Trisura’s OnLine Contractor Portal simplifies surety application process for new and experienced contractors


STAFF WRITER – The Ontario Construction Report Special Report

Trisura, a specialty commercial, general liability insurance company, has built its reputation in surety writing and creating an exceptional stakeholder experience. Trisura’s user friendly online portal is just one example.

Matt Baynton, Trisura’s vice president, surety (national), says support for brokers and smaller clients needs to be economical, less complicated and more streamlined. He says the lack of adequate service to this corner of the market became evident in 2014. “We acquired a book of surety that was mainly small to medium sized contractors, looked at our existing book of similar contractors and realized the market for small and infrequent bonding needs was sorely underserved.”

The company took advantage of an opportunity to approach business from a more unique and appropriate way, and established its contractors’ bond program in July of 2015. The program will be moving to Trisura OnLine in August, a process that Baynton says will make business even easier for brokers and contractors.

Among the ‘fast facts’ listed on the company’s website: A submission time of less than 10 minutes start to finish; approval or declination immediately, and flexibility to have the process completed by the broker or contractor.

Key words are: quick, flexible, easy, consistent, smart, automatic and helpful.

“The online portal is a tool that makes it easier for contractors and for brokers to administer. In no way does it eliminate the personal process, it just makes the application and administration easier.”

Baynton says part of the unique approach behind the system has been its simplification. Understanding that surety can be a complicated process, particularly for smaller contractors, the online application has been scaled back to include the minimum reasonable knowledge. “We take a holistic approach to personal and corporate finance, understanding that sometimes these are one in the same for a smaller contractor, and look at the last corporate year end and personal finances. That’s it.”

The resulting coverage is a blended underwriting of both corporate and personal coverage to offer the best protection to the contractor.

Based on a scoring model that recognizes strengths in a variety of areas, Baynton says the online portal is suitable for new contractors just getting into surety, as well as experienced contractors just making the transition to bonded projects. “A business might be completing $1 million worth of projects in a year or $10 million. We can offer bonding of up to $500,000 for any single job and up to $1 million at any one time so it can suit a wide range of business models.”

Beyond the ease of the bonding process, Trisura clients who opt for the online portal still receive one on one expert advice from personal brokers. Baynton says because Trisura brokers are exposed to many different contractors and best practices across the industry through their surety work, they are often able to provide insights to clients on the construction economy and issues such as benchmarking.

“We can share general insight into the broader construction industry and various aspects of business management based on industry intel gained from our vast base of clients,” he said.

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