Slide California The Voice of Surety Industry
in Sacramento, California.
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+1 (916) 447 8300

Why The California Surety Federation?

Changes in California law can often be very complicated and fast-paced. Surety carriers, agents and brokers can, on occasion, be caught by surprise by a change in some regulation or state law that will cost their clients time and expense.

CSF represents the interests of the surety industry in the State Capitol. We provide the latest information on recent law changes but more importantly, our activities allow the surety industry to focus our collective resources to affect the outcome of legislation before it becomes a problem for the industry. In addition to protecting the industry from unworkable proposed laws, CSF has sponsored numerous legislative proposals aimed at improving the surety industry in California.

Legislative Issues Resolved
Letters Delivered
Board Members

Benefits of Membership


CA Bulletins

Periodic informational bulletins on issues of vital concern to surety agent/brokers and carriers with California Clients.



We provide updates to CSF Members with legislative movements of the Sacramento Capitol as well as a summary of bills affecting the industry.


A Voice

CSF members have a vehicle to express concerns on the law or pending legislation using the collective force of CSF.


Local Issues

When Appropriate, CSF invtervenes with local or state entitites on behalf of individual members on issues affecting public policy or the interpretation of applicable standards and local public entity contractual issues.

The California Surety Federation

We are a pro-active organization made up of approximately 30 California independent surety agent/brokers and surety carriers. The purpose of the organization is to represent the interests of the surety community before the Legislature and regulatory agencies.

Our Accomplishments


California Admitted Surety Standard

Without a doubt one of the more important legislative enactments CSF was able to accomplish many years ago is the requirement that public entities, both state and local, may not impose a bond standard greater than being “California admitted.”
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Retention Restrictions on Private Works

Government has a never-ending ability to meddle into the affairs of private contracting.  In 2005, CSF opposed and the Governor vetoed legislation that would have placed retention limitations on private construction contracts.  CSF joined forces with general contractors arguing that the sanctity of private contracts between general contractors and their subcontractors should prevail.  The Governor agreed.
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Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations

A number of years ago in an effort by the Department of Insurance to “clamp down” on insurance claims practices, regulations were promulgated under the heading of “Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations.”  Following much testimony at public hearings and negotiations, CSF convinced the Department that surety as a form of insurance was distinctly different from other forms of insurance.  We were successful with being excluded from a number of the provisions imposing artificial claims response deadlines.
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Filed Powers of Attorney

CSF sponsored legislation to change the requirement in law that sureties had to file powers of attorney with every city, county and district in the state, by adding that they could instead simply attach a copy of their power of attorney to the bond.  This allowed those companies, who wanted to continue to file their powers of attorney with the ability to do so, but relieved the majority of bond producers and sureties from the expensive and laborious requirement and prevented the situation of bid disqualification for failure to be filed with the obligee.
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CSF Resources

Public Agency Disputed Bonding Provisions Documents

Over the last several years we have seen an increase in onerous bond provisions that are inserted into bid packages presumably to “protect” the public entity at the expense of the surety and the contractor.

The most common provision is the clearly illegal attempt to require a bidder’s surety to have a certain bond rating to qualify for the contract beyond “California admitted.”  However, we have also seen efforts to require the surety to act as “co-guarantor” of manufactured products used on the job and specific language that gives just a few days for the surety to respond to a claim.  Another particularly onerous provision we have seen is one that makes the surety liable for damages, even when the public agency is at fault.  These are just a few examples of various provisions that have been brought to our attention.

In those instances, we have sent the local agencies letters, copies of the law, and legal opinions as appropriate in an effort to get these provisions removed.  Below we have posted some of the relevant documents as a reference for members and public agencies.

Board of Directors


Larry McMahon

Agent/Broker Representative, Chair

Larry McMahon, Executive Vice President and Surety Manager for Alliant, who has been the President of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP).

John Hopkins

Agent/Broker Representative

John Hopkins has been a principal of InterWest Insurance Services for more than twenty years. Heading up the Surety division for InterWest, John’s well-deserved reputation for integrity and leadership earned him a seat on the InterWest Board of Directors in 2006.

Maureen O’Connell

Agent/Broker Representative

Maureen O’Connell, Manager at Gallagher Construction Services.
©Al Torres Photography Inc

Evan DeBow

Carrier Representative

Ron Ballard, Vice President of Markel Surety Corporation

Steve Sullivan

Carrier Representative

Steve Sullivan, Vice President of Travelers Surety.
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Janet Fitzgerald

Carrier Representative

Janet Fitzgerald, Commercial Surety Regional Manager at Liberty Mutual Surety.

Get In Touch!

Looking to join CSF? Give us a Call.

Our goal is to resolve issues before they become problems for the industry. Our daily successes are usually unreported but nevertheless benefit the surety industry.  Without CSF, the surety market place in California would look very different then it does today.


1201 K St. STE 750
Sacramento, CA 95814

Business Hours

Mon – Fri …… 9 am – 5 pm PST
Sat & Sun …… Closed


1 (916) 447-8300