The Ultimate Guide to Renewing your Surety Bond

Ultimate Guide to Renewing Your Surety Bond

When renewing your surety bond, many common questions and concerns arise about the renewal process and terminology. We have outlined our renewal process and many of these frequently asked questions below. While this material is geared towards those who work with SuretyBonds.com, this information is still applicable regardless of where you purchased your bond.

How to know if your bond is up for renewal

If you currently hold an active bond with SuretyBonds.com and are wondering when it expires or if your information is up to date, our proprietary bond search tool can help you find all the information you need. Simply enter your bond number into our search tool and click the “Verify” button. Our database will display whether your bond is active or not, the renew by date, the bond term, as well as specific information about the bond such as the principal name and the bond amount. For your convenience, the results page may be printed.

Renewal information can also be found on the bond form. SuretyBonds.com customers are encouraged to contact our Customer Care team at 1 (800) 308-4358 for answers to any questions about renewing their bond.

Before renewing your bond…

The surety industry is filled with many industry-specific terms. Here is a refresher on the three parties involved when obtaining a surety bond.

  • Obligee: entity that requires the bond, often the government agency in charge of regulating or licensing an industry
  • Principal: individual or business that must obtain a bond as required by the obligee
  • Surety: the insurance company that financially backs the principal’s bond by guaranteeing money is available to cover potential claims

Surety Bond Renewal Frequently Asked Questions

SuretyBonds.com renews hundreds of bonds each week, so to help you out, here are some of our most frequently asked questions about renewing a surety bond.

When should I renew my bond?

Once your surety provider has contacted you with your renewal quote, it is highly recommended that you renew your bond as soon as possible. By renewing your bond early, you are avoiding the risk of any complications, however unlikely they may be, from impeding the renewal of your license or registration.

We have a specific renewal process at SuretyBonds.com to provide the fastest service, while also mitigating confusion between the obligee, surety, and our customers. While we’re here to answer all of your questions as they arise, it is highly beneficial to be familiar with a few of the most frequently used terms when it comes to renewing your surety bond.

  • The bond term is the period during which the bond between the principal and the surety is in effect.
  • A surety company can cancel a principal’s surety bond by providing a notice of cancelation mailed to the obligee.
    • A surety company may cancel the bond for any number of reasons, such as if a lawsuit or claim is filed against a bond or the principal does not renew their bond.
    • Sureties may also send a notice of cancellation automatically if their system identifies a bond hasn’t been renewed by the renew by date, prior to the end of the bond term. You can avoid receiving a notice of cancellation by renewing your bond on or before the renew by date.
  • Once the obligee receives a notice of cancellation, it will recognize the bond in force for the cancellation period, a set number of days the bond will remain in effect. The number of days is specified by the bond form and could be 30, 60, 90, etc. days.
  • The renew by date is determined by subtracting the number of days associated with the cancellation period from a bond’s term. For example, if a cancellation period is 30 days and the bond term ends on April 30th, the renew by date is March 31st.
    • If a principal does not renew by the renew by date, they risk cancellation of their bond, lapse in coverage, suspension or loss of license, rate changes, or having to apply for an underwritten, credit-based bond again.

The SuretyBonds.com Renewal Process

The renewal period begins 90 days prior to the end of the current bond term. The principal will be notified of their upcoming renewal at that time via the email address on file. This email will contain an invoice link for the principal to renew at their leisure.

If the principal has yet to renew during the renewal period, a SuretyBonds.com team member will also reach out by phone to the contacts associated with the account. Although the bond is not in the cancellation period at that time, renewing the bond before that period ensures there are no issues with the obligee and there is no lapse in bond coverage.

Watch the video below to learn more about the bond renewal process as well as the advantages of working with SuretyBonds.com.

Will the price of my surety bond change at renewal?

SuretyBonds.com has a Customer Care Team dedicated to providing competitive rates and will attempt to provide a lower quote whenever possible by reviewing all available markets; however, a lower rate is not always available. Underwritten bonds require a review of personal financials through a process known as underwriting before your renewal quote can be determined. Factors that may alter the renewal premium include changes to bond requirements, a higher or lower credit score since it was last reviewed, or changes to the principal’s situation such as a housing change, bankruptcy, etc. Also, if your renewal quote is expired the premium is subject to change as a new underwriting check must be done. More information about underwriting can be found on our Underwriting Uncovered: The Definitive Guide to Surety Underwriting blog post.

When you pay for your renewal online, there may be an option available in the checkout process to choose a multi-year term rather than renewing your bond every year. A multi-year term often qualifies for a discount, saving you time and money! If you renew your bond over the phone with a SuretyBonds.com team member, check with them to see if you qualify for a multi-year discount.

What if I receive a notice of cancellation?

If you do not renew before your renew by date, you are likely to receive a notice of cancellation from the surety company stating your bond will be canceled at the end of the cancellation period.

