If you’ve ever driven in Western Canada,
chances are you’ve driven on roads insured
by the contributions of Western Surety.
Donald. “And I think that’s going to change
this year. British Columbia looks like it’s
going to win that contest. But it’s only (the
spring), so who knows.”
For the uninitiated, what a surety company
like Western Surety does is they provide
“a guarantee of performance.” They
are not an insurance company.
As explained on the Western Surety
company website, “it is a three-party
agreement where the third party (the surety
company) guarantees to a second party
(the obligee or owner) the successful performance
of the first party (principal or
applicant).” Western Surety backs up their
agreements with their own assets, so it’s in
their best interests to thoroughly vet any
potential clients ahead of the agreement.
Donald explains that there is some nuance
in what a surety company does.
“I think one thing to keep in mind is that
the usual people we bond, the contractors,
are not actually our clients but those of the
broker,” said Donald. “There are really not
any direct dealings with the contractors.
But we do try to meet with the brokers and
the contractors together and these often
include a jobsite tour.”
Geogrids & Geotextiles Stormwater Chambers
Roads & Rail
MSE Walls & Slopes
Erosion & Sediment Control
Hydromulch & Soil Amendments
But that’s not the only misconception
which Donald has to deal with in his line
“I think a lot of people think we’re small,
but we’re not,” he said. “We’ve bonded
projects up to $130 million, which isn’t
big when you look at the multi-hundredmillion
dollar projects, but I think a lot
of people would be surprised that we’ve
bonded something that large.
“I believe another challenge is people
tend to view bigger is better,” said Donald.
“And P3s (public-private partnerships)
have come into play and some of these
BORIS RABTSEVICH / 123RF
thinkbigmagazine.ca | Quarter 3 2019 | Think BIG 41