Contractors commonly are required to have bid bonds, performance bonds and payment bonds. If you work as a contractor, sooner or later you will need to be bonded. It’s important to pick a reputable contractor bonding and insurance company. Here’s a simple primer on picking the right company:
Do your research: There are many bonding and insurance companies to pick from. You can do some online research and ask your peers in the industry for their recommendations. Make sure you go through the insurance companies’ websites and understand their terms and conditions.
Check credit ratings: Just as the insurer will check your credit ratings, you should also check the insurer’s rating. Their credit rating will affect your own position. If you submit a bond from a company known for unreliability or dishonest practices, your application may be rejected. Check the ratings given by independent agencies that score bonding companies.
Licensing: Make sure the contractor’s bonding and insurance company is licensed to operate in your state. If you are working in more than one state, go with a company that is licensed in all the states you are operating in. Many bigger companies will have multi-state licenses.
Treasury listing: Bonds are most frequently required for state or federal projects. A treasury listing, commonly known as a T-listing, means that the company has the approval to write bonds for federal projects. A T-listed bond also acts as an automatic check for its reliability.
To be approvedfor a T-listing, a company goes through rigorous scrutiny from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Bond capacity: If you are dealing with multiple bonds, the bond capacity of the contractors bonding and insurance company becomes critical. Every company will have an aggregate bond limit beyond which it cannot issue bonds. If you need multiple bonds across different states, the aggregate limit becomes very important