Notices of cancellation are also issued if your bond is moved to a new surety company at renewal. Receiving this notice could simply mean your previous bond has been canceled and a new bond was issued for your renewal term. Your bond may have been moved to a different market because a better rate was found or if your previous bonding company no longer writes the bond. In this instance, although you are renewing your bond, the old bond must be canceled before the ‘new’ bond can be obtained.

What does it mean if my bond requires a release? 

Some bonds, such as probate bonds and bonds for specific construction projects, do not need to be renewed with the surety company if they’ve been released by the obligee.

An obligee requiring a bond that is continuous until released requires the bond to remain in force until the obligee determines the specific obligations outlined in the bond agreement have been fulfilled. Once the obligations are met, the obligee will provide a notice of release or discharge to the principal. It is then the responsibility of the principal to submit the release to the surety company to close the bond and avoid their account potentially being sent to collections.

How do I update my bond information?

If any information on the bond needs to be updated, for example, a business address or principal name, you can make these changes online prior to renewing your bond when you work with SuretyBonds.com. The information on the bond must match the licensing or registration information on file with the obligee.

A rider is a tool used to amend information on the original bond. As long as the bond type is not changing, the surety company typically has the option to issue a rider for name changes, address changes, term, penalty, bond specific changes, and even changes to ownership. However, some changes, such as changes to the bond amount, may require an adjustment to the premium paid by the principal. Riders that result in changes to the premium are known as premium-bearing riders.

SuretyBonds.com needs confirmation by the obligee as to whether they are requesting documentation to reflect any changes. If the obligee does require a rider to amend your bond, SuretyBonds.com does not charge any fees when issuing riders to amend a policy.

How do I renew my bond?

To renew your bond, you must pay the premium you are quoted in full at the time of renewal.

Whether you renew your bond online or over the phone with a SuretyBonds.com team member, a confirmation of payment email will be sent within a few minutes. The bond renewal information will be sent in a separate email and will typically arrive within 24 hours. The table below offers an explanation of the different bond renewal types.

Bond Renewal Type What you will receive at renewal Is follow-up needed with the obligee?
Term Bonds A new bond will be sent to the principal A renewal bond must be filed with the obligee
Continuation Certificate A continuation certificqate will be sent to the principal A continuation certificate must be filed with the obligee
Continuous Until Canceled No additional documentation will be sent at renewal unless you switch insurance companies No further action with the obligee is needed unless you switch insurance companies
Continuous Until Released by the Obligee No additional documentation will be sent No further action with the obligee is needed

Continuous until released bonds can only be canceled by written notice from the obligee. If you do not pay your renewal premium and your bond was not released, you are still liable for this bond including any claims that may occur or the potential of your account being sent to collections.

The principal is required to file any license renewals and corresponding bond documentation at renewal. It is best to confirm with the obligee that you have completed your license renewal including your renewal bond, as a principal’s license can only be maintained by the principal. The only bond documents provided to the obligee at renewal by the surety would be when issuing a notice of cancelation or a bond reinstatement notice.

If you are bonded as a condition of getting a license or meeting a registration requirement, the renewal packet may include specific instructions on how to inform the obligee of the bond’s renewal. If the principal must submit a new license application, a new bond with a unique bond number would likely be required.

How will I receive my bond renewal documents?

If your renewal bond requires you to receive documents, they will either be delivered physically or digitally. However, your bond renewal may not come with any documents, because whether documents are provided depends entirely on the obligee’s renewal requirements. The obligee also determines how renewal documents must be filed, and this information is usually provided with your initial bond documents.

Physical Delivery

If the obligee requires the renewal documents to have raised seals and wet signatures, the bond documents will be shipped via FedEx. You will then receive a tracking number allowing you to view the progress of your delivery. These documents can then be submitted to the obligee to fulfill any licensing or registration requirements.

Digital Delivery

If the obligee will accept the renewal documents with a digital seal and facsimile signature for the surety company, your renewal documents will be digitally delivered to you via email. The principal is then required to print these original documents, sign them, and physically deliver them to the obligee.

What are the implications of not renewing my bond?

There are a few different outcomes that could occur if you do not renew your bond.

  • Your bond expires, meaning you no longer hold a bond. If you have no further need for a bond, you do not have to worry about a surety bond anymore. 
    • This does not apply to release required bonds. 
  • You no longer have a bond and therefore do not fulfill the licensing requirements anymore.
    • If you still need the license, you must obtain another bond.
    • If you continue operating without fulfilling license requirements, this could lead to your license being suspended or canceled completely. You would then have to start the licensing process again from the beginning.
    • If your license lapses and you continue to operate your business, you could be in serious legal trouble, as this is often considered to be a misdemeanor offense.

Do you have additional questions or need to renew your bond?

If you have any additional questions or still need to renew your bond, the experts at SuretyBonds.com are here to help. Simply submit an application by visiting SuretyBonds.com or calling our Customer Care Team at 1 (800) 308-4358 today.



About the Author

Rhaea Lehman
Rhaea is a sophomore at the University of Missouri studying German and Communications. She is a member of the marketing department and outreach team for SuretyBonds.com, a leading provider of online bonding for clients nationwide.