Surety Claim Adjusting
The COP advantage
Entering its 30th year as a nationwide consultant to the surety industry, the four members of COP, LLC’s staff have over 100 years of collective construction and surety experience.
Quick Response
Our approach to claims handling is proactive, recognizing that the majority of surety losses are on its payment bonds. However, payment claims are often evidence that a bonded contractor is experiencing more profound problems that, if not addressed quickly and appropriately, could lead to expensive and protracted performance bond issues.  Accordingly, once a payment claim is received, we move quickly to determine the status of the entire project, including job progress, all project payables and receivables, accrued taxes, union contributions, and any other issues that could adversely impact on a contractors ability to timely complete a bonded project. 
Experience
Although we are located in Cleveland, Ohio, we have handled surety claims in nearly every State and pay close attention to the impact of each jurisdiction’s Little Miller Act on such issues as interpretation of bond language verses statute, claim form and timeliness, and surety response obligations, to insure that the surety adheres to proper legal claim requirements.
 
The majority of our clients have been from the non-standard surety industry, providing us with the insight and experience to deal with the problems that smaller (1-5M sales), minority-owned or closely held contractors are confronted with, whether acting as public project GC’s or bonded subcontractors on larger projects.
 
COP, LLC has handled claims on an ad hoc assignment basis and has acted as the manager for all surety bond claims on a nationwide program, whether Payment, Performance, L&P, Subdivision, Strip Mine Reclamation, Oil & Gas.  We also have experience with Lottery bonds, Hunting & Fishing License bonds, Contractor's License/Registration bonds, Court bonds and various others.
  1. State-of-the-Art System
    To support our efforts, we have developed a sophisticated proprietary system for tracking complex situations with multiple claims and performance issues on multiple projects. In addition to automating project accounting and the generation of many standard notices, this system facilitates prompt and detailed reporting to carriers and their reinsurers.
  2. Claim Auditing
    We provide independent auditing services to surety companies and surety reinsurers looking to verify reserve adequacy and procedural compliance of either in-house staff or outside consultants. COP has performed claim audits as part of due diligence for acquisitions, as part of reinsurers' examination of cedants, and for primary sureties seeking to assess their own operations.
  3. Loss Analysis
    We have developed refined unique analytical tools for forecasting surety loss development. Surety managers are commonly frustrated by the inadequacy of actuarial techniques developed for the general property and casualty world when applied to surety. Such techniques often provide distorted projections of surety loss, and rarely relate losses to particular underwriting policies in force at particular times.
  4. Process Consulting
    When a "second opinion" is desired on a book of surety losses or on the quality of a surety claim operation, COP has the resources and experience to provide useful analysis and recommendations. Our extensive experience with a variety of clients can be of help.
  5. Third Party Administrator
    Our TPA service is designed for clients who cannot justify a large, in-house surety claim staff. Smaller sureties, companies just getting started in surety, or sureties with unpredictable claim caseloads often prefer the flexibility of an outside service to the fixed overhead of permanent staff.
  6. Surety Run-Off
    Companies exiting the surety marketplace also benefit from TPA services. In-house staff who know their jobs end when the last claim is settled often have no incentive to prosecute a run-off in the most expeditious fashion. An outside service that is "down-sized" automatically as the caseload diminishes is generally more economical.
Sample Project Summary