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SuretyGroup

Surety claims consultants: the experienced claims professionals surety companies need to reduce losses and increase their competitive edge.

Surety claims consulting isn’t for everyone, not if you expect your engagements to actually help you achieve your claims handling vision. That’s because the ability to serve your interests exists in direct proportion to a surety consultant’s ability to act expeditiously, to communicate with precision and clarity, to identify salient technical and business issues, to intercede and problem-solve where necessary, and to ensure resolution means exactly that. The one consultant with the most experienced surety claims professionals, Guardian serves as the technical, investigative and administrative resource that assists surety companies in avoiding, investigating, and resolving both small and large surety bond claims across the nation and the world. From contract bond claims, non-contract bond claims, and pre-bonding evaluations to subrogation & recovery, litigation support and claims control programs, we provide our clients the most cost-effective way to complement in-house resources, resolve claims and rectify problem-construction. When you outsource your claims to a surety claims consultant, remember: there’s a difference between perfunctory surety claims investigations and the people with the technical savvy, the efficient service drive, the honesty and the track record of reducing risks and claim losses. The difference is Guardian Group, Inc.

ENGINEERING EFFICIENCIES

Bottom-line: experience and expedience matter most.

Our unflinching commitment to serve as the voice of integrity in the industry and our independence from surety underwriters and insurance companies assures unbiased assistance, absent any conflicts of interest. With over 30 years’ experience behind us, today, we are proud to say our more responsive, strategic and sophisticated service to surety companies and their counsel on thousands of assignments has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in savings and liability reductions. In fact, our knowledge of both the construction and claims industries is so vast, we stand as the one surety claims consultant most often enlisted to assist with claim department runoffs and the one new and mature surety companies call for support with their infrastructure, such as claims manuals, training, underwriting guidelines and the like. Having helped resolve some of the world’s most complex and problem-ridden construction projects, we’re also the ones you call when underlying issues require a consultant with specialized technical capabilities and the experience to help you implement complete project takeovers. In fact, it’s the experience we’ve gleaned on the larger projects that enables us to provide greater efficiency and greater confidence on your smaller, everyday claims and cases. At Guardian Group, Inc., no matter what the type, amount, or geographical location of your surety bond claims, we provide you with the expertise and resources to effectively evaluate your exposure and swiftly resolve the claims.

Guardian’s Surety Group locations

Guardian’s Surety Group provides an unprecedented suite of surety claims consulting services to clients nationwide and around the globe. Our surety claims consultants operate out of strategically located offices in:

  • Los Angeles, California (Torrance)
  • Sacramento, California
  • Baltimore, Maryland (Bel Air)
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida

 

CONTRACT BOND CLAIMS
A national and international surety bond claims consultant, Guardian Group, Inc. would go to the ends of the Earth to settle your contract bond claims. In fact, we already have.

When a surety bond company incurs a loss from a surety claim, taking action immediately minimizes losses. Our contract bond claim professionals possess the knowledge and surety-side expertise to coordinate, investigate and complete every type of contract bond claim, so you can efficiently and expeditiously resolve your claims. Contract bond claim services include:

  • Bid bonds
  • Performance bonds
  • Payment bonds
  • Maintenance bonds
  • Environmental bonds
  • Supply bonds
  • Subdivision bonds
NON-CONTRACT BOND CLAIMS
Surety consultants with over thirty years' surety bond claims experience behind us, Guardian can help you manage diverse risks.

Meeting your business objectives is a matter of deploying the right resources, in the right direction, in the right amount, at the right time. Guardian Group, Inc. has developed specific programs to assist clients in handling the large volume and diversity of non-contract bond claims. Our Surety Group professionals are highly experienced in investigating, managing, processing and resolving these types of claims in the most efficient manner available. Everyday, across the country, we handle commercial, non-contract surety bond claims of every type. A partial list includes:

  • License and Permit bonds
  • Probate bonds
  • Court bonds
  • Fiduciary bonds
  • Other miscellaneous bonds
GREATER ASSURETY
For Sureties in search of greater surety, there’s Greater Assurety©.

