How to verify a bond and what it means to you.
Why is Surety important?
For a business or person to be bonded, the surety must find them to be financially and otherwise qualified to successfully perform in that trade or profession. The surety reminds the applicant of their obligations and has the option to withdraw the bond if the applicant is not in compliance with applicable laws, ordinances or regulations.
How do I verify a Surety Bond and Why is it Important?
If the Principal (the one purchasing the bond) fails to perform as promised, the surety pays any losses and damages that occur. Without the surety, or if the surety in question is not certified to write surety bonds in said state, the public security and consumer interests of your community would be unprotected.
Although we wish we could verify every and any bond for you right away, we simply cannot if it is not written by us.
What we CAN do is give you the resources and advice to verify the authenticity of the surety company and bond in question.
There are two steps in bond verification:
Step One – Is the Surety authorized?
You can look up an agent, agency or a company on the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s Office’s website here:
The US Treasury Department also provides a list of certified companies that is updated annually.
Step Two – Is the bond authorized?
To verify the bond, you will need to contact the Surety and provide them with a scanned copy of the bond with your inquiry. If you do not have a copy, The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) has provided a link to their “Bond Authenticity Inquiry Form” to supply the appropriate information.
They will need to know
- Bond number
- Name of Principal
- Name of Obligee
- Bond amount
- Execution Date
- Project Description
- Name of Attorney-in-Fact signing the bond
The SFAA has also made a guide for you, that contains a list of SFAA surety company volunteers who have provided their contact information and their preference (1 being the most preferred), for verifying a bond.
In this guide, you can search for the Surety exactly listed on the bond.
A lot of surety companies will have many names under a Parent Company. For the example shown below, AIG Surety is the Parent Company, while any of the names below can be listed on the bond.
Note: Not all authorized sureties are listed in this guide, for it is voluntary.
Should you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
We would be glad to help you!