Quick Bond Explanation  Here is a very simple way to understand what a bond is:  Have you ever needed to co-sign a loan, or had a co-signor on your loan?  A bond contract is very similar except that the Bond Company or Surety is essentially acting as a co-signor on your behalf.  If you fail to meet your contractual obligations, the Surety is expected to step in and make things right.

County/ Municiple Code Compliance Bonds Explanation

Financially Responsible Officer (FRO) Bonds

Surety Bonds  A surety bond IS NOT an insurance policy. A surety bond is a guarantee, in which the surety guarantees that the contractor (or an individual in some cases) called the “principal” in the bond, will perform the “obligation” stated in the bond. For example, the “obligation” stated in a bid bond is that the principal will honor its bid; the “obligation” in a performance bond is that the principal will complete the project; and the “obligation” in a payment bond is that the principal will properly pay subcontractors and suppliers. Bonds frequently state, as a “condition,” that if the principal fully performs the stated obligation, then the bond is void; otherwise the bond remains in full force and effect. If the principal fails to perform the obligation stated in the bond, both the principal and the surety are liable on the bond, and their liability is “joint and several.” That is, either the principal or surety or both may be sued on the bond, and the entire liability may be collected from either the principal or the surety. The amount in which a bond is issued is the “penal sum,” or the “penalty amount,” of the bond. Except in a very limited set of circumstances, the penal sum or penalty amount is the upward limit of liability on the bond. The person or firm to whom the principal and surety owe their obligation is called the “obligee.” On bid bonds, performance bonds, and payment bonds, the obligee is usually the owner. Where a subcontractor furnishes a bond, however, the obligee may be the owner or the general contractor or both. The people or firms who are entitled to sue on a bond, sometimes called “beneficiaries” of the bond, are usually defined in the language of the bond or in those state and federal statutes that require bonds on public projects. To obtain a Surety Bond quote, please click here.

Types of Surety Bonds

Bid Bonds A bid bond guarantees the owner that the principal will honor its bid and will sign all contract documents if awarded the contract. The owner is the obligee and may sue the principal and the surety to enforce the bond. If the principal refuses to honor its bid, the principal and surety are liable on the bond for any additional costs the owner incurs in reletting the contract. This usually is the difference in dollar amount between the low bid and the second low bid. The penal sum of a bid bond often is ten to twenty percent of the bid amount. 

Performance Bonds  A performance bond guarantees the owner that the principal will complete the contract according to its terms including price and time. The owner is the obligee of a performance bond, and may sue the principal and the surety on the bond. If the principal defaults, or is terminated for default by the owner, the owner may call upon the surety to complete the contract. Many performance bonds give the surety three choices: completing the contract itself through a completion contractor (taking up the contract); selecting a new contractor to contract directly with the owner; or allowing the owner to complete the work with the surety paying the costs. The penal sum of the performance bond usually is the amount of the prime construction contract, and often is increased when change orders are issued. The penal sum in the bond usually is the upward limit of liability on a performance bond. However, if the surety chooses to complete the work itself through a completing contractor to take up the contract then the penal sum in the bond may not be the limit of its liability. The surety may take the same risk as a contractor in performing the contract. 

Payment Bonds  A payment bond guarantees the owner that subcontractors and suppliers will be paid the monies that they are due from the principal. The owner is the obligee; the “beneficiaries” of the bond are the subcontractors and suppliers. Both the obligee and the beneficiaries may sue on the bond. An owner benefits indirectly from a payment bond in that the subcontractors and suppliers are assured of payment and will continue performance. On a private project, the owner may also benefit by providing subcontractors and suppliers a substitute to mechanics’ liens. If the principal fails to pay the subcontractors or suppliers, they may collect from the principal or surety under the payment bond, up to the penal sum of the bond. Payments under the bond will deplete the penal sum. The penal sum in a payment bond is often less than the total amount of the prime contract, and is intended to cover anticipated subcontractor and supplier costs.

How to obtain a Surety Bond

Fidelity Bond A Fidelity Bond is a form of business insurance. It is usually purchased to protect employers from any loss of money or property incurred as a result employee theft.  The bond is essentially an insurance policy that protects an employer against employee theft, larceny, or embezzlement committed by a covered employee.  A covered employee or theft is dependent upon the specific terms of the bond or policy terms. 

Janitorial Bonds  Janitorial Bonds - sometimes called housecleaning bonds, are a type of fidelity bond that is designed to protect a third party, your customer in this case. While their property is being worked on by your employees, their personal belongings need to be safeguarded against theft, and that is what a janitorial bond does for your company. Since it is voluntary, you may want to market this to your prospective customers.  Since the janitorial bond does not cover damage, a good General Liability insurance policy is a good idea. There are a lot of consumers and companies who may insist that the service they hire have a cleaning service/janitorial bond in place to protect them against theft.
Bid Bond
Performance Bond
General Liability
Commercial General Liability
public liability insurance
property damage insurance
FRO Bond
Financially Responsible Officer Bond
License Bond
Construction Manager
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