Archive for April 2011

The 10 Leading Surety Bonding Underwriters

April 2, 2011

These are the top ten leading bond underwriters as of end of 2009 according to The Surety & Fidelity Association of America .  This list is compiled purely on a total premium written basis in aggregate across the whole country. What this list doesn’t tell you is who is the hot surety market in which state or metropolitan area which can differ dramatically from market to market, surety line to surety line. Travelers might be the hot market in Atlanta for Performance Bonds & Payments Bonds, however in New York it could be a company called Allegany who didn’t make the top ten list but may be writing NY Performance & NY Payment Bonds like crazy.

To find out who the hot surety market is in the New York Metropolitan Area contact a Risk Advisor @ Metropolitan Risk Advisory.

Surety

Companies

Direct Written

Premium

(Millions $)

Travelers $924.2
Liberty Mutual $723.2
Zurich Insurance Group $486.8
C.N.A. Insurance Group $406.1
Chubb & Sons Inc Group $277.0
Hartford Fire & Casualty $181.0
HCC Surety Group $165.2
International & Fidelity Insurance Co $147.1
Ace Ltd Group $109.0
The Hanover Insurance Group $100.2

Understanding How To Read Your Profit & Loss Statement Can Give Your Company A Competitive Edge

April 1, 2011

Distributing your own company financial data  is a sensitive subject for many business owners.  If you want to obtain a critical bond line or bonding capacity  it’s an absolute necessity.  The two basic choices for a firm are to use their accounting software such as Quickbooks or hire a CPA to put together a formal financial statement.  Many will go unread unfortunately.  After all, it is everyone’s goal to increase sales more than last year and if you did that, you’re doing well, right?  Not necessarily – Gross sales alone cannot tell you everything you need to know and often could mean your actually losing more money than ever. Consider that in their first few years of business Amazon.com had billions in sales but were drowning in red ink, losing more money each quarter.   Understanding and learning to use the basic information found in a Profit & Loss Statement (also known as an Income Statement) can give you that extra edge not only in your industry but with NY Surety  or NY Bonding Companies as well.

What is a Profit & Loss Statement?

In order to understand what a P&L Statement is we will compare it to the more common Balance Sheet.

The Balance sheet is a report on your company’s worth & debts at a specific point in time.  The P&L Statement is a report on your firm’s cash flow over a specific length of time – it could be a week, quarter, year or any other period that makes sense to you.  The P&L statement will not only help you identify key expenditures that require attention but time periods as well; thereby helping you predict future performance.

Key Components of the Profit & Loss Statement

Now that we know what a P&L Statement can do for you, the next step is identifying the major interest points so we can then use the data in a constructive method.

  • Revenue or Sales – is what you receive for your services.  This is the first entry in the income statement. All expenses are deducted from this amount.  The remainder is profit.
  • Cost of Sales – This is generally your cost of goods, direct labor (including subcontractors).  This is the first item deducted from your Sales.
  • Gross Margin – Is the balance deducting the Cost of Sales from Net Sales.
  • Selling Expenses – Direct & Indirect costs you sustain from making the sales – advertising, salespeople salaries/commissions.
  • General & Administrative Expenses (G&A) – all other costs not tied directly to the services you provide – administrative staff payroll, rent, communications and other overhead expenses.
  • Profit from Operations – deducting Selling and G&A expenses from Gross Margin.
  • Net Profit Before Taxes – Considers any other expenses or income that don’t apply to any of the above categories.  If there are no other items, then Net Profit Before Taxes = Profit from Operations.
  • Net Profit After Income Tax – This is the balance after deducting income taxes from your Net Profit Before Taxes – this is your “Bottom Line”

Turning the Data into More Useful and Relevant Terms

We know what the P&L is, we know the key data points – How do we make it work for us?  Below are five tools for analyzing your firm’s profits and performance:

 

  1. Gross Profit Margin Ratio – Calculate your Gross Profit Margin by subtracting the Cost of Services from the Net Sales.  Divide this figure by the Net Sales.

What does it do for you? By comparing your GPM Ratio to that of a previous operating period you can see how efficiently your firm is operating.  If your ratio is lower today than previously it indicates your costs (as a percentage of sales) have risen thus suggesting a less efficient operation.  If your ratio is now higher than a previous period, you are now operating on a more efficient level.   The ratios can be taken for any period of choice – so while you may not see much fluctuation on a year to year basis you may discover seasonal changes of which you may not have been previously aware.

  1. Operating Profit Margin Ratio – Subtract your Cost of Sales, Selling Expenses AND G&M Expenses from your Net Sales then divide this sum by your Net Sales.

What does it do for you? Operating Profit Margin is typically your key source of cash flow.  By comparing your ratio to previous periods you can obtain a good idea of your firm’s health.  An increasing ratio shows an increase in cash flow as a percentage of sales.  *Note* If your Gross Profit Margin Ratio is increasing but your Operating Profit Margin Ratio is not this means your Selling or General Administrative Expenses are increasing faster than your sales.

  1. Net Profit Margin Ratio – Deduct all expenses including income tax then divide this sub by your total revenue.

What does it do for you? By comparing periods (yearly, quarterly etc) you can see if your tax situation has changed.  Additionally since “other income” is included in the net profit, variations may indicate non-recurrent expenditures.

  1. Common-Size Ratios – Every company, even  Home Depot, has a P&L Statement –showing the same basic information.

What do they do for you? By viewing at your P&L as a series of ratios rather than dollars you can easily compare your operations not only to your own prior periods but to other companies as well – even those several times larger (or smaller) than your own.  Every company has a P&L Statement – all showing the same basic information.  By comparing your firm to others, especially those in the same industry segment, you will be able to more readily identify the areas of your operations that are doing well  But more importantly you may be able to zero in on the areas that are not operating as profitably as they could.

