Posted by Darrel K. Lamb, CPCU, AFSB The Rough Notes Company
“Relationship” might be the most-overused word in American business (followed by “partnership”). It’s the topic of hundreds upon hundreds of songs in nearly every genre that illustrate love and support:
“I’ll be there for you (‘cause you’re there for me too’)”
—(Theme from Friends), The Rembrandts
“If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me”
—Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper
“Lean on me/When you’re not strong/and I’ll be your friend/I’ll help you carry on … For it won’t be long/Till I’m gonna need somebody to lean on”
—Lean on Me, Bill Withers
As they say, art imitates life. You don’t need a song to tell you that, in the business of contract surety (like many lines of business), establishing and maintaining relationships is very important.
Any surety textbook will point out that the contract surety relationship is a three-party one between the principal (contractor), obligee (owner), and the surety. But what most surety textbooks fail to mention is that another very important three-party relationship exists between the contractor, the agent, and the surety.