Security — There are commonly two type of bonds that contractors are required to post as security for their contractual obligations. Performance Bonds guarantee the Contractor will perform its obligations to the Owner according the terms and conditions of the contract. Often accompanying Performance Bonds are Labour and Material Payment Bonds which offer payment protection to the Contractor’s subcontractors and suppliers.
Accounts are typically underwritten with a view to establishing surety facilities to support a contractor’s long term bonding needs. Nonetheless, we will consider ‘one shot’ deals for single use bond requirements.
- Continuous Broker Working Authority is a time saver for our busy brokers by eliminating the arbitrary expiry date attached to a broker’s in house working authority for their accounts with Trisura.
- LEADer Program (Low Exposure Account Discretion) – The reality is, many of our brokers have credit worthy accounts that are fairly inactive and seldom accumulate much bonded exposure relative to their strength. The LEADer Program is designed to minimize the efforts of our brokers in these situations. Underwritten annually, LEADer accounts are permitted to forgo interim reporting provided the accumulated exposure does not exceed the established aggregate limit.
- Capacity is a strength for Trisura and enables us to support the majority of Canadian contractors.
- In-house Construction Expertise is unique in today’s Surety marketplace. Trisura has built an industry leading team of construction, engineering, finance and legal professionals to help your business succeed.
- Agreements to Bond (Consents of Surety)
- Bid Bonds
- Labour & Material Payment Bonds
- Maintenance Bonds
- Performance Bonds
- Prequalification Letters
For bond requirements that do not appear on this list, please contact your Trisura underwriter.
- General Contractors
- Road Contractors
- Sewer and Water main Contractors
- Other Heavy Civil Contractors
- Service Contractors (Waste Removal, Janitorial Firms, etc.)
- Specialty Contractors
The majority of contractors in Canada are regionally based firms. This is Trisura’s primary focus.
We underwrite accounts incorporated in Canada with US exposures, provided the majority of their assets and employees are domiciled in Canada. Our appetite is for contractors who work and require bonding primarily in Canada, but may have US bonding requirements incidental to their overall operations.
We do not have minimum premium thresholds for contract surety facilities. An annual service fee is charged which covers the cost of bonds issued for bids and tenders. Premiums for final contract bonds are charged on a project by project basis and are based on a standard rating schedule.
FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CONTRACT SURETY
1. Surety bonds can free up a contractor’s capital and credit.
The alternative to providing a bond is often a cash deposit, a letter of credit or other cash invasive options. These alternatives prevent the contractor from accessing and using the cash until it has fulfilled its contractual obligation. Bonds, on the other hand, are cash-flow friendly, and therefore help free up funds needed to operate the contractor’s business.
2. You can tell a lot about someone by their friends.
Having a surety facility positions the contractor above all those who do not. Having a surety partner means that an independent party has taken a look at a contractor’s operations and is satisfied that they are stable, experienced, and well managed. Securing a surety facility with Trisura places a contractor a step above their competition.
3. Everyone can benefit from a surety bond.
Despite the best efforts of the primary constructor, the failure of a sub-contractor can seriously derail a project. Sometimes it is useful for the contractor to ask for bonds from its subcontractors and suppliers in order to protect itself from subcontractor/supplier failure and the inevitable cost overruns that result. This is true for General Contractors that subcontract their work and for prime subcontractors that subcontract portions of their work. Just because no one is asking the primary contractor for a bond doesn’t mean they can’t ask their subcontractors/suppliers for one. It’s inexpensive protection that makes good business sense!
Don’t forget about Labour and Material Payment Bonds. Subcontractors at any level should ensure the contractor above them has posted a Labour and Material Payment Bond. This vital yet often forgotten security will protect accounts receivable.
4. Calling your surety shouldn’t be considered bad.
It’s in everyone’s interest to complete a job on time and on budget. If contractors find themselves in a tricky situation, use Trisura as a consultant for input and advice. We have a great cross-section of experience and knowledge on our team. We are at your service as your business partner.
5. Not all bonds are created equal.
Not infrequently, an Owner will specify the use of a particular wording for a surety bond. In some instances, the wording can contain onerous provisions or be so subjective that it could create serious delays or problems when adjusting a claim. The use of such bond wordings should be treated with the same duty of care as the underlying contract a Contractor is signing.
- Contractor Bond Portal Q&A
- LEADer Communique Jan2011
- Maximizing Your Surety Credit – 10.05.20
- Protection for Subtrades – 10.05.20