Frequently Asked Questions
1) What is the Surety Underwriter Intern Program?
A national educational program where an underwriter from a surety company spends approximately one to two weeks with a contractor observing and studying operations both in the contractor’s office and on its job sites. In essence, the intern experiences the business of construction contracting firsthand. The Program’s goal is to help underwriters nationwide obtain a better understanding of the realities of contracting, the role of the surety underwriter, and the partnership that develops from the surety bonding relationship. Contractors typically host the intern for a five to ten day itinerary/schedule. Several contractors and interns who have participated in the Program recommend a 10-day itinerary/schedule. Click here for Sample Subject Matter Itineraries and click here for Sample Daily Activity Schedules that have been used by contractors who have participated in the Program.
2) Who established the Program?
The National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP), The Associated General Contractors (AGC), and The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) have been co-administrating this highly successful Program for about three decades permitting numerous young underwriters unprecedented access to the “real word” experiences of contractors.
3) How does the Surety Underwriter Intern Program benefit…
The contractor gains an understanding of the concerns and perspective of underwriters in assessing construction contractors. Some also take this time as an opportunity to carefully analyze the effectiveness of the company's operations. Contractors also learn how and why the underwriter analyzes financial, credit, and organization capabilities of a contractor and why a substantial amount of time is often spent looking at “the numbers” and reviewing the contractor’s business plan, history of operations, and evaluating the management of the company. Contractors learn first-hand how and why the underwriter focuses a lot of time on the financial strength and past performance of the contractor.
…a surety underwriter intern?
By witnessing day-to-day contractor operations, such as the last-minute collection of final subcontractor and material pricing, surety underwriters gain a better understanding of how contractors manage people, risk, a construction project, and company finances. The intern gains a better appreciation of the pace, patterns, and processes that contractors follow on a daily and weekly basis. They experience as many facets of the contractor’s business as possible during the itinerary/schedule. If the contractor schedule includes bid day, the underwriter can witness first-hand the ability of the contractor to handle numerous changes and the hectic environment of eleventh-hour bid tabulations.
4) How do I participate as
…a host contractor?
Contractors typically allow interns to participate in the preparation of a bid and in the post-bid review, learn how cost projections are made, and attend an on-site project meeting among key project personnel. Interns will get the most from their participation if the host contractor plans to let the intern attend meetings with owners, architects, engineers, and their representatives on job progress, specifications, compliance, and function coordination. Then, following these meetings, the host contractor should consider permitting the intern to attend in-house re-evaluation of the jobs to determine budget variance and develop solutions.
Click here for Sample Subject Matter Itineraries and click here for Sample Daily Activity Schedules that have been used by
contractors who have participated in the Program. The intern and the host contractor will confer and set the appropriate schedule and activities for maximum learning. The surety company pays all of the intern’s travel, lodging, and incidental expenses incurred to participate in the Program. Some participants have created an orientation notebook. Click here for a sample of the table of contents of a notebook that a contractor created. NASBP obtains commitments from contractors to host interns. Long-term success of the Program is partly attributed to the guideline it maintains of placing interns with contractors who have no business connection with the sponsoring surety company. This way, the intern has no reason to be actively soliciting the contractor’s business and the contractor has no pressure to “sell” the construction company to the underwriter intern. Interns do not evaluate or underwrite their host contractor. Once NASBP is able to find a match, you will be contacted. Contractors who would like to be a host for an intern, should contact Kathy Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org. phone (202) 686-3700 or fax (202) 686-3656. Click here to complete the Host Contractor Form if you have an interest in participating as a host contractor.
…an intern from a surety company?
Individuals who would like to be an intern, should contact Robert Duke at email@example.com. phone (202) 778-3630 or fax (202) 463-0606. If you are an employee of a surety company and have an interest in participating in the Program, we encourage you to tell your supervisor or manager about the Program. We would be happy to provide you both more details about how to become involved. Surety underwriters are placed as interns with contractors who have no business connection with the intern’s employer, the surety company. The surety company pays all travel, lodging, and incidental expenses for the intern. The intern will need to demonstrate the permission of the surety company to participate in the program. Once we are able to find a match, you will be contacted. Click here to complete the Intern Form if you have an interest in participating.
…a surety company?
A surety company participates by choosing someone from its staff to participate in the Program and then contacting Robert Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org. phone (202) 778-3630 or fax (202) 463-0606 with that individual’s contact information. Once we are able to obtain the name of an intern candidate from a surety company manager, we will begin the process of making a match with a host contractor. Typically an intern is someone that the surety company representative believes has demonstrated a desire to learn more about contractors’ responsibilities and that has obtained some experience, though may only be minimal, as an underwriter. However, there is no requirement stipulating the number of years of experience the intern must have to participate. The surety company pays all of the intern’s travel, lodging, and incidental expenses incurred to participate in the Program. Once we are able to find a match, you will be contacted.
5) How do I recommend a contractor or surety underwriter intern for the Program?
If you have candidates in mind who could serve as host contractors or participate as surety underwriter interns, please forward that information, including name and complete contact information, to: