EXPEDITED DISPUTE RESOLUTION BONDS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Did you know that bonds are required to help guarantee performance, payment, and maintenance terms on a project to the owner/obligee? When bonds are in place, everything should run smoothly in the event of the dreaded bond claim right? Wrong. Typically, bond claims can take many weeks, if not months, for a resolution, regardless of the outcome.
The extended delay in resolution can cause project stoppage, incur damages, and extend the final delivery of the project to the owner. Most bond forms don’t specifically address a timeframe or action plan for dispute resolution. Over the last couple of years the surety industry has looked to help in this issue by adopting what is known as an Expedited Dispute Resolution bond, more commonly known as an EDR bond. The EDR’s primary goal is expedite disputes. It defines time frames in which the surety has to investigate, whether performance or payment related, typically in less than 30-45 days. This can help avoid nasty penalties and delays from the owner and it ultimately keeps projects running on schedule as all parties involved are to continue work throughout the process. It’s worth noting that EDR bonds are not right for every project, but if utilized correctly, are a very effective solution for owners, general contractors, and subcontractors in the event there is a claim.