As contract performance bond claims became increasingly complex issues, Guardian developed Greater Assurety©, an exclusive four-point program that facilitates ongoing review and the monitoring of all risk areas. Clients may select from any of the services offered or may choose instead to enroll in the comprehensive program. Either way, the services were designed to be interchangeable and complementary to one another. Learn more about how we help you protect project schedules and your bottom line by clicking on these four links to the text below:

Pre-bonding Evaluations
Disbursement Control
Pre-default Investigations
Post-default Investigations

Our pre-bonding evaluations prove: sooner is not only better, it’s safer and more economical, too.

As projects become more complicated, underwriters face ever-increasing challenges in determining a principal’s capabilities. A pre-bonding evaluation by our technical experts identifies risk and can help sureties from bonding principals who may only be exhibiting the subtlest signs of difficulty. You can request an evaluation of a principal or project before a bond is ever issued. As a full service surety claims consultant our services include:

  • Credit relationship investigations
  • Prior surety experience investigations
  • Banking relationship investigations
  • Management investigations
  • Principal accounting and financial reviews
  • Indemnitor accounting and financial reviews
  • Bid evaluation and assistance
  • Cost estimate reviews
  • Budget reviews
  • Cash-flow analysis
  • Contractual commitment investigations
pre-bonding

Disbursement Control isn’t just about checks. It’s all about double checks and triple checks, too.

Guardian’s Disbursement Control Services insure that construction funds are disbursed from an independent third party and specifically directed to the bonded project. Synchronizing payments with objectively verified completed work remains the best way to instill new levels of accountability and efficiency. The degree of our involvement relies solely upon your discretion. Disbursement control services include:

  • On-site job inspections
  • Direct application of project funds
  • Itemized project accounting
  • Specialized surety requirements
disbursement control

We’ve made protecting your business our business.

Because the ability to identify problems before they become financially threatening plays such a critical role in your success, investigations comprise a major thrust and strength of our pre-default services. When an obligee notifies the surety of project delays, or when a subcontractor or supplier serves notice to the surety for non-payment, the principal may be in trouble. We can pinpoint these problems and expedite corrections before a default, saving you both time and money. As a full service surety consultant, our pre-default services include:

  • Background investigations
  • Exposure evaluations and estimates
  • Recovery identification
  • Project status evaluations
  • Specialized surety requirements
  • Schedule to complete reviews and estimates
  • Work quality and control evaluations
  • Change order review and recommendations
  • Contractor cost system evaluations
  • Work methodology reviews and recommendations
pre-default investigations

Guardian’s Post-default Investigations ask: who, what, where, when, why, and how are we going to get this project back on track?

Guardian distinguished itself decades ago for our ability to respond to problems quickly and decisively, demonstrating our ability to reduce surety losses. Often, it isn’t enough to determine what went wrong. You need a partner who helps make things right, compensating for any lost time and money. The key to our successful track record rests in the depth of analysis and expert execution only Guardian can provide. Our post-default surety consulting services to you may include:

  • Default and termination investigations
  • Cost-to-complete reviews and estimates
  • Bid procurement
  • Project relet
  • Principal or relet contractor monitoring
  • Settlement negotiations
  • Specialized surety requirements
  • Principal affirmative claim and defensive claim analysis and preparation
  • SBA audit coordination and support
  • Errors and omissions reviews
  • Accounting and financial reviews
  • Financial and operations monitoring
  • Project management monitoring
  • Project completion
Post-default Investigations
SUBROGATION AND RECOVERY
Guardian Group, Inc. got so good at collecting dollars, we started collecting kudos.

When a surety bond company incurs a loss from a surety claim, taking action immediately maximizes recovery. Our subrogation and recovery professionals have the knowledge and expertise to pursue subrogation and recovery on your behalf all over the world. We coordinate and complete all subrogation and recovery efforts while the claim remains active or after it is closed. Upon reviewing your case, we’ll develop an appropriate plan of action and timeline. In the vast majority of cases, our clients bear no expense unless we recover monies on their behalf. As national surety consultants, Guardian Group, Inc.’s subrogation and recovery experts handle a broad spectrum of cases, from volume-oriented programs to the most complex matters. Services in the subrogation and recovery arena include:

  • Asset investigations
  • Collateralization of losses
  • Collections
  • Conversion and liquidation of assets
  • Securitization of promissory notes
  • Filing deeds of trust
  • UCC filings
LITIGATION SUPPORT
Guardian Group, Inc.'s Vast Surety Consulting Experience Helps You Make a More Convincing Case.

