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Bonds / Surety

A bond guarantees the fulfillment of a legal obligation. It's a three-party agreement where the third party (surety company) guarantees to a second party (obligee or owner) the successful performance of the first party (principal). One of the primary uses of bonds today is to protect public and private funds from financial loss.

A surety bond is not an insurance policy. An insurance policy assumes that there will be a loss, so the premium for an insurance policy is calculated to cover losses that will occur. A bond, on the other hand, is an extension of credit with the assumption that the legal obligation will be fulfilled, and consequently, there will be no loss. The bond premium paid to the surety covers only the underwriting expenses of the surety company. When losses occur, they have a significant impact on the surety company's financial results.