The Intertwined Business Worlds of Construction & Surety: Can the Surety Industry Weather the COVID-19 Storm?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic spread, construction in the U.S. was booming. Backlogs were deep and project funding was easily accessible. Back before we knew the term COVID-19, the “crisis” in the construction industry was the labor shortage, an aging generation of skilled tradesmen, or the nation’s infrastructure. No one could have ever envisioned that in just a few weeks’...

Social Distancing, Shelter Orders Impede Construction Bonds

The surety industry is asking federal, state and local officials to take emergency action to update decades-old surety rules requiring stamped notarizations and ink signatures that the Covid-19 pandemic has made impossible or more difficult while social distancing and shelter rules are in place. The industry seeks permission to use electronic signatures without notarization of bond documents. Otherwise, the...

Coalition Letter to President Trump on Essential Infrastructure

April 6, 2020 The PresidentThe White HouseWashington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President: We, the undersigned trade and professional organizations representing tens of thousands of firms and individuals engaged in architecture, engineering, surveying and mapping, prime contracting, subcontracting, specialty trade contracting, supplying, construction and program management and surety bond production would like to join with the many other organizations in...

QBE backs down on trade credit controversy

Insurance giant QBE has made a dramatic U-turn on its sudden decision to withdraw from the trade credit insurance market following major pushback from the construction industry and the federal opposition. On Saturday QBE told customers it would no longer provide trade credit insurance for businesses with a limit of less than $US250,000 ($410,000), in an effort to protect...

Demotech Investigates Impact of COVID-19 on Surety Insurance

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COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The COVID-19 pandemic and the historic federal, state, and local government efforts to mitigate its spread has stopped the economy in its tracks. Social distancing and self-isolation may result in the US unemployment rate reaching record levels. The dialogue on business interruption insurance will continue, whether in the courts or to discuss...

Don’t Fear Insurance Stocks Despite Covid-19, Says Wall Street

Insurance stocks have been pummeled by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. Business will be affected, and Wall Street is starting to cut its forecasts for the companies’ performance, but there is a disconnect between how far stocks are down and how much estimates are falling. That creates an opportunity, according to some on Wall street. “We’re adjusting EPS estimates and target prices for...

Germany, credit insurers agree plan to keep trade flowing – sources

MUNICH/BERLIN, April 1 (Reuters) – The German government and the country’s credit insurance industry have agreed to help to maintain insurance cover for tradedespite economic hardship related to the coronavirus outbreak, three people with knowledge of the plan said on Wednesday. Under the plan, the government would guarantee up to 30 billion euros ($32.8 billion) for the commercial credit insurance industry, the sources said. In return, the...

Mine ordered to mitigate environmental harm; reclamation contractor is working without pay

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In response to the abrupt closing of the Lisbon Valley Copper Mine, Director John Baza of the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining has signed an emergency order, according to a statement from the division. The order requires that the operator contains and/or reclaims any and all facilities at the mine to the extent necessary to immediately prevent...

How COVID-19 impacts surety bond placement

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Placing surety bonds has become more challenging with the social distancing precautions underway with the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is possible to do this electronically, says an association representing insurers who write surety bonds. Surety bonds can now be placed without people physically meeting or mailing paper documents, and they are enforceable by law, Steven Ness, president of the...

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