What Is a Payment Bond?


Security refers to any financial instrument which can be traded. Its definition and scope depend on jurisdiction and regulatory structure. Typically, the exciting info about construction payment bonds is

Payment bonds provide security that laborers, suppliers, and subcontractors on a project will be paid their wages for their efforts. Federal and state-funded projects often require these bonds in addition to performance bonds for maximum payment assurance.


Payment bonds provide financial security to subcontractors, laborers, and material suppliers working on large construction projects. By guaranteeing their compensation upon completion of services rendered to the project owner, mechanic’s liens filed against him for failure to do so will no longer become an issue. Payment bonds are typically required only on public construction projects funded with tax dollars but are increasingly being required on private ones, too.

Anyone pursuing the purchase of a payment bond should understand their rights and responsibilities, the functionality of payment bonds compared to performance bonds, and the costs involved with applying for such bonds before proceeding. Additionally, knowing the costs involved before starting an application process may help prevent unwanted surprises later.

The cost of payment bonds is determined by each applicant’s financial strength and capabilities, with their underwriting process taking into consideration such things as their credit score, financial statements, experience, and overall contract amount. Most commonly, the payment bond will cover 100% of what it’s covering.

Once a payment bond claim is submitted to a surety company, they will review and determine its legitimacy before taking appropriate steps to pay out to the obligee or even attempt to resolve issues so as to avoid making another claim against their bond.


Construction payment bonds provide vital protections to contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, laborers, property owners, and even subcontractors in public projects involving public funds. They are often required as insurance against potential lien issues.

Similar to performance bonds, payment bonds serve to guarantee that project owners and general contractors pay subcontractors, suppliers, or laborers for work completed on any given project. Should they fail to do so due to financial hardship, payment bonds cover outstanding amounts owed, thereby protecting claimants.

Contractors may purchase these bonds independently of their contracts, although more commonly, they’re bought together with them. Surety companies are used to apply for these bonds and evaluate applicants on various factors, including background, finances, and work history, before making their decision if an applicant meets eligibility criteria; so having good credit as well as working relationships with surety companies are vitally important if a contractor wishes to apply for them successfully.

Payment bonds offer multiple advantages for property owners as well as subcontractors and suppliers. By mandating payment bonds, property owners can ensure all parties involved with a project will be compensated, eliminating the risk of lien claimants coming after them for payment issues. Furthermore, this requirement can help foster positive relations between contractors and property owners by helping avoid legal entanglements that may result from nonpayment issues.


Contractors seeking additional financial protection against construction project failure should purchase surety bonds as an initial step. Bid, performance, and payment bonds are the three primary types of contract surety bonds; each serves its own distinct purposes and benefits. Bid bonds protect obligees from low bidders who cannot deliver as promised, while performance and payment bonds ensure payment to subcontractors, suppliers, and laborers involved with a given project.

Contract surety bonds typically cost between 0.3% and 3% of the total contract value for new construction projects, depending on factors like financial strength and the type/size of the project (i.e., Payment Bond premiums are usually higher for larger projects than for repair work).

In the event that a contractor does not fulfill his or her contractual obligations, the obligee (project owner or upstream contractor) can file a claim with a Tampa construction attorney to recover funds. Once verified, the surety company that issued the bond will compensate up to its value, while the principal will then reimburse the surety. This ensures all subcontractors and suppliers who provided services or materials remain fully compensated and protects against mechanic’s liens on projects.


Payment bonds provide an effective recourse mechanism for qualified subcontractors and suppliers who have not been paid for their work on construction projects. Attorneys should familiarize themselves with the requirements of the Miller Act as well as state or local laws regarding who may make payment bond claims and the appropriate processes for asserting those claims.

Acquiring payment bonds requires an application submitted to a surety company and provides financial documents. Following submission of this form, the surety performs a credit check of the contractor to evaluate his ability to meet the obligations of his bond agreement.

Contractors with poor credit can find it challenging to secure bonds for projects. However, an experienced surety agency can provide ways for them to improve their credit through timely payments and responsible debt management so that, in the future, they may obtain bonds at lower rates.

Payment bonds might not seem advantageous to their principal, but they must understand that payment surety bonds ensure they will receive what is owed if there is a claim against it. Furthermore, having established an excellent bonding history makes accessing new bonds much more straightforward in the future and may help find subcontractors and suppliers easier.