SBA is a new, modern and specialized company whose main activity is the insurance of letters of guarantee from insurance companies that have a rating from well-known rating agencies, a for the participation in public tenders, according to the latest amendment of Law 4412/2016 of Greek Legislation published in the Official Gazette / 31-05-2018. N.4541 / 2018.
Without any initial financial burden we are able to secure you, from an insurance company, credit limits (ceiling) for issuing letters of guarantee, bid bond, performance bond, advance payment bond and maintenance bond.
We are available to inform you about our services and we are confident that we can improve your work.
What is a Surety Bond?
Surety Bonds – by issuing Letters of Guarantee an insurer guarantees that a third party will fulfill its obligations set forth in a contract, covering from construction or service delivery, to typical business agreements between trade partners. The issuance of a Surety Bond may act as a financial guarantee for nearly all types of sales and purchase agreements, service agreements or other kinds of contracts.
The Surety Bond is essentially a three-party agreement by which, one party (Guarantor) commits to a second party (Obligee) to cover any loss possibly incurred due to the inability of a third party (Principal) to abide by the terms and conditions set forth in a specific contract between the Obligee and the Principal.
The issuance of such guarantees by insurance organizations is a particularly common practice in international business. Whilst in Greece banks issue -almost exclusively- most letters of guarantee, after putting up an adequate part of their clients assets as collateral, in the rest of the world nearly 25% of such guarantees are issued by insurers, the guaranteed capital of which exceed 900 billion euro. In countries like Italy or the UK, banks and insurers enjoy an equal share of the surety market.
Why Surety Bonds
The following six are the most common sub-types of Surety bonds:
Who can apply for a Surety Bond?
Any business with a Greek Tax Registration number, regardless of their legal structure.
Which sectors should make use of the Surety Bond Program?
Import trade (Food & Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Electric Appliances, Automotive, Apparel & Clothing): By using the Program to obtain Surety Bonds, Greek importers will be able to restore their credit lines with international suppliers, if not fully, at least to levels that would make their operation much easier.
Construction: Most construction companies are required to present Letters of Guarantee (LoG) to be able to submit a bid, implement a project, or provide maintenance services to the private sector. Obtaining a LoG from a bank can become strenuous due to extreme requirements on the bank’s side and also due to the difficulty of finding additional collaterals.
In Surety Bonds, what is the process to assess risk? What are the main assessment criteria?
Surety insurers must follow a professional risk assessment process and apply strict criteria. Essentially, the assessment entails a thorough examination of the Principal’s business activity. Prior to issuing a bond, the Surety (insurer) must be certain that the applicant meets, among others, the following criteria:
- The type of the Surety Bond is coherent with the type of business the applicant runs.
- The applicant has the experience and the financial status that indicate his ability to meet future obligations and contractual requirements.
- The applicant is capable of covering current and future obligations.
- The applicant has an outstanding credit score and maintains a good business reputation.
- The applicant is able to offer collateral, if requested.
- There is good communication and information sharing between the insurer and the broker.
Open communication and timely submission of data regarding their financial status and their ongoing business activities help applicants build their trust with the Surety provider.
How are the Surety Bond premiums calculated?
Obtaining a Surety Bond is more like getting a credit line from a bank than buying an insurance product.
To estimate the premium of a Surety Bond, the Insurer uses actuarial methods to assess the applicant based on elements such as financial status, experience and know-how in implementing similar projects. Premiums pay for in-depth pre-qualification services and are linked to the probability of the Principal being able to meet his obligations.
What is the difference between a Bank Guarantee and A Surety Bond?
Performance, Maintenance and Payment Bonds are typically issued by the Insurer on a non-collateral basis, in accordance with the financial status and the experience the Principal has in similar projects. In some cases the Principal is requested to post corporate or personal assets as collateral security. Surety Bonds are more a form of credit, however, they do not reduce the Principal’s banking facility. On the other hand, to secure a Bank Guarantee a contractor must be able to post significant assets as collaterals, while the bank will reduce the contractor’s line of credit and the cash flows that correspond to future payment obligations will have to appear in the contractor’s financial statements. Moreover, the reduced line of credit may cause financing issues during the initial phases of the project.
In the qualification process, Insurers focus on the contractor’s business activity, financial resources, experience, organizational status, existing works in progress, net revenues, management ability etc, to make sure that the contractor has the capacity to perform the bonded contract. The aim of this entire process is to mitigate the risk of a non-performing contractor. Banks, on the other hand, focus more on the quality of the collateral assets, as well as on how marketable these are, in case of partial or full forfeiture of the LoG. As soon as the bank is convinced that the contractor has the means to meet his payment obligations in case of forfeiture, then the qualification process is over.
What is Forfeiture?
If the Principal doesn’t meet the terms that have been explicitly included in the bonded contract, a forfeiture takes place. The Oblige notifies the Surety of the Principal’s non-performance and files for the corresponding claim.
The Insurer is obliged to pay the total amount, which cannot exceed the bond value, and then will turn to the Principal for reimbursement of the claim amount.
What is the term of Security bonds?
Security bond terms can vary from 3 to 12 months, with the right to be renewed or extended.