bonding pros

Graduate from the SBA

Congrats to the kids!!  They finally made it.  Now its their time to move on and move up.  What about contractors in the SBA Bonding program?  Is it their time to graduate?

The SBA program is a great help, and the people are awesome: dedicated, helpful.  But the program has a down side.  It costs time and money to obtain their bonding support.  So if a contractor could get federal and other projects without this extra step, why wouldn’t they?

Here’s what you gain, more or less, by graduating into a regular surety relationship:

More

  • Time to pursue productive activities – new projects, strategic planning, employee training, educational opportunities, etc.
  • Time for other personal and family priorities
  • Profits on your projects and financial statement overall
  • Increased profits can lead to higher bonding limits and bigger projects
  • Credibility – a graduated company no longer needing extra help

Less

  • Bonding expenses (bond premium plus SBA fee) on each project
  • Time spent filling out double forms for the surety and the SBA
  • Answering questions to both
  • Waiting for approvals

OK, so if graduating sounds great, how do you do it?

Step one: Ask the current bonding company to provide bonds without the SBA program.  If they do it, you can thank us later!

Step two: If they refuse, call FIA Surety!  We provide bonds for federal and local projects without the need for SBA support.  It takes a creative, experienced surety to graduate contractors.   FIA has been providing Bid, Performance & Payment, Site and Subdivision Bonds since 1979. We’re steady.  We’re willing.  We’re creative.

It’s time to graduate!

For Site, Subdivision, Bid and Performance Bonds call Steve Golia: 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

Get to Know FIA Surety: Paul Alongi, Sr., Claims Manager

When was the last time you spoke to a personal friend of Joe Pesci and Frankie Valle? Ok, never? Well, meet our Claims Manager, Mr. Paul Alongi, Sr.

Paul was born in Newark, the oldest of four children and graduated from Barringer High School.  Joe Pesci and Frankie Valle were among his friends. Born with a love of music, he learned to play tenor sax at age 7.  As a big band member, his group backed up Connie Francis, Dion and the Belmonts, Tony Bennet, Xavier Cougat, Al Martino and others.  To this day, Paul is an active musician playing in several venues.

He was athletic, too!  Paul tried out for the NY Yankees in these early years.

Paul started his insurance career in the actuarial department of U. S. Life and studied for his law degree at night. In five years, he graduated from Seton Hall Law School and started his law practice.

While running for public office, Essex County Freeholder, he met a fellow candidate, Patrick Lynch.  Years later this would result in Paul joining Pat’s young company “First Indemnity of America Insurance Company / FIA Surety” to become our first Claims Manager.  He’s been a valuable asset all these years.

Paul has served on the Bloomfield Board of Education (President), the New Jersey Commission of Investigations, and has also been a long-time leader in many community organizations, including: the Bloomfield Federation of Music and Civic Band, the Garden State Concert Band, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish and Finance Councils, Holy Name Society and Circle of Friends.

Paul is a highly experienced problem solver and, he is accessible to our agents and clients!  973-541-3414

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

 

Banker Holding Back

Sure, your banker loves you. But here is important info they want to keep from Home Builders, Developers and their Agents.

When starting a new project, developers must secure the project with the township. This can be in the form of:

  1. Cash
  2. Bank issued Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILOC,)
  3. Or a surety issued Site/Subdivision Bond

The International Risk Management Institute says a surety bond is better than an ILOC:

“Corporate surety bonds are far and away the most preferred option for most owner/developers when you consider the potential disadvantages of the alternative guarantee forms.”

Now you know. Too late if an ILOC was already filed with the township… or is it? Actually, our surety bonds can be filed to replace / release the ILOC. Your banker won’t tell you that either!

This is a great move for developers! Get back your cash. Use it to acquire or start a new project. It’s NOT too late the fix the ILOC mistake if you know where to go. Most sureties won’t write this type of bond but at FIA, it’s our specialty!

