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NASBP’s Surety Automation Committee and ACORD are working to enhance bond forms through ACORD’s eForms technology; Zurich is celebrating 125 years of writing surety bonds; and DBIA is releasing warranty bonds, proposal bonds and payment and performance bonds for design-build projects.

Seamless Integration a Reality in Writing Surety

Currently, the surety workflow involves a lot of paper and duplicative effort. Agents log into surety companies' screens and transmit information multiple ways; sureties manually enter mailed or PDF filed into their systems.

The National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) is working closely with ACORD to enhance forms through ACORD’s eForms technology. The end goal of this revitalized relationship will include XML data streams and transaction specifications for surety. NASBP's Surety Forms Working Group now has two forms in the ACORD Standard Form Library, with more to come. NASBP is working with XBRL, the standards organization for the financial industry, to enable a seamless data exchange with construction CPAs. The NASBP Automation and Technology Committee has monitored technology enhancements for years with the realization that there needed to be an industry-wide acceptance of the forms. This new initiative also provides a forum for a number of associations to work together: NASBP, which is taking the lead; The Surety and Fidelity Association of America (SFAA), which has worked closely with NASBP on many projects throughout the years; eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) US (a national consortium for XML business that develops reporting standards for numerous financial reporting applications including public company financial statements and regulatory reporting); and ACORD.

Nick Newton, Newton Bonding, and Greg Davenport, Library Mutual Surety, discuss the status of this project and explain how the initiative is gaining momentum. For additional information or to join the group in Chicago Nov. 24-25, contact Dave Golden, NASBP's technology director, at dgolden@nasbp.org.

 Zurich Celebrates 125 Years

June 2015 is the 125th anniversary of Zurich North America’s surety business, the first nationally operated surety and longest continuously operating surety provider in the United States today. Zurich was the first surety to write bonds for public officials and to be approved for bonds for the federal government. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a vice president and director of Zurich Surety’s founding firm from 1921 to 1929. Zurich has continuously provided surety bonds to several customers for more than 110 years and has serviced more than 500 customers for more than 25 years. Landmark Zurich bonded projects include the:

  • Hoover Dam;
  • Oakland Bay Bridge;
  • Chesapeake Bay Bridge; and
  • Panama Canal expansion.

DBIA Releases Model Bond Forms for Design-Build Projects

The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) has released a full set of warranty bonds, proposal bonds, and payment and performance bonds specifically for design-build projects. The bond forms have the endorsement of NASBP and SFAA.

The new family of bond forms include a Proposal Bond (610) and a Warranty Bond (615), with three sets of payment and performance bonds for use by design-builders (620 and 625), general contractors (640 and 645), and subcontractors (630 and 635). Completing the family of bond forms will be the Consent of Surety to Partial Release of Retainage (500-D6) and Consent of Surety to Release of Final Payment (500-D7). Order a copy of the new bond forms through DBIA's bookstore. To receive a complimentary sample, or ask questions, email Todd Rich.

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