What Does “Instant Issue” Really Mean?
In late 2001, humanity was eagerly awaiting the unveiling of a technology so trailblazing that it would change the world forever. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs asserted that future cities would be designed around it, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos called the technology “revolutionary” and invested in its development, and others predicted it would entirely eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. The anticipation of its release became so intense that the product had the most hyped launch since Apple’s Macintosh computer.
It was the Segway Scooter.
The surety industry is currently experiencing its own Segway moment in the form of instant-issue bonds. Brokers galore will boast about their ability to instant issue thousands of bonds when in reality, all they are doing is auto-filling PDFs for bonds with no underwriting criteria.
In this article, we break down what “instant issue” really means and provide insights on the underwriting capabilities agents should actually care about.
The Cold Hard Truth
Instant issue is a loosely used term to describe surety bonds not subject to any underwriting requirements and are able to be issued to all applicants at the same price regardless of factors such as credit, business experience, etc. These bonds are so low risk that carriers do not need to attach any underwriting processes.
On these bonds, brokers collect your customer’s information by having them fill out an application and then transfer that information to the bond form. That is the entire process for writing an instant issue bond. There’s no innovative technology involved, and no expert-level skills required.
In short, instant issue = auto-filling PDFs for low-risk bonds with no underwriting requirements.
What Really Matters
Any broker with a Wix or Squarespace account can provide you with instant-issue bonds. However, very few surety bond providers are capable of automated credit-based underwriting, let alone incorporate other criteria such as information from obligee databases and direct APIs to business accounting software. While “instant issue” refers to a category of low-risk bonds not subject to underwriting, automated credit-based and full underwriting can instantly issue higher-risk bonds that require a credit check before issuance.
For example, a broker without automated credit-based and full underwriting capabilities will have to manually run a credit check on your customer after they submit an application. This takes time and effort, leading to delays in issuing your customer’s bond. If that broker had automated credit-based and full underwriting, their system would automatically run a soft credit check on your customer and be able to instantly provide them with a quote.
The Bottom Line
If your surety bond provider advertises their ability to write instant-issue bonds, then chances are they don’t have much else to offer outside of this basic capability. At BondExchange, high-tech means much more than just populating PDFs. Instead, we empower agents with the tools needed to make surety a consistently profitable product line.
Here’s just a small taste of what we can offer your agency:
- Automated credit-based underwriting, not just instant issue
- Instant customer support by phone, email, or chat
- Complete library of more than 10,000 bonds
- Pay-as-you-go monthly premiums
- Free digital marketing
- Fully automated contract surety underwriting
- Easy access to all records and documents
- The ability to issue riders online, including premium-bearing riders
Gain access to BondExchange today (it takes seconds), and let us show you why we’re the ONLY surety company that more than 35,000 agents trust to handle their surety needs.