FAQs and resources

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Common Bondholder Questions

How does my bond renew?

There are several types of renewals for commercial bonds. Some bonds are continuous and require no further documents for renewal. On continuous bonds, bondholders will only receive an invoice for renewal payment.

A continuation certificate may need to be filed with the obligee to renew some bonds. This document is provided after renewal payment has been received.

Some bonds require a new bond to be filed with the obligee for renewal. For these bonds, you will receive an invoice, new bond and power of attorney. These documents are provided after renewal payment has been received.

Not all bonds renew. Some bonds run their term once and are no longer active.

How can I complete my renewal payment?

Merchants accepts payment by credit card, check or money order. To pay by credit card, visit the website listed on your invoice (pay.merchantsbonding.com). Or, send a check or money order to:

Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual) 
P.O. Box 310180 
Des Moines, IA 50331 

How do I pay my bond renewal by credit card when I don't have my payment code/URL?

Please contact us at direct@merchantsbonding.com or (800) 678-8171 and we will email you the necessary information. Please provide the name listed on the bond as well as the bond number. Please do not send credit card information or personally identifiable information directly to Merchants Bonding Company.

Why haven't I received an invoice for my bond renewal?

Please contact us at direct@merchantsbonding.com or (800) 678-8171 and we will verify your mailing address in our records. Please provide the name listed on the bond, the bond number and the proper mailing address. Please do not send personally identifiable information directly to Merchants Bonding Company.

When will I receive my renewal certificate or bond once I've paid my bond renewal? 

It will usually take about five business days from when we receive your payment for you to get your renewal documents. The effective date on your renewal certificate or bond will not be impacted by the processing time.

How can I obtain a 'proof of bond' notice verifying my bond/policy? 

You may contact your agent directly or send an email to renewals@merchantsbonding.com. Please provide the bond number, the name listed on the bond and your relation to the company on the bond. Please do not send personally identifiable information directly to Merchants Bonding Company.

Am I completing this bond application correctly?

Your agent is the best person to contact for help completing your bond application. Your agent will make sure the application is complete and that all supporting documents are included.

How do I obtain a bond from Merchants Bonding Company?

Merchants Bonding Company sells exclusively through independent agents. Contact your insurance agency to find out if they produce surety bonds or use Merchants’ Find An Agent directory to locate a surety elite agent in your area. Merchants will work with your surety agent to underwrite your account and determine surety credit.

If you need assistance determining what kind of bond you need, visit the Commercial Surety Bonds and Contract Surety Bonds pages of our website to provide you more details on types of bonds.

Common Contract Surety Questions & Resources

What is a contract bond?

Contract surety bonds provide financial security and construction assurance on building and construction projects. They guarantee to the project owner (obligee) that the contractor (principal) is qualified to perform the work and will pay certain subcontractors, laborers and material suppliers. If the contractor defaults, the surety guarantees that the obligations will be met.

How do I obtain a contract bond?

Merchants Bonding Company sells exclusively through independent agents. Contact your insurance agency to find out if they produce surety bonds or use Merchants’ Find An Agent directory to locate a surety elite agent in your area. Merchants will work with your surety agent to underwrite your account and determine surety credit.

What information is needed to obtain a contract bond? 

The following items are typically needed to begin underwriting an account:

  • Business financial statements for the past 3 years
  • Most recent personal financial statement for each owner
  • Completed contractor questionnaire
  • Bank reference
  • Summary of your company and surety needs

How long does it take to obtain a contract bond? 

The time frame to obtain a bond varies depending on the complexity of the request. 

How much do surety bonds cost?

Bond rates vary depending on the size and type of the project and the contractor’s bonding capacity. Performance bonds are generally 1 percent to 3 percent of the contract price. The contractor includes the bond premium in the bid, so the obligee/owner pays the bond premium. There is usually no cost for the bid bond or the payment bond if it is purchased in conjunction with the performance bond.

What size of surety programs does Merchants provide? 

Merchants provides surety programs of all sizes, from small, one-time bond needs to larger programs up to $150 million.

How do I verify a bond? 

Owners and obligees should contact Merchants Bonding Company at (800) 678-8171 or info@merchantsbonding.com to verify that a surety bond has been duly authorized and issued. In order to verify the bond, you will need to provide a bond number. Do not include any personally identifiable information in your correspondence.

Common Claims Questions

How do I report a Claim?

Use Merchants' online forms to report a Payment Bond Claim, Performance Bond Claim or Commercial Bond Claim

You may also mail, fax or email your claim to: 
Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual) 
Attn: Claims 
P.O. Box 14498 
Des Moines, IA 50306-3498 
Fax: 515-243-3854
Email: claims@merchantsbonding.com 
*Do not include any personally identifiable information in your correspondence.

How do I check on the status of my claim?

To check on the status of your claim, please call (800) 678-8171 and request to speak with the adjuster handling your claim.

How do I send reimbursement for a paid claim?

Email us at claims@merchantsbonding.com and we will reply with payment details. Payment can be made by credit card, check or bank transfer. Please do not send credit card information directly to Merchants Bonding Company.

Agent Advertising Guidelines

What are Merchants Bonding Company's advertising guidelines?

All consumer advertising material mentioning Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual) or any affiliate companies, or referencing any of our products, services and/or rates are considered advertising and must be submitted for advertising review and approval prior to use. This includes surety products referenced by name, description, rate or features. Agencies should review Merchants' Agent Advertising Guidelines then submit a completed Advertising Request Form to adapproval@merchantsbonding.com for review and approval. Our Advertising Quick Guide provides a brief overview of specific details agents should know.

How do I obtain permission to use Merchants Bonding Company's logo on my agency's advertisements and/or website?

Agencies that would like to use Merchants Bonding Company's logo should submit a competed Logo Request Form to adapproval@merchantsbonding.com for review and approval. Duplication of Merchants' logo without authorization is considered a copyright violation. Agents must review Merchants' Agent Advertising Guidelines and acknowledge that the use of Merchants' logo will not be used in any way that violates those guidelines.

Industry Resources

National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP)

Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA)

Surety Information Office (SIO)

Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA)

 

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