Surety: Jelly of the Month Club?

The Gift That Keeps Giving!

OK, the Jelly of the Month Club is AWESOME, but that’s not what we’re talking about…

A few of the actual comments from our 12/1/22 FIA SURETY “Free CE” Zoom webinar on Commercial and Miscellaneous Bonds:

  • As always, very informative. Thanks.
  • Great course!
  • Very informative
  • Interesting Course
  • Very good course! Thank you Steve
  • Thanks Steve, very informative!
  • Very helpful, thank you Steve!
  • Thank you Steve. I liked your course. Lots of info!
  • Great overview of Commercial Surety. Thanks Steve
  • Always learn something in your classes!
  • You’re very knowledgeable. Thanks!
  • You were very informative and patient. Thank you for the class.
  • Enjoyed the course, very informable.
  • As someone new to Surety this was very informative. Thank you
  • Very informative! Great course and great job.
  • THANK YOU!!
  • Appreciate the detailed information in your courses, Steve – Thank you!

Our Free CE courses are not only the best / free place to learn about surety, they are also CONVENIENT (attend from home or office) and this gift keeps giving! The course info is all practical stuff you can use, boost your career, serve your clients better (maybe even make MORE MONEY!)

Face it, this is way better than jelly!

To date we have provided more than 2,000 hours of Free CE education worth over $25,000 in the regular market. AND we just rolled out our schedule for the first quarter of 2023. More great stuff you can use: Click for info!

Find out what you’re missing. Join us.

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company
2740 Rt. 10 West, Suite 205
Morris Plains, NJ 07950
Office: 973-541-3417

A carrier providing A rated, T listed bonds in all states!

Confusing Surety Stuff – SOLVED!

Here is a great question that came up during one of our training sessions in the office:

What’s the difference between an Irrevocable Letter of Credit, a Line of Credit and a Set-aside Letter?

Letter of Credit

This document is also referred to as an “ILOC,” a Letter of Credit or a Standby Letter of Credit. They are a commercial bank customers undistributed loan payable to a designated 3rd party. Wow, THAT explains it!

Here is an example: Elon is entering into a contract that must be secured. It could be a construction contract that requires either a Performance Bond or an ILOC. The instrument is needed by Elon and he is the applicant and paying for it, but the beneficiary is the other party in the contract, LaFawnduh.

The instrument says that if a default occurs the beneficiary can seek recovery via that instrument. LaFawnduh, can send a demand letter to the bank which will be obligated to send funds. It will be recorded as a loan to Elon.

Line of Credit

This is simply a credit facility, such a a home equity loan or Working Capital Loan for a business. The applicant / borrower can draw out funds when needed. A loan document governs the transactions.

Set-Aside Letter

This is an agreement executed by a bank regarding a customer they share with a bonding company. The bank is loaning money to the client to fund a project guaranteed / covered by a surety bond. This could be on a subdivision, where the borrower must self-fund the cost of construction.

In the event of the demise of the borrower, the set-aside letter promises to keep the loan in play so the surety has a source of funds to finish the work.

Now, was that so bad? All three concern the handling of money, but for different purposes.

Want to solve more bonding stuff? Call us with your next Contract SuretySite or Subdivision Bond. We’re problem solvers!

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company
2740 Rt. 10 West, Suite 205
Morris Plains, NJ 07950
Office: 973-541-3417

Providing A rated, T-listed bonds in all states!

Surety: Learn Abbrevs. ASAP!

“Boss, the FYE FS has NQAA and NWAA too low and D:E too high!”

“What the heck are you talking about?!”

Cool kids know these surety / construction abbreviations. Now YOU can be a cool kid too!

  • A/C: Air Conditioning
  • AAA: American Arbitration Association
  • ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992
  • AFSB: Associate in Fidelity and Surety Bonding
  • AGC: Associated General Contractors Association
  • AIA: American Institute of Architects 
  • AP: Accounts Payable
  • AR: Accounts Receivable
  • ARC: Airline Reporting Commission
  • BS: Balance sheet
  • CM: Construction Manager
  • CPM: Critical Path Method
  • CQ: Contractors Questionnaire
  • D:E: Debt to Equity (ratio)
  • D-B: Design-Build
  • D-B-B: Design-Bid-Build
  • DBE: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
  • DOL: Department of Labor
  • DOT: Department of Transportation
  • DUNS: Dun & Bradstreet
  • DVBE: Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise
  • EPA: Environmental Protection Agency
  • FS: Financial Statement
  • FYE: Fiscal Year-End
  • GC: General Contractor
  • GAI: General Agreement of Indemnity
  • GIA: General Indemnity Agreement
  • GMP: Guaranteed Maximum Price
  • GP: Gross Profit
  • HUBZone: Historically Utilized Business Zone program
  • HUD: Housing and Urban Development
  • HVAC: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • IBEW: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • ILOC: Irrevocable Letter of Credit
  • JOC: Job Order Contract
  • LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
  • M: Thousand
  • MM: Million
  • NAICS: North American Industry Classification System
  • NASBP: National Association of Surety Bond Producers
  • NP: Net Profit
  • NQAA: Net Quick As Allowed
  • NTP: Notice to Proceed
  • NWAA: Net Worth As Allowed
  • OH: Overhead
  • P&L: Profit and Loss Statement
  • PM: Project Manager
  • P&S: Plans and Specs
  • PE: Professional Engineer
  • PFS: Personal Financial Statement
  • PPE: Personal Protective Equipment
  • RFB: Request for Bid
  • RFI: Request for Information
  • SAA: Surety Association of America
  • SBA: Small Business Administration
  • SDVO: Small Disadvantaged Veteran Owned
  • SFAA: Surety & Fidelity Association of America
  • SIO: Surety Information Office
  • USGBC: United States Green Building Council
  • VE: Value Engineering
  • VOSB: Veteran Owned Small Business
  • WBE: Woman Business Enterprise
  • WCAA: Working Capital As Allowed
  • WOH: Work on Hand
  • WIP: Work in Process

Brought to you by the cool kids at FIA Surety: Site, Subdivision and Contract Surety Bonds PDQ!

