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How to Grow Your Surety Bond Program

Surety Construction Bond

As a contractor, you may have experienced the frustration of losing a bid or being unable to pursue an opportunity because you lacked sufficient bonding capacity. Or you may have encountered challenges in meeting the underwriting requirements of your surety company, such as providing financial statements, maintaining adequate working capital, or demonstrating a positive track record.

If you want to grow your business and take on larger and more profitable projects, you need to grow your surety bond program as well. A strong and stable surety bond program can give you a competitive edge in the construction market and help you establish long-term relationships with your surety company, project owners, and other stakeholders. In this guide, our agents at The Hartwell Corporation and Idaho Construction Bonding will show you how to grow your surety bond program by following some best practices and avoiding some common pitfalls.

What is a surety bond program?

A surety bond program is a set of guidelines and limits that a surety company provides to a contractor who needs to obtain bonds for their projects.  This program determines how much bonding capacity a contractor has, what types of projects they can bid on, and what conditions they need to meet to qualify for bonds.

Why is it important to grow your surety bond program?

Growing your surety bond program can help you achieve several benefits as a contractor, such as:

  • Increasing your competitiveness in the market by being able to bid on larger and more profitable projects.

  • Building your reputation and credibility with project owners, subcontractors, and suppliers by demonstrating your financial stability and performance history.

  • Improving your cash flow and working capital by reducing the need for upfront payments or collateral for bonds.

  • Expanding your network and opportunities by establishing long-term relationships with surety companies and agents.

How can you grow your surety bond program?

Growing your surety bond program is not a one-time event, but a continuous process that requires planning, communication, and commitment. Here are some steps you can take to grow your surety bond program:

  • First, understand your current surety bond program and identify your goals and challenges. Review your bond history, financial statements, work in progress, and backlog. Analyzing your strengths and weaknesses can help determine your bonding capacity needs. Then set realistic and measurable goals for your growth, and identify any potential risks or obstacles that might hinder your progress. Durring this process you can have meetings with your surety agent and or surety to help set your goals.

  • Next, improve your financial and operational performance. Your financial and operational performance is the most important factor that influences your surety bond program size. To grow your surety bond program, you need to demonstrate that you have the financial strength, the management skills, and the technical expertise to complete your projects successfully and profitably. Some ways to improve your financial and operational performance are:

    • Maintain a positive net worth, a strong working capital, and a healthy cash flow.

    • Keep your debt-to-equity ratio and your leverage ratio low.

    • Manage your overhead costs and expenses efficiently.

    • Monitor and update your work in progress and backlog reports regularly.

    • Complete your projects on time and on budget.

    • Pay your subcontractors and suppliers promptly.

    • Avoid disputes, claims, and litigation with your project owners, subcontractors, and suppliers.

    • Implement effective risk management and quality control practices.

    • Invest in your human resources, equipment, and technology.

    • Seek professional advice from your accountant and lawyer.

  • Finally, choose a reliable and experienced surety company and agent. Choosing a surety company and agent that understand your industry, market, and business model is crucial for growing your surety bond program. Look for a surety company and agent that have a solid reputation, a strong financial backing, and a flexible and supportive approach. Establish a trust-based and long-term relationship with your surety company and agent, and communicate with them regularly and transparently.


As you can see, growing your surety bond program requires careful planning, preparation, and communication. You need to invest in your resources, seek professional advice, and expand your project portfolio wisely. However, you don't have to do it alone.  The Hartwell Corporation and Idaho Construction Bonding are here to help you every step of the way.

We have the experience, expertise, and connections to help you secure the surety bonds you need for your business. We can also provide you with guidance, support, and feedback to help you improve your financial and operational performance, and increase your bonding capacity. Contact us today and let us help you grow your surety bond program and your business.

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