Surety bonds 
and our surety bond underwriters – are essential to enabling many businesses and even some entire sectors to exist and function, supporting and protecting the contractual obligations our clients have entered into with a customer, supplier or partner.

Drawing on vast swathes of data and insights, and harnessing the power of technology to deliver speed and efficiency, our expert surety underwriters play a key role to provide you with the peace of mind you need to pursue growth in new areas.

To explore this crucial role in greater detail, we asked Ana M. Cuellar, Commercial Surety Underwriter at Allianz Trade in the US, and Clément Jourjon, Surety Risk Underwriter at Allianz Trade in France, to share how surety underwriters help businesses grow.

Ana M. Cuellar,
Commercial Surety Underwriter,
Allianz Trade in the United States

Clément Jourjon,
Surety Risk Underwriter,
Allianz Trade in France

“For the most part, contracts in many industries such as construction or energy require some type of security to guarantee contractual performance. It can be in the form of a cash deposit, a letter of credit, bank guarantee or a surety bond. Surety plays a vital role in contractual agreements, standing as a second line of protection against a company’s non-performance,” explains Ana. “If you’re unable as a company to post a bond or some type of security, you would be unable to finalize your contract and engage in the trade of goods and services. Surety bonds can be used to cover obligations including product supplies, performance of services, product imports, judicial obligations, subdivision improvements, deductible obligations, and much more.”

By providing assurance across such a wide range of areas, our surety bonds give you the confidence to enter new projects and enable you to continue developing trade with new clients, domestically and abroad.

And they can power business growth in other ways, too. Our surety bonds are a financing alternative to bank guarantees and allow you to free up liquidity and tender for contracts knowing that credit lines with your bank won’t be affected.

With the world of business becoming increasingly complex, our surety underwriters‘ role includes evaluating each company on an individual basis and tailoring solutions to your unique needs.

To deliver that tailored solution, our surety underwriters analyze extensive amounts of data and information in the decision-making process.

“There is a lot of information to absorb,” explains Clement. “I always start with macroeconomic considerations, such as the situation in the  trade sector and the exposure of the company to external influences, such as Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, or rising energy pricing. Other considerations include reviewing the company’s latest financials and looking at the strength of their financial structure – the solvency, indebtedness, liquidity –  as well as the strategy of the company, the investments coming and forecasts.”

With so much data to consume and analyze, technology also plays a key role in our approach to surety underwriting.

“Technology is very important,” explains Clement. “At Allianz Trade in France, for example, we have many ongoing projects aimed at constantly improving or creating tools to make our processes more digital and to secure data. It starts with enabling customers to sign their surety contract with electronic signature, and continues with giving them access to an online platform where they can ask for the bonds directly. On the underwriting side, we are also constantly working on solutions that make it easier to communicate with and gather information from our local entities.” This ensures that our clients benefit from the latest and most accurate information from our worldwide intelligence network.

Our extensive experience and global reach is at the heart of our approach to surety underwriting.

“Allianz Trade is rated AA by Standard & Poor’s, so we have a strong rating and that gives confidence to the beneficiaries of the bonds,” Clement explains. “Also, our brand is very well known all around the world, which is a strong benefit for companies that work or export internationally.”

“In addition to the brand’s reliability and strength, we bring two additional key capabilities,” adds Ana. “The first is our global network, because we can issue bonds in more than 60 countries. And in those jurisdictions where we have individuals on the ground, we have direct access to underwriting expertise at the local jurisdiction.” Indeed, our global workforce includes more than 200 surety professionals around the world who can support large, long-term, complex deals. It makes us a key partner for success, both for  multinationals   and for small or domestic companies due to the breath of our service in multiple jurisdictions.

“The second is that we can support different types of surety and guarantees, and offer different types of security or letters of credit alternatives and these are supported by our 100-plus year history,” Ana continues.

Allianz Trade being the European market leader and one of the most experienced global surety providers, providing bonding facilities worth around EUR50bn to approximately 15,000 clients, surety underwriting is as exciting for those in the role as it is important for our clients.

“I find the nature of surety very interesting because we are an important partner that supports our clients’ development and secures their contracts,” Clement concludes. “I’m always happy to see press articles about the companies we are working with – we see the impact we have and that we are helping grow international trade.”

To learn more about how surety bonds can support your business, visit our local websites and contact our local teams.