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I'm getting ready to mail in my license fee and proof of a license bond and have no idea who to go with. I have a stack of companies that have mailed me applications for 'inexpensive' license bonds but I'm kinda apprehensive about using any of them. Any recommendations?
 

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Project Manager HFH..
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Most 12,500.00 bonds go for around 115.00/120.00 a year.
 

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I use CNA Surety, they've been pretty cool, no hassles at all. Bond amt. is $20,000 and I'm in Oregon, but they're all over.
 

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Project Manager HFH..
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Thanks JJ. I'm writing a check right now for $116 so I feel pretty good. I'll be more concerned with my insurance shopping, any suggestions?
Shop around.The cost is based on total sales volume.If is your first year in biz for yourself,don't over estimate your projected sales.
 

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License Bonds in California

In California, the amount for a bond is static for most Contractors- $12,500 flat. In Oregon, it's a mess. You can be at $15,000, $20,000, $75,000, residential, commercial, etc...

The rate you pay for your bond in both states is based almost exclusively on credit- $116.00 right now is a fantastic rate, and even shopping around, you likely wouldn't be able to beat a single-year rate by more than $5-$10 at most. I would figure that isn't worth your time.

In fact, because rates are based on personal credit, and yours is at the preferred rate (I assume with ACIC or Developers), it would be to your benefit to lock it in for as many years as possible for two reasons:

1) Most sureties offer multi-year discounts, pushing your annual rate to as low as $80 a year in some cases.

2) If disaster strikes from a financial standpoint, such as a foreclosure, you're locked in. If your credit score were to collapse you would be facing premiums several times what you're paying now.

Some contractors are paying $2,000 or more in premium a year because they were originally with Surety of the Pacific (the last company that did not base their applications solely on credit), and when ACIC bough SCoP out, they began running credit on expiring bonds. ACIC's "High-Risk" rate is $1,334- a HUGE increase to be sure, but they're actually offering it cheaper than many brokers and high-risk markets would be willing to do. ACIC sends a cancellation notice 30 days prior to the expiration of the bond. If they've sent it out, there is a strong possibility they may not renew, which forces a contractor to go to brokers, which runs the tab up several hundreds of dollars.
 
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