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Surety bonds are essential financial tools that can help small businesses in Texas thrive. They provide a guarantee that a business will fulfill its contractual obligations, and in doing so, foster trust and confidence with clients, vendors, and government agencies. In this article, we'll explore what surety bonds are, their importance for small businesses in Texas, and how to go about obtaining one.

Federal and Government Bonds

BMC-84 Freight Broker Bond: A Comprehensive Guide

This guide serves as a comprehensive resource for insurance agents assisting freight brokers in acquiring BMC-84 Freight Broker bonds. Here are the key points covered:


  • Average Cost: $925 per year or $93 per month based on the broker’s credit.
  • Bond Amount: $75,000.
  • Who Needs It: All individuals and business entities seeking to obtain a freight broker or freight forwarder registration.
  • Purpose: To ensure motor carriers and shippers do not suffer financial harm due to unethical actions committed by a freight broker.
  • Regulation: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).


  • Freight brokers must register with the FMCSA as per 49 U.S. Code Statute 13904.
  • To ensure ethical business practices and timely payments, brokers must maintain a $75,000 BMC-84 Freight Broker surety bond.

Purpose of a Freight Broker Bond:

  • The bond is mandatory for registering as a freight broker.
  • It ensures compensation for motor carriers and shippers in case of financial harm caused by fraudulent acts or delayed payments by the broker.

Obtaining a Freight Broker Surety Bond:

  • BondExchange facilitates the process, offering an easy-to-use platform for insurance agents.
  • The platform, backed by 40 years of experience and advanced technology, ensures efficient service in obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.

Underwriting Requirements:

  • Freight Broker bonds are considered higher-risk, with underwriters examining factors such as the broker’s credit score, financial statements, and business experience.
  • Rates are influenced by credit history and business experience, with better rates for brokers with excellent credit.

Cost of BMC-84 Freight Broker Bond:

  • The cost ranges from $925 to $9,750 per year or $93 to $975 per month.
  • Determined by factors like credit score, financial statements, and business experience.
  • New brokers with challenged credit may face higher rates or need collateral.

Who is Considered a Freight Broker?

  • Defined by 49 CFR Statute 371.2 as any individual or business entity arranging the transportation of property by an authorized motor carrier.

Freight Forwarders and Bonds:

  • Freight forwarders are also required to purchase a $75,000 Freight Broker Bond.
  • Freight forwarders organize shipping and store customer property, including handling international shipments.

Registration Process with the FMCSA:

  • Brokers must purchase a surety bond or obtain a trust fund agreement.
  • Purchase insurance with specific minimum limits.
  • Designate a process agent.
  • Complete the online application and pay a $300 application processing fee.

Renewal Process:

  • Renewal involves submitting a completed renewal application and a $300 operating fee.
  • The registration is valid for a maximum of 5 years.

Differences Between BMC-84 and BMC-85:

  • BMC-84 does not require collateral, while BMC-85 mandates the offering of the full $75,000 in collateral.
  • BMC-85 collateral is held in a trust, incurring an annual fee.

Insurance Requirements for Freight Brokers:

  • Public liability and cargo insurance are mandatory, with specified minimum limits.
  • A $75,000 Freight Broker surety bond or trust fund agreement is also required.

Filing the BMC-84 Freight Broker Bond:

  • The surety company files the bond electronically with the FMCSA.
  • The filed bond and other insurance requirements can be viewed using the FMCSA insurance lookup tool.

Avoiding Claims Against the Freight Broker Bond:

  • Compliance with FMCSA regulations, especially avoiding fraud and ensuring timely payments.
  • Claims can only be filed for interstate loads.
  • Documenting any changes to shipment prices is crucial.

Other Insurance Products for Freight Brokers:

  • While BondExchange specializes in bonds, agents often utilize brokers for liability and cargo insurance.
  • Marketing resources are available, and agents can leverage print-mail relationships for discounted services.

In summary, this guide covers the essential aspects of BMC-84 Freight Broker bonds, providing insurance agents with the knowledge needed to assist freight brokers effectively.