Like any relationship involving a variety of parties, the key is finding the right balance to ensure a trusting and fruitful partnership. How does this happen? By recognizing the role and responsibilities that each segment of the team brings to the table.

The Client Role

The client is central to the entire process as the primary risk taker. The client has to exhaust its own means and resources before the surety is called on to fulfill the guarantee. Therefore, the surety and the agent/broker should first appreciate the principal's stake and always give a fair hearing to any legitimate request or concern.

The Surety Role

The surety, as the guarantor of the principal's obligation, is considered the consummate "risk taker" in the bonding relationship. The surety acts as the gatekeeper, making decisions on what accounts are acceptable, what bond requests are approved, as well as determining the terms and conditions for writing the bonds.

The surety underwriter is the detective in this process. He or she needs to ask any question or delve into any area that is relevant to underwriting the account or bond request. The underwriters will most often direct questions or requests for information to the agent or broker but may want to meet with the applicant. Knowledge is king in this key role in the surety process, and the thoroughness of the underwriter is paramount to making sure that the risk is acceptable.

The Agent/Broker’s Role

The agent or broker rounds out the triad as the sales force for the bonding or insurance company. Often the agent is an independent contractor who produces new clients and services for existing clients. To do that effectively, the agent may represent a number of insurance/bonding companies that specialize in certain areas to accommodate the client base they want to target. The good news is that Allstar Surety offers a myriad of surety solutions, including consideration of standard and unique situations.

A competent agent will perform some level of analysis of the account to properly represent the client, to determine what market to target, and/or to determine if the basic underwriting package required by that market is available. But that does not replace the due diligence that must occur in order to make sure the risk is appropriate for all parties. For more information on the depth of information needed to establish a fruitful partnership, visit

The Bottom Line - Each party has defined responsibilities and, if any party overplays or underplays its role, the relationship will become unbalanced and may cause harm to all the parties.

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