Expanding the Surety Pie
By far the most far reaching and highest impact SAC initiative of the early 2000’s was the implementation of an aggressive marketing plan to promote surety to users and potential users and to ensure that the surety solution is "top of mind" among construction purchasers seeking to manage the risk of contractor failure.
In early 2003, SAC launched a carefully planned and robustly ambitious effort to connect with targeted construction buyers from coast to coast. Between 2003 and 2011, association staff and volunteered conducted between 80 and 100 information sessions, presentations or targeted meetings each year.
Our educational / promotional campaign wasn’t restricted to in-person contacts. In 2007 SAC launched its upgraded interactive website which included volumes of information about bonds and the suretyship process and continues to receive almost 2000 hits each month. In 2011, an “Online Learning Centre” was added; an interactive crash course on the surety basics which is offered to outside stakeholders at no cost.
The dividends from this outreach effort have been invaluable. SAC worked extensively with key owners like Infrastructure Ontario and Alberta infrastructure to ensure that the key components of their construction program was secured by surety bonds. We were also successful in convincing several owners in the private sector who had previously not used bonds such as Home Depot, Sobey’s and Shell Oil to revisit their project security policies and call for performance and payment bonds.
The net result was an enormous expansion of the surety pie during the first decade of the new millennium. In 2009, direct written surety premium reached $457 million; a mammoth 140% increase over the $190 million written in 1999. This compares with growth of 20% growth for the previous decade.
For the years 2003 to 2011, surety writings in Canada showed a compounded annual growth rate of 8.53%; outperforming the non-residential construction industry which it served.
Read More About SAC's Evolution