A Game Plan for Low Rates 

How can you ensure you are getting the best rate and most capacity for your firm? Can you protect yourself from your competitors gaining the edge on rate and capacity? At EPIC, we pride ourselves in focusing on what is best for our customers. Our strong and experienced surety team not only provides top notch service – we also seek out ways to increase bonding capacity and lower rates for our clients.

We accomplish this by making key recommendations on balance sheet management and understanding any new trends in the surety industry. By staying on top of surety market dynamics for our customers, which includes both new players, or changes to existing markets, we allow clients to focus on their business plan and financial results. You should not have to ask your broker to ensure you are receiving the best rate or bond program. They should do so automatically, at least once per
year, after receipt of your year-end updates.

At EPIC we review this detail at least annually. We know our clients’ surety program is an important component to their company reputation and results. We are not offended if they reach out to remind us more often, either. We love the fact that they want to communicate with us and recognize the importance their surety program is to their success.

Let’s talk about goals

The key to having (and keeping) a low rate is dependent upon the successful execution of your goals year after year, which is then reflected in growth in your balance sheet strength. The stronger your company balance sheet looks relative to your goals, the easier it is to maintain or drop that rate. We recognize this takes time.

At EPIC, we have the knowledge to help our clients understand their balance sheet dynamics, and we provide ideas they can implement to strengthen ratios before their fiscal year end closes. We are a trusted advisor – engaged to discuss the pros and cons of various strategies, along with the CPA, on using precious cash for equipment, captives, bonuses, investments, or any other idea. We evaluate how those decisions may impact working capital and net worth, and thus, bond program and rate.

Be strategic if you want a strong bond line

There are many factors that go into determining your ideal backlog and single job size goals. Unfortunately, the surety may not always see your goals in the same light. It is your broker’s job to compile and relay a story that supports your goals in a manner that the surety will understand. If you can convince your broker of the logic and reasoning behind your sales goals, your broker should be successful in getting that message across to your surety.

Here at EPIC, we are masters at listening and conveying our client’s story. We want to make sure that expectations and goals are not a surprise when it is time for that next bond. EPIC represents all of the major, high-rated surety markets, and most of the specialty-rated markets as well. If we are unhappy with the response from a surety, in respect to a client’s bond program or a specific bond, we will have a backup plan.

However, if the goals seem too aggressive, we will work hard to find a way to fine-tune them so that the surety and our customer’s expectations are in alignment. We want to be the experienced and confidential sounding board for our customers – knowing too that their information is safe with us until it is ready to be shared.

Stay competitive with a smart team

A smart contractor recognizes that their surety broker is vital to finding the best and most stable market with the proper rate and capacity for their firm. If you are our client and you do not feel we are providing this important service, please let us know so we can immediately correct the situation. If you are not our client, and you do not believe your broker is providing support to you in these areas, or you just want a second opinion, we are happy to provide a confidential, no obligation review of your program.

We can determine if any improvement can be made in rate or capacity simply based on our experience and trusted relationships. All evaluations are in strict confidence and without any impact or change to your current program or broker relationship. A smart surety broker knows that helping each client achieve their own goals is the key to success.

At EPIC, we focus on what is best for the client, not us. Let us help you grow your business to whatever level you choose with a strong surety team and the proper surety partner – one with a great program and a low rate that understands your unique company strengths and goals. After all, our mission is truly your success!