First Indemnity of America Insurance Company
2740 State Route 10 West, Suite 205
Morris Plains, NJ 07950-1258
(973) 541-3417 Direct Dial

A carrier providing A Rated, T listed bonds in all states

Surety: What is the D:E ratio? (& Y do U care?)

This ratio is an aspect of surety underwriting that is important because it can affect the availability of both surety bonds and bank credit. Let’s learn about it.

The company Balance Sheet (BS) is a one-day snapshot of the money in the company (Assets), and who owns it (Liabilities.) It is the same money viewed from two different directions.

The last section on the liabilities side is the Net Worth (may be called Stockholders Equity.) It is the portion of the asset dollars owned by the founders and investors of the company.

The Total Liabilities shows the amount of the assets dollars owned by 3rd parties creditors, such as the bank (mortgage or equipment loans) or suppliers on accounts payable.

D:E stands for Debt to Equity. It measures the balance between these two groups of creditors. As the 3rd party creditors increase, the company becomes “more leveraged,” less creditworthy. Eventually the banker will say, “We can’t give you a loan because you are already carrying a lot of debt.” The surety underwriter may say “The Net Worth is too low.” It’s means the same thing…

Next question: What is an acceptable D:E Ratio? When is it not a problem?

Analysts generally look for a ratio not in excess of 3:1 or maybe 4:1.
At 4:1, the Total Liabilities would be 4 times greater than the Net Worth.

The D:E Ratio a sign of financial health and successful management. All analysts use it, and it’s easy to “eyeball.” Get in the habit of checking it, and you may see some wild numbers – a very good or a very bad sign! Good to know.

Are we Surety Bond Geeks? Well, we love this stuff so. . . .

Brought to you by FIA Surety. Creative Surety Solutions since 1979!
A carrier providing A Rated, T listed bonds in all states

First Indemnity of America Insurance Company
2740 State Route 10 West, Suite 205
Morris Plains, NJ 07950-1258
(973) 541-3417 Direct Dial

Surety: “It’s Electric!”

A new world is coming, and “It’s Electric!” (Click for mood music)

That’s right. No more “Brum-Brum!!!”

So get with the program and position your surety production to seize this emerging opportunity.

Your uncle is spending b-b-billions on EV charging stations! It’s likely that the operators will need a surety bond. This may be a production opportunity in all states. Are you ready for it?

Contract bonds, too! Building the charging station facilities can be expensive, sometimes hundreds of thousands of $. Be ready to issue P&P Bonds for these specialty contractors!

These will be new bond clients, unfamiliar with the process. No bonding history. They may be new entities. You’re ready for them because you have FIA Surety, a carrier that has solved bonding problems for more than 40 years. We’re positive that you’ll be shocked at how our well-grounded underwriting serves your current needs!

It’s electric!

First Indemnity of America Insurance Company
2740 State Route 10 West, Suite 205
Morris Plains, NJ 07950-1258
(973) 541-3417 Direct Dial

FIA Surety: Providing A rated, T-listed bonds in all states!

Surety: “I WANT A RIGID BONDING COMPANY”

What does that mean?

  • Strictly enforced underwriting requirements
  • Only call us during business hours, on our normal days (convenient for us.)
  • Our way or the highway…

Did you ever say that? Noooooooooooooo!

Because… the best surety is one that can actually listen and work diligently to provide flexible, creative surety solutions.

Enter FIA Surety. We’ve been handling surety problems (we call them “opportunities“) for over 40 years!

“I LOVE DEALING WITH FIA SURETY!” did you ever say that? Call us. You will!

First Indemnity of America Insurance Company
2740 State Route 10 West, Suite 205
Morris Plains, NJ 07950-1258
(973) 541-3417 Direct Dial

FIA Surety: Providing A rated, T-listed bonds in all states!

The Most Important Element in Surety Bonding Is…

  • Working Capital?
  • Net Worth?
  • Profitability?
  • Longevity?

What is the SINGLE most important element that underwriters consider when reviewing a bond account?
What is the ONE most relevant factor applicants must have in order to qualify for surety bonds?

Each of the financial factors is important. It’s like how much gas you have in the tank. Low or no NQ or NW means you may not go far.

Profitability is how well the engine is running. Hear a funny noise? That could be a bad sign. These are all important, but they are not the ONE most critical factor.

The Answer:

If you were the underwriter, if you were betting your own money, would you rather back an applicant with lots of dough or one that was absolutely trustworthy? Think of it this way:

Billy shows a strong financial position, but has a history of tax liens.
Suzie has limited financial recourses, but her credit score is high.

Who do you go with? I would lean toward Suzie. Billy has the big bucks, but how do we know he’ll do the right thing with his $. Will he pay his invoices properly and avoid bond claims? Stay out of trouble with the tax collector? Do the right thing by us? Maybe he got his money by dealing dirty…

Suzie on the other hand can be trusted. She may qualify for assistance or support. Given the chance, this honorable person may succeed.

So, you could argue that the one most important element is the CREDIT REPORT. It is objective, current, third-party info that reveals the applicants character. It helps the underwriter identify trustworthy applicants, people who honor their obligations.

Without that, you have nothing.

FIA Surety is a carrier that provides A rated, T-listed bonds in all states!

Need a Contract, Site or Subdivision Bond? We’re waiting to serve you. Call 856-304-7348