Surety and Fidelity Bonds:
Protecting Consumers, Taxpayers and Businesses
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About the Industry
The industry served by The Surety & Fidelity Association of America consists of insurance companies that provide surety and fidelity bonds. The bonds facilitate commerce, assist economic development and protect consumers in a variety of ways such as: guaranteeing the completion of construction projects such as schools, roads, office buildings and hospitals; assuring the payment of contractors; helping achieve compliance with state laws; protecting against breach of fiduciary responsibilities and employee dishonesty. Surety bonds are forms of insurance that provide security for an obligation to a third party. Fidelity insurance protects businesses and financial institutions against employee dishonesty.
Surety and fidelity bonds have been valuable tools for centuries. Annually, the industry generates approximately $5.9 billion in written premiums from surety bonds and $1.2 billion from fidelity bonds. The industry has been in existence in the United States for over 100 years. Established in 1880 the first corporate surety company was the United States Fidelity and Casualty Company of New York. Since then the industry has been serving the needs of businesses, public bodies and individuals.
Are you seeking to identify a professional pathway for yourself? If so, the surety and fidelity industry can provide you with an atmosphere of upward mobility and steady advancement to optimize opportunities for professional placement and progression.
The strength of the bond industry is its people, some of the nation’s top thinkers—people like you, looking for a fulfilling career. The industry provides tremendous opportunities for training, growth and advancement throughout the country in organizations with decades of experience and solid reputations as industry leaders. Bottom line: We want you to have the chance to build the career of your dreams!
From underwriting, to producing bonds, to marketing, to IT, there are abundant opportunities in the surety and fidelity industry.
Ideal Majors and Positions
Ideal majors for the Surety and Fidelity industry include: Accounting, Business, Economics, Finance, Law, Management, Marketing, Risk Management and Insurance. Common positions include: Account Executive, Account Manager, Actuary, Branch Manager, Claims Analyst, Claims Attorney, Claims Representative, Client Advisor, Government Affairs Representative, IT Professional, and Underwriter.
Underwriters play a key role in their companies’ most fundamental business decisions. Exercising independent judgment, initiative and problem-solving skills, underwriters take a disciplined, informed and solution-oriented approach to underwriting that delivers value to the customer. Underwriters evaluate the financial, legal and technical risk of customers and determine the terms under which the applicant should receive surety credit or a fidelity bond. The underwriter develops new business, fosters relationships with agents, brokers and customers and underwrites the individual risk. The underwriting professional is focused on making smart risk decisions and cultivates open lines of communication and free exchange of ideas.
Information Systems professionals develop world-class solutions and e-business initiatives for companies and their customers. They develop and enhance software from detailed specifications; they assist with upgrades, rollouts and more. Information System professionals provide unique opportunities to participate in business and system development and technical training in a team environment. Some are assigned to an active project team where they learn through on the-job and specialized technical training.
The claims professional investigates, evaluates and resolves surety and fidelity claims and settles them within prescribed limits, terms and conditions. Claims professionals also communicate with principals, obligees, insureds and independent agents and brokers in order to gather information regarding claims. Their goal is to resolve problems before they mature into claim losses. The claims professional also must be analytical and assess the claim relative to what is covered under the bond or policy. These experienced claims professionals have proven to be critical in helping our industry’s customers solve complex problems, thereby avoiding unnecessary expense and needless litigation.
Internships and Scholarships
The Surety and Fidelity Industry Intern and Scholarship Program (SFIISP) provides both paid internships and scholarship awards of up to $5,000 to outstanding minority students to support their studies and encourage their consideration of the surety and fidelity industry and surety and fidelity underwriting as career choices.
This program is administered by The Surety Foundation, the educational arm of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America. For more information on the Surety and Fidelity Industry Intern and Scholarship Program, please visit The Surety Foundation website.
Connecting with Top Talent through Gamma Iota Sigma
Gamma Iota Sigma is the international fraternity of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science students, and their Annual Conference is rich with opportunity for promotion of careers in surety and fidelity.
SFAA and The Surety Foundation, through staff and member company professionals, participate in the Annual GIS Conference each year to promote careers in fidelity and surety among the gathering of over 500 students. In addition to an educational session entitled A Career That Makes a Difference, SFAA and The Surety Foundation host a booth at the GIS Exposition staffed by industry professionals prepared to network with students and answer questions about industry opportunities.
The Surety Foundation
The Surety Foundation, the educational arm of The Surety & Fidelity Association of America, administers a Surety & Fidelity Industry Intern and Scholarship Program (SFIISP) for minority students. Through the SFIISP, The Surety Foundation provides award of up to $5,000 to outstanding minority students to support their studies and to encourage their consideration on the surety and fidelity industry as a career choice.