What is a public official bond?
A public official bond is a type of surety bond that public officials must obtain to protect the public and government from financial harm resulting from the official’s actions while in office. It’s designed to protect taxpayers if a public official engages in fraudulent or unethical behavior.
State and local governments typically require this bond for elected officials, appointed officials, and employees who handle public funds and sensitive information. The following parties may need a surety bond before being sworn in for duty:
- Court clerks
- City managers
- Law enforcement officers
- Other city officials
Fidelitylaw.org defines “public official bond” in greater depth.
Get Your Public Official Bond:
- A public official bond protects taxpayers and the government if an official engages in fraudulent or unethical behavior.
- By requiring public officials to obtain these bonds, governments can provide a financial incentive for officials to act ethically and responsibly.
- The cost of this bond can vary depending on several factors, including the official’s position, the amount of the bond, and the official’s credit history.
Why are public official bonds important?
Public official bonds help ensure that government officials are held accountable for their actions while in office. By requiring public officials to obtain these bonds, governments can provide a financial incentive for officials to act ethically and responsibly. If an official engages in fraudulent or unethical behavior, the bond can be used to reimburse the public for any financial losses incurred as a result.
How does a public official bond work?
These bonds work by guaranteeing that if the official covered by the bond engages in fraudulent or unethical behavior, the bond will cover any financial losses resulting from that behavior.
The three parties in a public official surety bond agreement are as follows:
- Surety: The insurance company that issues and backs the bond
- Obligee: The government agency that requires the bond
- Principal: The public official (PO)
If a claim is made against the bond, the surety company that issued the bond will investigate the claim and determine whether it’s valid. If it is, the surety will pay out the claim amount up to the bond’s limit. Then the public official must pay them back in full. Claimants may include the government or the public – whichever party suffered because the PO breached their bond contract.
How much does a public official bond cost?
The cost of this bond can vary depending on several factors, including the official’s position, the amount of the bond, and the official’s credit history. Generally, the cost of a public official bond can range from 0.5% to 2% of the bond amount per year for applicants with excellent credit.
For example, a $5,000 bond might cost around $100 to $200 per year, while a bond of $100,000 or more might cost several thousand dollars per year. Officials with poor credit histories may be required to pay a higher premium to obtain a bond, as the surety company may view them as a higher risk.
Get Your Pubic Official Surety Bond
ZipBonds offers the fastest and most secure option for getting the surety bonds you need. Our all-digital platform is intuitive and straightforward. Apply online or call us at (888) 435-4191 to get bonded in a flash!
Founders Ryan Swalve and Zach Mefferd formed the vision for ZipBonds.com when they realized how overly complicated it was to help clients place surety. The frustration of being unable to incorporate the technology they’d used in other insurance-focused projects left them thinking “there has to be a better way.”
Fast forward a couple of years, and that better way is the impetus of everything we do at ZipBonds. We constantly look for innovative ways to improve the bonding process for our clients and agents. Our team comprises individuals who understand all angles of surety – for companies, agencies, and individuals. Incorporating everyone’s point of view to improve the process while simultaneously integrating cutting-edge technology is what sets our business apart.