Built For Contractors

Increase your bond capacity and unlock growth opportunity with Leif’s in-house bond experts on your team.

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Bonds for contractors of all sizes

  • Bid Bonds
  • Commercial
  • Environmental
  • Performance & Payment
  • License & Permit
  • Gas & Oil
  • Financial Guarantee
  • Maintenance & Subdivision
Raised a contractor's bond limit from $20 million to $70 million, enabling them to take on an extra $50 million project located in Missouri.
Current Leif Customer

The bond capacity you need to grow

Surety bond capacity isn’t just a numbers game. Your financials play an important role, but surety carriers consider many factors.

To maximize your bond limit, it’s crucial to convey your strength in capital, capacity, and character – known as the Three Cs.

Because we use a consultative approach with all our clients, we’ll get to know your business well. Our in-house underwriters tailor a surety program to your needs and help you stand out to the best carriers.

Bond Services

In-house underwriting is just the beginning of what our experienced bond team can do for you. We also offer the following bonding services, included in your partnership.

Our underwriters create a strategy to maximize your capacity. We advocate for you and help you put your best foot forward to carriers. Plus, we deliver most bonds overnight.

Our experts provide estimates based on the scope of your project, and review the requirements for each contract to ensure your programs are compliant.

Financial rating won’t limit your ability to bid on or win projects. Our bond team has long-term relationships with the best surety companies in the country.

Looking for an accountant, banker, attorney, or qualified subcontractor? We can help. We’ve developed an extensive referral network of other professionals who work exclusively with contractors.

Considering working with a new subcontractor? Or maybe you’re a subcontractor bidding to a new GC. With our analysis tools, we’ll provide insight into the creditworthiness of the company you’re thinking of working with.

We’ll do a full financial analysis of your company before marketing your bond application. Our experience and relationships help give you a proper introduction to the marketplace – and make a good first impression.

Ever wondered how your company financials compare to your competition? We can help answer that question. Our carrier partnerships help us build an apples-to-apples comparison with your competitors.

Open the door to opportunity

Your bond capacity shouldn’t hold you back from your growth goals. Increased capacity lets you bid on bigger, better jobs – and win.

Unlocked more than $500MM in project bond opportunities for clients in the past year
Increased a contractor’s aggregate program from $30MM to $100MM, and single job from $10MM to $40MM
Increased a contractor’s bond limit from $20MM to $70MM, allowing them to pick up an additional single project for $50MM

Bid, build, and grow with confidence

Our dedicated bonds team is invested in your long-term success. By tailoring a bond program to maximize your capacity, we’ll help you win bigger jobs and position your business for growth.

Surety Bond FAQs

A surety bond is a contract involving three parties: the surety, the principal, and the obligee. In the contract, the surety guarantees the principal’s performance to the obligee. If the principal fails to perform according to the agreed-upon terms, the surety will pay for the failure. Surety bonds are typically required for any company working on government contracts. Private contracts in sectors like construction, agriculture, and transportation also often require bonds.

While a surety bond is sometimes referred to as “bond insurance,” there are several significant differences between bonds and insurance. Getting a surety bond is more like securing bank credit than buying insurance.

Here are some of the main differences:

  • Approach to losses: Surety bond providers use prequalification to try to prevent losses. Insurance policies spread losses among a group of similar risks.
  • Limits: The amount a surety will cover depends largely on your company’s financials. Conversely, the details of your insurance policy are determined by your risk profile.
  • Coverage: Bonds cover 100% of the contract price, while insurance only covers up to a policy limit. Bond coverage is project-specific, while insurance coverage is term-specific.
  • Liability: If a surety pays out on a claim, the principal remains liable and must repay the surety. By contrast, an insured business does not pay back the insurance carrier for a claim.

In short, when a surety bond pays out, it’s more like a loan than an insurance claim. The purpose of a surety bond is to protect the obligee. Most often, this means ensuring that laborers and suppliers are paid for work and materials. If a claim is filed, the principal is still on the hook for financial losses – the surety just pays the obligee up front.

Bonding capacity is the maximum amount a surety will cover. Underwriters use financial signs like revenue, net worth, liquidity, and debt levels to determine a principal’s bonding capacity. There are two types of capacity, known as the single-job limit and the aggregate limit. The single-job limit is the largest amount the surety will guarantee on one project. The aggregate limit is the total amount of work, across projects, that the surety will back at one time.

A variety of construction projects might require a contract bond. They’re required by federal, state, and local governments for construction contracts valued over certain amounts. The Miller Act specifies federal requirements, and each state has a “Little Miller Act” governing state contracts. While not mandated, private owners and general contractors may also choose to require surety bonds. This helps them ensure the contract will be completed, and suppliers and subcontractors will be paid.

The best way to increase your surety capacity is to provide timely, accurate financial information to your underwriter. Leaving your surety carrier guessing does not build confidence. Provide frequent updates to show that your company is organized, transparent, and on a positive trajectory.

The cost of a bond is a percentage of the final contract price. The percentage is based on rates filed with the state insurance department, usually ranging from around 1-4%. Your financial standing, credit score, and other factors determine your bond rate. Because the cost of a project usually fluctuates, your bond premium will be adjusted based on the final contract price.

The principal pays the premium for a surety bond. The premium is due upon the execution of the bond and underlying contract. If a claim occurs, the surety pays up front for the project costs up to the contracted amount. Then, the principal must reimburse the surety for those costs.

construction workers

Personalized serviceyou can count on, every time

We deliver exceptional service across all lines of insurance by promising to:

  • Identify coverage gaps and quickly secure new policies
  • Partner with strong carriers to offer the best program available
  • Respond quickly to calls, texts, and chat during business hours
  • Offer after-hours claims consultation for 24/7 emergency support
  • Deliver most COIs within 2 business hours and bonds overnight
  • Create a strategy to maximize your bond capacity for growth

Whether you’re a large multi-state firm, local trade contractor, or something in between – you can hold us to our promise.