Since it is almost always in your best interest to avoid a protracted court battle, Guardian Group, Inc.’s expertise proves invaluable in bringing clarity and expediency to the matter. In pre-trial stages, we offer pointed assistance in the discovery process. Should trial become necessary, we also provide litigation support and expert witness testimony. Our analyses compare planned versus actual design and construction in three-dimensional terms. We take resourcing, methods, logistical constraints and the acts of the involved parties into account. We identify critical paths, passages of delay and acceleration, constructive changes, estimating errors and untimely changes. We quantify damages, identify responsible parties and provide clear and persuasive information to assist counsel in securing a positive outcome. Litigation support services you’ll want in your corner:

  • Document discovery assistance and review
  • Case theme development
  • Document management
  • Deposition assistance
  • Critique of opposing experts’ analyses
  • Trial exhibit preparation
  • Expert testimony
  • Legal graphics
SURETY TPA: CLAIMS CONTROL® PROGRAMS
Surety TPA services. We call it Claims Control®. Sureties call it a lifesaver.

Surety TPA services by Guardian Group, Inc. are individually tailored to each surety company’s requirements and are referred to as Claims Control® programs. Some surety companies choose to outsource the entire claim handling and investigation function, and they’ve counted on Guardian’s Claims Control® programs to resolve claims rapidly, reliably, and cost-effectively for almost three decades. But today, even those sureties that choose to maintain their own in-house claims departments want to have a custom Claims Control® program in place. Why? Because they want to be proactive when it comes to planning for periods of peak claims, high volumes, staffing issues, compliance, and the nuances of unfamiliar claim types. Licensed in all 50 states, Guardian Group stands as the only surety claims consultant capable of serving as a genuine surety TPA. Your company’s unique needs and specifications are addressed in advance (without any upfront cost, obligation, or volume commitment) in a Claims Control® program that guides Guardian’s surety TPA services.

Surety third-party administrator services for contract surety claims

Contract surety claims for which a custom Claims Control program can be developed are varied. Of course, for sureties that wish to entirely outsource the claim handling role, Guardian’s Surety Group can function as your claims department. But even for sureties with their own in-house claims departments, Guardian’s Claims Control programs prepare you for periods of peak claims, stretched capacities, high claim volumes, and claim investigations for which your in-house claim team would benefit from some additional, specialized support. Performance bond claims, payment bond claims, bid bond claims, and maintenance/warranty bond claims can all be handled under a Claims Control surety third-party administrator program for contract surety claims.

Surety third-party administrator services for commercial surety claims

Commercial surety claims for which a custom Claims Control program can be developed are numerous and include virtually every type of commercial surety bond in existence. Should you choose, Guardian Group can serve as your entire outsourced claims department for your commercial surety claims. Or, you can simply use Claims Control as a risk mitigation tool, should a future need arise, you’ll already have the right resources in place to resolve your claims. All without making a capital investment or a commitment. And all without missing a beat.  From State Contractor License Bonds, License & Permit Bonds, and Customs & Excise Bonds to Probate & Other Court Bonds, Fiduciary Bonds, and Transportation Bonds… and from Auto Dealer Bonds, Utility Bonds, and Tax Bonds to Public Official Bonds, Property Broker Bonds and more… all can be handled under a Claims Control surety third-party administrator program for commercial surety claims.

Outsource your surety claims to take your team from overloaded to overjoyed.

