The year was 1890. The tallest building in the U.S. — the New York World Building — measured 309 feet. The race to build bigger and taller was just beginning. That’s when a visionary named Edwin Warfield originated the idea of surety bonds through the Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland. From the construction of the Hoover Dam to the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland (F&D) bonded much of the structural growth of America, eventually becoming part of Zurich North America in 1993.
“We can’t do the important projects we do without the surety solutions Zurich offers,” explains Robert Boh, president of New Orleans-based Boh Brothers Construction. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Zurich’s surety bonds made it possible for Boh Brothers to build an emergency bridge successfully for the I-10 span over Lake Pontchartrain, and eventually the permanent replacement.
Building complex designs such as the Mackinac Suspension Bridge takes a special understanding of construction risks, says CEO Mike Flowers of American Bridge, contractor for these iconic structures, as well as the Verrazano Narrows,New River Gorge and many others. “Zurich’s surety team collaborates with us in determining the level of risk within a contract, and gives us the confidence to move forward and bid on these tricky projects.”
As Zurich Surety celebrates 125 years, we know the successful growth of both regional and global contractors requires an aggressive focus on the evolving nature of financing. That’s why our latest innovative surety solution is for the fast-growing public-private partnership (P3) market. Our public-private partnership performance bond is supporting contractors to develop risk management solutions with P3 projects.
Who knows what the future of America’s structures will look like? Whatever the designers and engineers can dream, Zurich Surety is here to support the contractors that build complex and forward-thinking infrastructures.