NOT GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION: AIA Launches ExpertBail, Building Trust and Understanding in a Misunderstood IndustryThursday, July 8, 2010
CALABASAS, CA – September 1, 2010 – The title of bail bond agent has often been associated with criminals, especially by those who are unfamiliar with the judicial system. However, one industry leader is holding agents to its own high standards and thereby challenging public perception. AIA, an alliance of the surety bail industry's leading companies (Allegheny Casualty, International Fidelity, and Associated Bond), has launched The ExpertBail Network (www.ExpertBail.com) in an effort to assist consumers in navigating the judicial system. This bail bond brand will play a key role in educating consumers, regulators and other opinion leaders on the vital role bail agents play in the criminal justice system.
Utilizing the industry's largest network of independent bail bond agents, consumers can search ExpertBail.com for a bail agent by city, state or zip code everywhere commercial surety bail can be written and obtain valuable information on how the bail process works. ExpertBail agents will guide customers through the intimidating process of posting bail. Because ExpertBail agents are backed and authorized by AIA with its many years of bail industry experience, the Network offers its customers the highest level of service, responsiveness and professionalism. Unlike other bail bond companies, AIA plays a key role in the success of its agents by providing them the tools and resources necessary to better service their clients. This extra support enables ExpertBail agents to best leverage their knowledge and experience and deliver a more effective and efficient level of service.
The pre-trial release of a defendant charged with a crime falls into two categories: secured release and unsecured release. A bail bond is a secured form of release which holds the bail agent financially responsible to ensure the defendant makes all his court appearances so his case can be adjudicated. Approximately two million defendants are released through commercial bail agents each year. With additional support from AIA, ExpertBail agents have the lowest failure to appear rates in the country which ensures that both defendants and crime victims get their day in court.
"The absence of a defendant in court not only burdens the court system, but denies the crime victim his or her legal right to be heard in criminal justice proceedings," said Jeff Dion, Deputy Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime (National Center). "When a victim states the impact of the defendant's actions before the judge, the criminal justice system acknowledges the crime's profound effect on real lives. ExpertBail's role in getting defendants to court provides victims a greater opportunity to secure justice and rebuild their lives."
The ExpertBail Network supports the National Center's mission in advocating for victim's rights as it aligns with the Network's own mission in educating consumers on the important role that bail agents play in the criminal justice system and public safety. With time, ExpertBail anticipates the day when the flawed image of the bail industry as a whole will change.
"We realize our job entails working with defendants charged with crimes. What the public is not aware of is that without commercial bail, the courts become less effective," said Robert Kersnick, Chief Operating Officer for AIA. "Over the years, the bail bond industry has become a victim of Hollywood, painting it into a corner as a one-dimensional villain that associates with criminals. With the launch of ExpertBail, we can begin the process of changing that image to better reflect who we are and what we do. The ExpertBail Network is comprised of qualified agents who hail from a wide range of honorable occupations such as high-school teachers and even retired US Marshalls. We can't solve the challenges faced by the entire judicial system, but we can begin to change the way one small but important part of it is seen."
The brand launch of ExpertBail and ExpertBail.com will be celebrated across the country with local launch parties along with ExpertBail's first television campaign, "The Face of Bail." The campaign is focused on shattering the misperception of who a bail bond agent really is and will air starting September 1st. It can also be seen at www.ExpertBail.com.
ExpertBail is the bail bond industry's first true National Bail Bond Network. Comprised of the most experienced and highest quality bail agents in the industry, ExpertBail helps consumers reduce the clutter in the bail marketplace and directs them towards a trusted, proven and experienced bail agent in a simple and transparent way. Expert Bail is backed by AIA, the oldest and largest family of bail bond insurance companies. With over 150 years of stability, trust and knowledge behind every bond written in the ExpertBail Network, our focus is on the consumer and helping them through a difficult time. The mission of ExpertBail is to not only meet the expectations of our customers, but to exceed them substantially.
The AIA family of companies has been partnering with agents across the country for over a century. Formed in 2003 as an alliance of the surety bail industry's leading companies Allegheny Casualty, International Fidelity and Associated Bond, AIA utilizes a unique "service-focused" approach to management that provides its family of agents with the knowledge, tools and commitment they need to grow their business and succeed. AIA has become the overwhelming industry leader in agent service, national coverage, bail written and number of agents.