Suppose you discover that you need a surety bond to insure a car with a lost title, to do business in your city, or to become a notary public. What is a surety bond, and how much does a surety bond cost? Read on to find out.
What is a Surety Bond?
A surety bond is a three party agreement between a prinicipal, an obligee, and a surety.
- Principal: the one who needs the bond
- Obligee: the one who is protected by the bond
- Surety: the one who issues the bond
The best way to understand a surety bond is that it is insurance for other people, paid by you.
- If you follow your state rules and regulations, your bond will not be used.
- If you fail to follow rules or regulations, someone can make a claim against your bond.
Still not sure what a surety bond is? Check out this post.
How Much Does a Surety Bond Cost?
There are literally thousands of types of surety bonds, each of which has its own cost structure. The one thing that remains the same for all surety bonds is that you do not need to pay the entire bond amount.
You will generally pay 1-15% of the total bond amount. Your rate is often based off your personal credit score.
For example, if you need a $10,000 surety bond and you get quoted at a 1% rate, you will pay $100 for your surety bond.
Higher risk bonds, like construction bonds, may cost 10% or more of the bond's value.
Generally, you only need to pay one time for your bond, until it needs to be renewed. You cannot cash a surety bond after you purchase it.
Below is a chart that shows how much you might pay for a surety bond based on your credit:
How is my Rate Calcuated?
Your surety bond rate is largely dependent on your credit score. But, there are other criteria used in calculating surety bond cost such as:
- The type of bond - some bonds are riskier than others
- The amount of the bond - higher bond amounts will cost more than lower bond amounts
- The risk level of the applicant - your credit score, your financial history, your character, etc
Find out what you are evaluated on when you apply for a surety bond.
The best way to find out how much you'd pay for a surety bond is to get a free quote.
The Range of Costs for Surety Bonds
The first thing to understand about surety bond cost is that certain types of bonds are more expensive than others.
For example, the surety bond cost for a notary public bond is usually quite inexpensive (around $60) while the surety bond cost for an automobile dealer bond can be expensive (anywhere from $1,000-$7,500).
The Cost of Lost Title Bonds
The cost of a lost vehicle title bond depends on the value of the vehicle that the applicant is titling. Most states require a lost title bond to be in the amount of 1.5 or 2 times the value of the vehicle you are titling.
This is just the bond amount. The price you pay is a very small portion of this.
Most people only need to pay $100 for their Lost Title Bond.
The Cost of Performance Bonds
Performance bonds are typically purchased by construction contractors who have won a bid to complete a construction project.
The surety bond cost will depend on the size of the contract and its scope influence. Generally rates range from around 0.5% to 2% of the bond value.
Cities specify how large a performance bond a construction contractor must have for a project of a certain size. A bond for a $100,000 contract will typically cost $500 to $2,000.
The Cost of Notary Bonds
Notaries have a certain amount of legal authority, and because of this, many states require them to purchase a surety bond as a demonstration that they will perform their duties according to the law and ethical standards.
Surety bond cost is typically low for notary bonds because this is considered a relatively low-risk service. Depending on the size of the bond a notary is required to have, the cost will generally be $50 to $150 per year.
Cost of Car Dealer Bonds
Car Dealer Bonds are required before an individual can open a car dealership. Car Dealer Bonds range in amounts. View our Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond Amount PDF to see what your bond amount is.
You will pay anywhere from 1-15% of your bond amount.
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