Michigan Surety Bonds

How do you get a surety bond in Michigan?

Surety bonds are legally binding agreements that ensure obligations are met. There are three parties involved in the contract:

  • The principal: The party that must fulfill the obligation.
  • The obligee: The party that needs a guarantee the principal will perform.
  • The surety: The party that issues the bond to guarantee the performance of the principal. If the principal fails to meet the agreed obligations, the surety will pay out claimed losses up to the bond amount with the principal ultimately liable for those losses. 

The process begins when the obligee informs you or your business a surety bond is required. You must then research the type of bond that you need and its specific requirements. From there, you will apply online for the bond through a surety company or agency.

The surety company will require you to provide personal and business information such as names, addresses, social security numbers, and employee identification numbers. Their underwriters will use this information to review your financial health to assess the risk of issuing you the bond.

After your application is approved, you will receive a surety bond quote with the bond premium (which is another name for the price of the bond and which varies depending on the amount of bond coverage you applied for). If you accept the quote, you pay the premium and the surety company issues you the bond.

Is a surety bond required in Michigan

The state of Michigan requires a variety of surety bonds which can be broken into two primary categories: contract bonds and commercial bonds.

Contract Surety Bonds help project owners ensure that contractors perform their work properly. There are different types of contract bonds, including performance bonds, which protect the project owner from financial loss if the contractor fails to perform in accordance with the agreement.

Contract Surety Bonds are most common in the construction industry but can also be used for janitorial services, transportation, and security services.

Commercial Bonds tend to relate to a specific license or permit and are required by the state of Michigan and other municipal groups to ensure businesses comply with all regulations and codes needed to protect the general public. Some of the most common bond types in Michigan include:

  • Motor Vehicle Dealer Bonds: The Michigan Department of State requires a surety bond to sell used or new motor vehicles in the state.
  • Mortgage Broker Bonds: The Michigan Department of Financial and Insurance Services requires Insurance Broker Bonds to guarantee industry standards and regulatory compliance.
  • Contractor License Bonds: These bonds are required in the city of St. Clair Shores and Oakland County to ensure that a contractor complies with laws relating to their field.
  • Vehicle Title Bonds: Title bonds are required by the Michigan Department of State in situations where a vehicle’s title is lost or defective.
  • Freight Broker Bonds: These bonds are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to legally operate as a transportation broker.
  • Collection Agency Bonds: The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs requires surety bonds to ensure collection agencies accurately report the accounts they collect.
  • Notary Bonds: The Michigan Secretary of State requires surety bonds to ensure notary publics perform their function as an unbiased and impartial witness.

How much does a surety bond cost in Michigan?

Surety bond costs vary depending on the bond amount and the premium rate. The obligee sets the required bond amount and the surety determines your premium rate, which is the percentage of the total bond amount you pay as the premium.

Premium rates for surety bonds tend to range between 1% and 15%. When determining your premium rate, the surety company evaluates your credit history, financial statements, industry experience, and licensing history. The better your financial standing, the better rate you will receive. Bad credit can result in higher premiums and make it harder to secure certain bonds.

Below are the costs for some of the more popular surety bonds in the state of Michigan.

  • Michigan Mortgage Broker Bond: Mortgage brokers with loan volume between $12 million and $24 million are required by the Michigan Department of Financial and Insurance Services to post a surety bond of $25,000. EZ Surety Bonds can offer premiums for these bonds as low as $375.
  • Janitorial Service Bond: Cleaning services can post surety bonds to provide reassurance and protection to their customers. Total bond amounts for Janitorial Service Bonds start at $10,000 depending on the size of the company. EZ Surety can issue these bonds in the state of Michigan for a premium as low as $111, instantly.
  • BMC-84 Freight Broker Bond: Freight brokers and freight forwarders are required by the FMCSA to post a $75,000 surety bond to receive a freight broker license. EZ Surety can issue these bonds for a premium as low as $938, subject to underwriter review.

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