Today, you can confidently outsource your surety claims, either your contract surety claims or your commercial surety claims, or both. That’s because Guardian Group’s demonstrated expertise, experience with all claim types, organizational efficiencies and Claims Management System all make it possible. Even for sureties with their own in-house claims department, Guardian’s Claims Control programs are utilized to help prepare their team for any eventuality. Whether struck with a seasonal or otherwise temporary high volume of claims, confronting a staffing challenge, or up against a claim type of unexpected complexity, it pays to have the right resources in place ahead of time. Courtesy of demonstrated excellence in the areas of claim investigation and claim administration for contract and commercial surety bond claims, Guardian is uniquely prepared to help you outsource your surety claims – one, two, or two hundred. Kindly get in touch today.

eGuard®, Guardian’s Claims Management System (CMS)

When it comes to keeping control of surety bond claims and fidelity bond claims, eGuard®, Guardian’s Claims Management System (CMS), is virtually unstoppable. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Guardian’s CMS provides complete, accurate, and consistent reporting to our surety clients, keeping you informed of the status of all claims, from receipt through successful resolution. eGuard®, our proprietary in-house claims system, records all transactions and claims handling activities, and provides you password-protected internet access to this information. Of course, flexibility is one of our cornerstones, so Guardian personnel can handle surety claims and fidelity claims using either our system or your own.

OTHER SERVICES
Construction delay claims. Investigations. Project takeovers. Pre-bonding evaluations. And many other specialized services.

With such extensive experience in the surety claims, construction management and construction defect fields, there probably isn’t a single issue upon which Guardian Group, Inc. can’t help you shed some light. In fact, if you’re experiencing a current problem or challenge and you don’t see it listed here, please phone us. We’ll be happy to let you know if it’s something we can help you with, or, if not, to point you in the right direction. As a leading surety consultant known for its work with project takeovers, delay claims and complex investigations, you may not be aware of some of the other services for which clients have come to depend on us:

  • Claim & underwriting policy
  • Procedure manual preparation
  • Educational and training seminars
  • Reinsurance audits and reviews
  • Special investigation unit services
  • Development and instruction in computerized claims programs
  • Claim file reviews and audits
  • Claims run-off
  • Temporary and permanent staffing
  • Reinsurance and SBA billing
  • Specialized surety requirements
CASE STUDIES
Guardian In Action: High Technology Manufacturing and Electrical Construction

A surety company provided performance and payment bonds to a $20 million high technology/electrical manufacturer for delivery and installation of $15 million in product to ten obligees. When the company began to falter, Guardian was engaged to evaluate the principal and suggest a course of action. Just as we began, the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Several obligees had already begun assessing liquidated damages, so we dispatched our personnel to the principal’s location to assume turnkey responsibility for completing the bonded projects. New schedules were developed and takeover agreements entered into with obligees. We hired former employees from the now bankrupt principal’s crew to complete installation. We re-let jobs to new subcontractors, found alternate suppliers and, where necessary, used our own personnel to redesign and manufacture replacement equipment, develop necessary software and complete the projects. We established disbursement control account procedures, handled contract funds collections, contract administration, provided project management services, and evaluated and settled payment bond claims. Guardian also provided litigation support and expert testimony to the surety’s in-house and outside legal counsel. As a result, Guardian reduced the surety’s claim losses by $8 million.

 

Guardian In Action: Surety Company Divestiture - Underwriting and Claims Run-Off

Guardian In Action: Surety Company Divestiture – Underwriting and Claims Run-Off

Subsequent to an insurance company’s divestiture from the surety industry, Guardian was engaged to handle all underwriting and claims run-off on an outsourced basis. We assumed all obligations and acted as the insurance company’s in-house underwriting and claims departments. Among other tasks, this included developing claims and underwriting policies and procedures, handling all underwriting renewals, premium collections, reinsurance reporting, status inquiries, claims reserving, claims administration, evaluation, negotiation, settlement, reinsurance billing, hiring and managing outside legal counsel and other service providers, preparing construction affirmative claims and performing defensive claims analysis, subrogation and recovery, litigation support, and fulfilling all reporting requirements to insurance company management, reinsurers, and the Department of Insurance.

In combination with performing all underwriting activities, Guardian effectively resolved claims that were reserved in excess of $35 million while collecting $10 million in subrogation. Work was completed in the claims, underwriting, accounting, and finance departments, on time and under budget.

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