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The cost of the surety bond is a percentage of the total bond amount. There are two main factors for determining your surety bond cost:
- The type of surety bond and the risk, associated with it
- The qualities of the applicant (you and your business)
There are three distinct types of surety bonds:
Commercial Surety Bonds are the most common type of surety bonds required of businesses. These include License and Permit bonds such as Contractor License, Motor Vehicle Dealers, Tax Bond, Mortgage Brokers and other professions or businesses that require the bond to operate their business legally. If you’re looking for license bond cost, use the navigation box on the right to jump to the commercial bond cost section or continue scrolling down.
Contract Bonds are required when you bid on a specific project or have been awarded a contract. Need a Bid, Performance Bond or Payment Bond for a job like building a school, repairing a public building or improving/developing land? This is your bond, use the navigation on the right to jump to the construction bond cost section.
Court Bonds are dictated by the courts in cases of Appeals, Guardianship and Estates. Use the Navigation on the right to jump to the court bond cost section of this page.
How Much Do Commercial (License and Permit) Bonds Cost?
There are two main factors when it comes to figuring out the premium of a commercial bond:
Ownership. The first thing the underwriter will look at is the ownership of the company. This is mostly in the form of a credit check to determine the underwriting risk. This is necessary, because qualifying for this bond is often in line with qualifying for a line of credit (if you want to learn more about this, read our "What is a surety bond" page). The stronger your credit the better the rate you will qualify for.
Risk. There are thousands of license and permit bonds across the country, each having its own unique risk profile attached to it. Financial guarantee bonds (like tax bonds), Freight Broker Bonds, and Health Club Bonds have proven larger risks (have higher loss ratios) than Contractor License, Mortgage Brokers and Motor Vehicle Dealer Bonds. Bonds with higher risk are scrutinized by the underwriter more closely. The state of operation can also have the same effect. While most states are viewed relatively the same, there are a few states that carry larger loss ratios like California and Florida that can increase the risk as well.
What Other Factors Determine My Premium?
Outside of the ownership’s credit, the bond form, and state, underwriters may look at financials and experience when approving commercial bonds over $75,000. If you have a riskier bond or blemish on your credit, but have experience and/or strong financials, you can also use these items to lower your rate on bonds of any size.
Generally, the standard market is reserved for credit scores that are 650 and above. Rates for the standard market typically run 1-3% of the required bond amount.
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Surety Bond Cost By Credit Score
The applicant’s credit score is considered the most important factor for determining the price they end up paying, also called the surety bond premium. Here’s how your premium will look based on your personal credit score alone.
|Applicant's Credit Score|
|Surety Bond Amount||700||650 - 699||600 - 649||550 - 599||549 and under|
|$5,000 Surety Bond||$100||$100||$125-$250||$250-$375||$375-$500|
|$10,000 Surety Bond||$100||$100-$300||$250-$500||$500-$750||$750-$1,000|
|$15,000 Surety Bond||$112.5-$225||$150-$450||$375-$750||$750-$1,125||$1,125-$1,500|
|$25,000 Surety Bond||$188-$375||$250-$750||$625-$1,250||$1,250-$1,875||$1,875-$2,500|
|$30,000 Surety Bond||$225-$450||$300-$900||$750-$1,500||$1,500-$2,250||$2,250-$3,000|
|$50,000 Surety Bond||$375-$750||$500-$1,500||$1,250-$2,500||$2,500-$3,750||$3,750-$5,000|
|$75,000 Surety Bond||$563-$1,125||$750-$2,250||$1,875-$3,750||$3,750-$5,625||$5,625-$7,500|
|$100,000 Surety Bond||$750-$1,500||$1,000-$3,000||$2,500-$5,000||$5,000-$7,500||$7,500-$10,000|
How Much Do Construction Bonds Cost?
Contract bonds (construction bonds) are typically broken into two categories. Quick applications that are credit-based (typically for companies new to bonded work and smaller jobs), and those who need a Full Bond Line.
Fast Track Contract Bonds
There are several surety markets that will write credit-based contract bonds. Typically, this type of app is used when the job is $500,000 or less, you (the contractor) have no or limited bonded experience, and your credit is strong (read 650+ clean). A contractor using a credit-based program can expect a premium that is 3% of the bond amount required. While a few markets will consider those with lesser credit, the majority do not.
Full Bond Line Projects
For experienced contractors that need a full bond line (larger jobs, or contractors that are doing several jobs at once), a more thorough underwriting process will take place. Financials (2-3 years of CPA-prepared, reviewed financial statements (not tax returns), on an accrual, cost-of-completion basis with full notes and disclosures), Work on Hand schedule, bank reference letter and more will be reviewed. Full bond lines are quoted on a sliding scale, so the larger the job, the smaller the bond rate will be.
How Much Do Court Bonds Cost?
Applicants in need of any court bond must demonstrate strong credit (650+ clean), complete the application provided by the agent, and remit the petition and/or any relevant court documents. For some larger bond requirements, the surety may request financial statements to aid in the underwriting process. While the average applicant should expect an approval rating of 1-2% of the total bond amount (annual premium due), larger bond requests and strong applicants (financial statements) will typically see rates lower than this.
Another type of court bond is known as a Supersedeas (or Appeal) Bond. These bonds require more documentation for underwriting and are going to be more expensive (1-4%) than more common court bonds. Given the nature and risk of this bond, higher premiums are expected along with the need for collateral in most circumstances. Only a handful of known surety markets will entertain supersedeas bonds and tend to have minimum bond amount requirements. Because supersedeas bond requests are high risk and larger requirements, financial statements are a requirement for underwriting.
How Much Do Surety Bonds Cost If I Have Bad Credit?
Applicants with bad credit, tax liens, civil judgments or past bankruptcies are considered high risk.
Many surety bond agencies decline to work with these applicants. However, through our bad credit surety bond program it is possible for you to obtain a surety bond, though at a slightly higher premium.
The cost of a high-risk surety bond will typically range between 2.5%-10% of the total bond amount. Keep in mind that by improving your credit score over time, you can reduce the amount of your premium from one year to the next.
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