The question is: will surety bonding change alongside the construction industry? While “almost certainly” is the answer, there are few concrete details as to “how” surety bonds will be different in the future.
After mulling it over and dwelling on how science fiction could soon be science reality, here are just some of the ways we anticipate the surety bonding industry to transition into the inevitable future:
Surety Bonds to Guarantee That Robot Workers Will Be Well-Behaved
The semi-autonomous mason (SAM) robot described above will soon have lots of friends. These include a robot that can be remote controlled to remove hardened concrete from mixing truck drums.
Currently, construction companies may assume only partial liability in certain instances for any accidents or mishaps use of this equipment may cause. Because the technology is so new, they can allege that they did not anticipate issues, passing the blame on to the manufacturer. Our current laws are not even prepared to describe liability for completely autonomous machines, although precedents are currently being made.
Put simply, how will a project owner know who will assume fault and pay for any problems caused by robotic or autonomous equipment? A performance bond would seem to cover any mishaps or missed deadlines, but construction firms may attempt to deflect liability to avoid having a surety claim.
In the future, we may see performance bonds that relate to the use of robotic machinery in much the same way that contractors assume liability for all human sub-contractors they hire. These bonds would not only clear up confusing liability assertions, but they could also reduce risk in case technology does not deliver on its promised performance.
Energy Efficiency Standard Bonds
Quality of work and project timetables are two of the heaviest standards construction firms must abide by as part of their performance bonds, but what about energy efficiency? Regulations and ever-higher energy use standards can make-or-break the success of a project. If a college campus promises that a new dining hall will be LEED-certified, for example, what are the consequences for a contractor that causes the building’s energy use to fall short of its promise?
In the future, we may see surety bonding encompass just that. Whether performance bonds adapt to include loftier certification goals or a secondary bond is needed to guarantee compliance, we can expect in the future that construction companies that fail to deliver on efficiency promises could see a surety claim coming their way.
Deductible and Worker’s Comp Bonds
These bonds have little to do with “future times” but more accurately reflect our current labor and risk-management landscape.
Put simply, project owners want to make sure that a contractor can fulfill their obligations for insurance coverage. That can mean a surety must guarantee that the company will pay its deductible or that the company will provide its workers with an expected standard of workers’ compensation, similar to a payment bond.
Prepare the Future of Surety Bonds With an Expert Surety Bonding Services Company
As a dedicated surety bonding services company, we at National Surety make it our job to track major changes coming in the construction industry and prepare for them well in advance. Whether that means creating new products to account for robot workers or simply anticipating regulatory changes working their way through congress, we always work hard to keep our clients abreast of the latest industry developments.
Trust in our up-to-the-minute expertise to answer your surety bond questions and prepare your for the future of surety bonding by contacting us today.