FIA is also one of the few bonding companies that will write Down-payment bonds for it’s Home Builders freeing up even more usable cash for your company.

If you have an immediate need for a Site/Subdivision bond or are interested in replacing an existing ILOC with a bond, call us at 856-304-7348.

Steve Golia

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

Site and Subdivision Bonds – The Sequel

In March we told you why Home builders and their Bonding Agents love Site and Subdivision bonds.  (Click to read prior message)  But don’t take our word for it.  Here’s what the International Risk Management Institute has to say about it:

“Corporate surety bonds are far and away the most preferred option for most owner/developers when you consider the potential disadvantages of the alternative guarantee forms.” (Click for entire article)

Clearly, the smart move for home builders and their bond agents is a surety bond.  And the bonding company you want is the specialist, long devoted to this market.  Unwavering since 1979.

Call FIA Surety.  It’s the smart move.

Steve Golia 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

 

See Inside FIA Office

OK, that’s not really our office.  But we want to assure you – we’re here issuing bonds, underwriting new business and making new friends!

Be careful and safe like us (not like the picture!)  FIA wants to help with the surety bonds you need including Bid, Performance, Site and Subdivision.

FIA Surety: A bonding company serving independent agents and the construction industry since 1979.

Steve Golia 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

Developers and Home Builders: Important News!

Important news for Developers / Home Builders and their Surety Bond Agents:

“Now more than ever, you need to protect your cash position.

As you start your new project, do not use cash or a cash backed Irrevocable Letter of Credit (bank instrument) to secure your obligation to the township. Instead, file a Subdivision Bond. Preserve your capital!”

We have specialized in this area since 1979. Call us for immediate service.

Steve Golia, Marketing Mgr. 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

Claim Your Free Surety Bond Gift!

It’s easy to get in on our Free Continuing Education program. This is a gift from FIA Surety.

“One of the best CE courses I ever attended! Our producers really needed this information.”

Our program last week was a huge success.

Bonding 101 explores the theory of surety bonds including pricing, underwriting and an overview of the marketplace. We track a Bid and Performance Bond from birth to death. It’s all practical info producers need.

Currently, our courses are approved in NJ and PA. And we deliver the program at your location! This is FIA Surety’s free gift to you. Call us for details.

Since 1979 FIA has been a dependable provider of Bid, Performance, Site and Subdivision Bonds.

Steve Golia, Marketing Mgr. 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

Surety Bond Challenge: Solve This Problem!

A key vendor / supplier is demanding that a GC provide protection for their purchase agreement. However, the project owner did not stipulate a Performance and Payment bond on the contract and none was provided. The work has started and the contractor needs to get materials delivered from the reluctant vendor.

What are the possible solutions that may satisfy the vendor? Choose one!

  1. Issue a Payment Bond on the Purchase Agreement
  2. Issue a Performance & Payment Bond on the Purchase Agreement
  3. Bond the contract in a normal way (100% Performance & Payment)
  4. Issue only a Payment Bond on the contract

(1.) Issue a Payment Bond on the Purchase Agreement?
A. A vendors purchase agreement is not the same type obligation as a construction contract. A bond guaranteeing payment of the purchase agreement would be considered a Financial Guarantee Bond (Why?  See below *) They are more difficult to obtain than a Payment Bond, so that’s not be the best solution.

(2.) So what about issuing a Performance & Payment Bond on the Purchase Agreement?
A. This is also not an option due to the differences between the nature of a purchase agreement and a construction contract.  (Details below *).

(3.) Can we bond the contract in a normal way (100% Performance & Payment)? That Payment bond would cover all vendors, so it would cover the one in question.
A. Bonding a started project is always a red flag. The underwriters initial question is “Why do they want a bond now?” It does seem suspicious, like there may be a problem with the performance of the construction work or the owner received some negative info on the contractor. Maybe the contractor has a problem and the work is in jeopardy.
Another issue is the cost. If a bond was not originally required, the bond cost was not included in the contract price. This means a bond purchased subsequent to the execution of the contract will be paid for out of the contractor’s profit margin. The Principal / GC will be looking for the most inexpensive solution possible.
Keep in mind that the purchase order amount is less than the contract price, so bonding the contract would result in a bond higher (and more expensive) than actually needed.

