Pursuing Business With ‘Risky’ Accounts

Prevailing business wisdom holds that the way to reduce credit risk is to limit credit lines, be stingy in allowing credit and freeze orders on past due accounts. This line of thought posits that it is generally impossible to lower “bad debt” losses without adverse consequences to sales and business expansion. Read The Full Story »

Surety BondingMore Like This

In the construction industry, few partnerships are as vital as the one between contractors and sureties. A strong surety relationship, especially in a volatile economy, can assure contractors they will have the stable and predictable bonding support necessary to accommodate their business plan. Continue »

Surety BondingMore Like This

Twelve years ago, the Surety and Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) developed the Model Contractor Development Program (MCDP)®, which aims to increase access to bonding for small and emerging contractors. It began in 2001 as a way to assist Local Surety Associations (LSAs) across the United States in their efforts to provide bonding for small contractors and has evolved into a comprehensive program of bonding awareness, education and support.

Based on best practices within the surety industry, the MCDP® now is a formal process of educational workshops and bond readiness activities that have resulted in hundreds of contractors becoming bondable for the first time. It also has become the primary way SFAA achieves the goal of greater access to bonding and increased contractor capability and capacity. Continue »

Risk ManagementMore Like This

The construction industry invests considerable time and effort to develop and improve practices for planning, commencing and executing construction projects. Much less time is devoted to understanding what happens when a project is suspended or terminated. But in today’s economic climate, many projects have been suspended or terminated, or are at risk of a similar fate in the near future. Continue »

Ironshore Inc. and Lexon Surety Group completed the first stage of a new strategic alliance in the surety market. Lexon writes more than $100 million in direct written premium annually and is the 12th largest writer of surety bonds in the United States. Ironshore’s subsidiaries will provide quota share reinsurance and primary fronting facility on new and renewal business for most types of U.S. commercial and contract surety risks. In addition, Paul S. Giordano, chairman of Ironshore’s political risk, special risk and surety businesses, will become a director of Lexon. Continue »

SafetyMore Like This

The Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA), which recently was reintroduced in the Senate, would result in significant changes to the Occupational Safety and Health Act. S. 665 was introduced in 2009 and then reintroduced in 2011, but was not enacted. The 2013 version of the bill, which is before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, contains many of the same components found in previous versions but with few new twists. If enacted, the bill will include the following provisions from previous versions of PAWA.

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Expanding Your BusinessMore Like This

Successful contractors are responding in creative ways to today’s challenging operating environment. They are seeking out new markets and geographies to create and capture value. In addition, new techniques, delivery methods and construction materials introduce fresh elements to the traditional construction process. FMI’s research consultant Rick Tison and Michael Davis, a director of professional liability products at Zurich North America Construction, discuss the impact of these changes on managing risk in the construction process and how best-in-class firms are responding. Continue »

Each year, the Merchants Bonding Company™Leaderboard Program salutes agency partners who have demonstrated their surety savvy and collaboration for growth. We salute Florida Surety Bonds Inc. of Maitland, Florida for attaining the Champions Tour of surety professionals. Congratulations to Jeff Reich, Susan Reich, Don Bramlage, Kim Niv and Cheryl Foley for surety professionalism in 2012. Merchants Bonding has partnered with Florida Surety Bonds Inc. for fifteen years. We thank them for the successes we’ve had together and recognize them for sharing our common sense vision. See our online salute to Florida Surety Bonds Inc. of Maitland, Florida here. Continue »