Surety consists of two main divisions – commercial surety and contract surety. These two divisions differ from each other in several ways.
Contract surety involves bonds for private and public enterprises pursuing the fulfillment of a contract. These bonds act as a secondary contract to an original contract between two entities. In the simplest terms, contract bonds guarantee the fulfillment of the original contract. The surety bond tells the obligee the hired contractor will complete the job, and if he does not, the surety will make sure to finish the job as ordered. The contractor indemnifies the surety for any loss the surety may experience while completing the original contract.
Commercial surety involves bonds other than those for contracts or fidelity, and consist of litigation, fiduciary, miscellaneous, license and permit, and public official bonds. These bonds tend to cover various situations and require special attention because they differ from each other in many ways. For example, different types of public official bonds correspond to different offices and positions, and thus they adhere to different rules, laws, and regulations. Underwriters need to carefully read bond forms to understand the potential liability. Bond forms often indicate the exact law or code the official must comply with, and the underwriter must also read and understand these laws and liabilities.
Offenhartz & Pedersen, LTD. specialize in court bonds, which fall under the commercial surety category. However, our office underwrites many different commercial surety bonds and knows the rare and unique ones many in the business do not have familiarity with.