Frequently Asked Questions About Surety Bonds

General Questions

What is ZipBonds?

ZipBonds is hyper-focused on all things surety-related, serving individual clients, insurance agents, attorneys, and financial professionals nationwide. We provide direct access to thousands of surety bonds quickly and securely right to your phone or other device.

Who does ZipBonds work with?

We work with a wide variety of clients. Some of our most common clients are construction companies, attorneys, insurance agents, financial planners, and business owners from various industries.

What is a surety bond?

A surety bond is a three-party legal contract in which a surety (usually a bonding company) agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of a principal (the person or company seeking the bond) to an obligee (the person or company the principal owes a debt or obligation).

The surety bond guarantees the principal will fulfill their obligation to the obligee. If the principal fails and costs the obligee money, the surety company will provide financial assistance and expertise to the obligee.

How does a surety bond work?

Surety bonds help protect individuals and government entities from financial loss, malpractice, and fraud. The bond acts as a form of credit for the policyholder (principal).

When the principal fails to fulfill their promise, the obligee can make a claim on the surety bond to recover their losses. The surety will examine the claim to see if it’s valid. If it is, the surety company will pay the obligee, and the principal will then owe the surety company for that amount.

How much does a surety bond cost?

Bonds can cost anywhere from 0.5% to 10%. The cost depends on the type of bond required, financial qualifications, and credit qualifications.

How do I get a surety bond?

You can apply on our website or call us at 888-435-4191 to apply over the phone. We can help you get bonded quickly for the lowest cost possible. 

Once you apply and are approved (which generally takes anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours), we’ll send you a copy of your bond via email and the original through the mail. 

How do I know which bond I need?

The easiest way to learn which bond you need is to determine who requires it and what amount they require. Your obligee – the party that requires the bond – may be: 

  • A project owner (if you’re a contractor),
  • The government (if you’re applying for a license or permit), or 
  • The court/a judge (if you’ve been appointed to fulfill a legal duty).

Why do I need a surety bond?

If your client, the government, or the court requires you to obtain a bond, you must purchase it before proceeding with a project or fulfilling a specific role. The bond guarantees you will fulfill your contract or operate your business legally and ethically. Bonds are required for many different professions and obligations.

What types of bonds does ZipBonds offer?

If it’s a surety bond, we have a solution for it – with the exception of bail bonds. We provide thousands of bond options, including license and permit, court and probate, fidelity, contract/construction, and miscellaneous commercial bonds.

How long does it take to get bonded?

After you’ve submitted your application with ZipBonds, a surety company will underwrite your bond and review your application. You’ll be approved for the bond if you meet the underwriting criteria. The approval process typically takes a few minutes to a few hours. ZipBonds processes and approves many bonds almost instantly!

What insurance companies does ZipBonds work with?

ZipBonds works with many different surety bond companies. Our partners range from small regional carriers to large national carriers. If you have a question about a specific carrier, give us a call and we’d be happy to discuss with you.

Is ZipBonds an insurance company or a broker?

ZipBonds is a broker by definition. This means we work closely with clients to connect them with the best surety companies for their needs. 

We are licensed and appointed to sell surety from multiple companies and to act as a representative for our clients. This model allows us to act in the best interest of our clients – working directly with surety companies on their behalf to find the best rates and coverage available.

How can I connect directly with a ZipBonds agent?

The best way to get in touch with an agent is by calling 888-435-4191 or emailing us at We also have a live chat feature on our website where you can message us for quick answers.

How do you keep my information private?

Please see our website for the most up-to-date version of our privacy policy. When it comes to payment, we don’t keep clients’ payment information on file for future payments. This means you will be contacted about payment for each bond you need.  

If I have bad credit, will my premium be affected?

If you have bad credit, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the surety bond you need. There are options available to overcome bad credit and still pay a low premium. Some possibilities include providing financial statements or collateral. 

Some bonds don’t even require credit checks – so your low credit score may not affect your ability to get bonded or your premium rate. Don’t hesitate to call and speak with us about your concerns or to get a free quote before purchasing your bond.

Will my credit score be affected by applying for my bond?

No. Many bonds do not require a credit pull. For those that do, the credit pull is considered a soft pull because it’s for insurance purposes.

How do I cancel a bond?

You can contact the agent who helped issue your policy to cancel your surety bond contract. You may also contact the insurance/surety company that wrote the bond.

What is a general indemnity agreement, and why must I sign one?

A general indemnity agreement is a contract between an indemnitor and a surety company. Indemnitors usually are the bond principal and owners of the bond principal (if it’s a company). In most cases, spouses will be required to sign the indemnity agreement as well because assets are shared between spouses even if they are not an owner in the company. Each indemnitor agrees to protect the surety company from losses or expenses they may sustain due to issuing a bond on behalf of a principal (the bondholder).

Why does my spouse need to sign the general indemnity agreement?

In most cases, assets are held jointly with your spouse (if applicable). Whether that involves owning a home together, having joint bank accounts, titles to vehicles, etc., getting both parties on the general indemnity agreement is important.

How do surety bonds differ from insurance?

Insurance covers the policyholder. Surety bonds ensure that the policyholder will fulfill specific obligations and protect the party that requires the bond (the obligee). Insurance involves two parties: the consumer who purchases the policy and the insurance company that covers the consumer in case of claims. Surety bonds involve three parties: the surety company, the principal (policyholder), and the obligee.

Payment Questions

Does it cost money to apply for a bond?

Nope! You can apply for free and decide whether you want to proceed after application.

When do I pay for my surety bond?

You will pay for your bond after you apply and are approved, before your provider issues you the bond. 

How do I pay for my bond?

You can pay for your bond via credit card, ACH, or check.

Can I renew my surety bond?

Yes. If you need your bond for longer than the initial term, you can renew it with your surety provider.

ZipBonds will notify you months before your bond expires so you can renew it in time and avoid any lapses in coverage or accidental cancelation. To renew, you will pay a renewal premium.

How do I get my bond for the best value?

Working with a surety provider that partners with multiple carriers is the best way to find the most competitive price for a bond. Look for a reliable provider with excellent customer service. They should have industry knowledge, surety bond expertise, and multiple options for you. Once you’ve found a great partner, remember that your credit score may also affect your premium rate. As your score increases, your rates may decrease year over year.

Availability Questions

What states does ZipBonds work in?

ZipBonds is licensed and operates in all 50 U.S. states.

Can I work with ZipBonds if I already have a current bonding program?

Sure you can! It’s easy. Just contact us, and we’ll determine the best way to assist your business. Or get a quote online today.

What sets ZipBonds apart?

  • ZipBonds is the fastest, most secure way to get your bond.Our all-digital platform removes the pain of filling out long, complicated applications and waiting hours or days to hear back from someone.
  • Our Zip process is all about speed!Most of our bonds are approved and processed almost immediately from our site. Just select your bond, bind coverage, and print your bond. It’s that easy!

Claims Questions 

How do I file a claim?

Email or call 888-435-4191 for assistance filing a claim with the surety/insurance carrier that wrote your bond.

Do I have to pay for a claim on my bond?

If somebody files a claim against your bond, your surety will investigate to determine if the claim is valid. If it is, the surety will cover the costs to settle the claim immediately. However, you must then repay them for the costs involved. So, yes. Ultimately, you must pay for any valid claims against your bond. However, if you carefully follow the terms of your bond, you can avoid claims and won’t have to pay anything other than your bond premium.