  1. Break Even Analysis – Take your Fixed Costs (those that do not fluctuate on sales volume – such as rent, admin salaries, overhead etc..) and your Variable Expenses (those that fluctuate on volume of work (materials, field labor etc..) and subtract them both from your Total Sales.

What does it do for you? If after deducting your Fixed & Variable Costs from your Total Sales your answer is $0 – this means you are not losing money but you’re not making any profit either.  If your number is less than $0 then your firm is losing money and you should begin a detailed examination of where changes can be made to bring you back into the black.  Even if you are turning a profit, keeping an eye on your Break Even Analysis can show you your “cushion” and can alert you to make adjustments before you’re in the red.

A Surety underwriter not only looks to see if a construction firm knows how to do a job but also how profitably the firm is run as well.  By becoming familiar with your Profit & Loss Statement as well as the tools outlined above you not only take control of your business practices but position yourself as a more attractive prospect in the NY Surety marketplace.

Contact a Risk Advisor by calling (877) 874-2155 or by clicking Metropolitan Risk Advisory .  Let us position your company to compete stronger in your native marketplace.

 

List of Bond Companies Issuing Liquor Liability Bonds In New York State

April 1, 2011

Please keep in mind this is a partial list as of April 1st, 2011 of Bonding Companies that issue  New York State Liquor Liability Bonds that are ACCEPTED by the New York State Liquor Authority. If you need to purchase a  NY State Liquor Liability Bond you may contact one of our experience surety underwriters @ ( 877) 874-2155 or click our link Metropolitan Risk Advisory.

 

Acadia Insurance Company
Acstar Insurance Company
Aetna Casualty & Surety Co
Aetna Insurance Company
Aegis Security Insurance Company
Agricultural Insurance Company
Allianz Insurance Company
Allstate Insurance Company
American Bankers Ins Co Of Fl
American Casualty Of Reading
American Employers Ins Co
American Guar & Liab Ins Co
American Home Assurance Co
American Insurance Company
American Manufacturers Mut Ins
American Motorists Ins Co
American National Fire Ins Co
Atlantic Mutual Ins Co
Bankers & ShipperS Ins Co
Boston Old Colony Insurance
Carolina Casualty Insurance Co
Central Mutual Insurance Co
Centennial Insurance Company
Cgu Insurance Company
Chatham Reinsurance Corp
Cincinnati Insurance Company
Colonial Surety Company
Commercial Union Insurance Co
Continental Casualty Company
Continental Insurance Company
Contractors Bonding & Insurance Co
Contractors Casualty & Surety Co
Covenant Mutual Ins Co
Employers Ins Of Wausau
Erie Insurance Company
Excise Bond Underwriters
Federal Insurance Company
Fidelity & Casualty Co Of Ny
Fidelity & Deposit Co Of Md
Firemans Fund Ins Company
Firemans Ins Co Of Newark Nj
Frontier Insurance Co
General Accident Ins Co Of Am
General Ins Co Of America
Globe Indemnity Company
Granite State Insurance Co
Great American Insurance Co
Gulf Insurance Co
Hanover Insurance Co The
Harleysville Worcester Ins Company
Hartford Accid & Indemnity Co
Hartford Casualty Ins Co
Hartford Fire Insurance Co
Home Indemnity Company The
Houston General Insurance Co
Ideal Mutual Insurance Co
Indemnity Ins Co Of N America
Insurance Co Of North America
Insurance Co Of Pennsylvania
Intercargo Ins Co
International Fidelity Ins Co
Investors Ins Co Of America
Liberty Mutual Insurance Co
London Guarantee & Accid Co
Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co
Maryland Casualty Company
Merchants Mutual Insurance Co
National Grange Mutual Ins Co
National Surety Corp
National Union Fire Ins Co
Natl Fire Ins Co Of Hartford
Netherlands Insurance Co The
Newark Insurance Co
New Hampshire Insurance Co
New York Surety Company
Nobel InSurance Company
North River Insurance Co The
Northwestern National Ins Co
Nova Casualty Co
Ohio Casualty Insurance Co
Ohio Farmers Ins Co
Old Republic Insurance Co
Oriska Insurance Company
Pacific Employers Insurance Company
Pacific Insurance Co Of Ny
Peerless Insurance Company
Phoenix Assurance Co Of Ny
Phoenix Insurance Company The
Progressive Casualty Ins Co
Protective Insurance Company
Providence Washington Ins Co
Public Service Mutual Ins
Reliance Ins Co Of Ny
Reliance Insurance Company
Rli Insurance COmpany
Royal Ins Co Of America
Royal Indemnity Company
Safeco Insurance Co Of America
Safeguard Insurance Company
Seaboard Surety Company
Security Ins Co Of Hartford
Selective Insurance Co
Selective Ins Co Of America
Sentry Insurance & Mutual Co
South Carolina Insurance Co
St Paul Fire & Marine Ins Co
Star Insurance Co
State Farm Fire & Casualty Co
Surety Bonding Co Of America
Titan Indemnity Co
Transamerica Insurance Co
Traverlers Cas & Sur Co Of Amer
Travelers Property Casualty
Travelers Indemnity Co Of COnnecticut
Underwriters Insurance Company
United Casualty & Surety Insurance Co
United Pacific Insurance Co
United Pacific Ins Co Of Ny
United States Fid & Guar Co
U S Fire Insurance Co
Utica Mutual Insurance Co
Washington International Ins
Wausau Underwriters Ins Co
Westchester Fire Insurance Co
Western Surety Company
Worldwide Underwriters Ins Co
Xl Specialty Insurance Company