(4.) Can we issue just a payment bond on the contract?
A. This too will be viewed as a red flag by the underwriters. Who asks for a payment bond but doesn’t want a Performance Bond? That would be unusual.

Summary
We have concluded that it will be difficult to retroactively bond the contract, the amount of the contract is more than the purchase order and only a financial guarantee bond can be issued on the purchase agreement, so a Performance Bond may not be the solution at all!

Our Solution
In this case, we offered Funds Administration instead of a bond. This was an inexpensive alternative, and provided an assurance for the vendor that bills would be paid in a routine manner. (The project owner pays the Funds Administrator who directly pays the vendor.)
Keep in mind, however, that the Funds Administrator has no obligation to the vendor. If there is an unexpected event, such as termination of the contract, the Funds Administrator does not guarantee to the vendor that they will be paid appropriately.  A bond would, if one had been written.

*The nature of purchase orders is different from construction contracts. When issuing a P&P bond on a contract, the surety depends on the fact that the obligee / beneficiary is paying for the work, and that money may be the key to solving any claim or default.

When bonding a purchase order, the obligee / beneficiary (vendor), is not paying – they are receiving payment. That is why a Financial Guarantee Bond must be used, and is why they are harder to obtain.

FIA Surety is a NJ based bonding company (carrier) that has specialized in Site, Subdivision, Bid and Performance Bonds since 1979 – we’re good at it!  Call us with your next one.

Steve Golia, Marketing Mgr.: 856-304-7348

First Indemnity of America Ins. Co.

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FIA Surety Success Story

This was a tough case.

The contractor needed a performance bond. We reviewed the bond request form and noted the bid results: They were 100% below the second bidder!

We obtained the company’s fiscal year end financial statement. Our analysis revealed a negative working capital and their net worth had slipped below zero due to a net loss for the period. Pretty tough…

The agent was not a bonding expert, so it was up to us to find a way to help this account.

Collateral was not an option because of their weakened condition. If it hurts the contractor, it can’t be good for us.

We dug deeper to fully appreciate all of the applicant’s attributes:

  • The bid spread resulted from the fact that the project was specialty work and the second bidder was a general contractor. They would have to hire someone like our client to perform the job. This contributed to their significantly higher price. Also, the applicant documented a good profit margin in their price.
  • There were specific reasons for the net loss. Corrective actions were taken and current financial results were improved.
  • We identified the applicant’s additional financial resources – there were multiple credit lines available (unused) and personal cash.

We wrote the bond! The difference is that FIA has a team of seasoned professionals with many years of experience (since the ’70s!). We know how to get through these tough cases.

Site, Subdivision, Performance and Payment Bonds.

Now you know who to call.

Steve Golia, Marketing Mgr. 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX

Free CE Update

Love, Love, Love!
Love is in the air! We know you love free stuff, so get some here.

FIA Surety provided two free CE seminars in North Jersey recently. We’re doing one this week at an agency in Hatfield, PA.
It’s time to get your agency on our calendar. We have dates available in March. How do you set it up? Just give us a call. It’s that simple!

Speaking of simple, when you need a surety bond, we can make that simple too! Since 1979, First Indemnity of America (a carrier) has been making agents look great.

We’re your “can-do” market for:

  • Site and Subdivision Bonds
  • Bid and Performance Bonds
  • Deposit Bonds for home builders

What’s not to love?

Steve Golia 856-304-7348

FIA Surety / First Indemnity of America Insurance Company, Morris Plains, NJ

We are currently licensed in: NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, TN,  FL, GA, AL, OK, TX