What is a Fidelity Bond?
A fidelity bond is a surety bond which is usually obtained by businesses who have access to or handle other people’s property or finances. Unlike most surety bonds, fidelity bonds work much like insurance, and are therefore somewhat mistakenly called bonds.
Depending on the type of bond, fidelity bonds either protect a business from damages that it could sustain due to employee dishonesty, theft, and embezzlement, or protect a business’s clients from damages to their property.
The three main types of fidelity bonds are: business service bond, employee dishonesty bond and ERISA bond.
Types of Fidelity Bonds
Business Services Bond
Looking to advertise that your business is bonded, or that you have a bonded employee? The business services bond is the most common type of fidelity bond. It protects the property of people who your business works for. If any of their property is damaged, the fidelity bond guarantees that they will be compensated.
Contractors who can benefit from a business services bonds include: janitorial services, pest control, security guards, HVAC installers, carpet cleaning, food catering, appliance repair, lawn mowing contractors, pet sitters and numerous others.
Employee Dishonesty Bond
Employee dishonesty bonds, also known as commercial crime bonds or financial institution bonds, are the second most popular type of fidelity bond.
This type of bond is usually obtained by businesses who wish to protect themselves from employee dishonesty, fraud, theft, forgery or embezzlement. They are especially useful to businesses in the financial sector, but also generally for someone in a business who is handling its finances.
ERISA bonds were introduced in 1974 with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). These bonds serve to protect pension and employee benefits plans from fraudulent plan managers, i.e. fiduciary malpractices. The requirement for ERISA bonds is that the policy must be 10% of the plan funds handled but no more than $500,000.
Janitorial bonds can be obtained by businesses which offer cleaning services. The bond will protect the property of the business' clients by providing financial compensation in case of employee theft. Though not obligatory, janitorial bonds can be a valuable asset for establishing trust between a company and its clients.
Fidelity Bond Cost
Fidelity bond rates are calculated differently than most other surety bonds. Fidelity bond costs depend on the type of business that you need a bond for, the dollar amount of coverage, and the number of employees the bond will cover.
While personal credit score is not checked when applying for most fidelity bonds, employee dishonesty bonds and financial institution bonds require that a check on money handlers’ personal credit score be performed.
How to Get Your Fidelity Bond
To apply for a fidelity bond use one of the application forms above, depending on the type of bond you need, and send it to us.
If you’re not sure whether these bonds are right for you, or what exactly you need to do give us a call at (866)-450-3412. Our surety bond experts are equipped to to answer any questions you might have.