What is a Public Official Bond?
Public official bond definition: A public official bond is a type of surety bond which guarantees that governments officials in certain positions will comply with government laws and regulations. Those bonds are especially valid and needed for officials who handle public funds.
Public official bonds are further required, but not limited to, the following types of officials:
County, city, or town clerks
Tax collectors and assessors
Judges (municipal and others)
Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs
City and town managers
Agents selling hunting and fishing licenses
Obtaining a public official bond is usually necessary before officials are sworn in. Most institutions and agencies who require bonds have this as a condition. If a public official is found to be in breach of their obligations (whether by mishandling public funds or some other infraction), a claim can be made against their public official bond.
Furthermore, there is also a so-called discovery period (or bond tail) which makes it possible to file a claim against a public official bond even after the bond has expired. This guarantees that bonded public officials can be held accountable, even after they have stopped working in a public capacity or their bond has expired.
Bryant Surety Bonds is able to write public official bonds for all of the above types of officials and for all 50 states! Every state has different requirements and bonding amounts on their public official bonds and we underwrite all of them! See more about public official bond cost and bonding below!
Public Official Bond Cost
First of all, it’s usually the state who pays for the public official bond. In other words, the state pays for its own protection because if a public official is found to be in breach of their obligations, the state needs protection from such a misdemeanor. It is important to note, though, that while states often pay for the acquisition of the bond, it is the bonded public officials who have to compensate the surety if a claim is made against their bond.
In other words, a surety will step in to compensate the state if it sustains financial or other damages due to a public official’s misdemeanor and the official then has to indemnify the surety!
The cost of a public official bond varies from state to state (as well as in counties and cities) and also depends on the position of the public official who is getting bonded and the risk associated with it.
Furthermore, in determining the rate on a public official bond, sureties will also check the personal credit score of the public official getting bonded. This is seen as an indicator how well that individual is able to handle funds and what likelihood there is for a claim to arise. Depending on the bond, sureties may require individuals to provide even more information. Usually public officials who have a low credit score will not be able to obtain a bond.
Based on all of the above, a surety will determine a premium which needs to be paid for the public official bond. Premiums on these bonds usually vary between 1%-4% of the total amount of the bond.
How much a public official bond costs also depends on the surety you are working with. If you get your public official bond through Bryant Surety Bonds you will receive an offer made by some of the best surety bond companies in the industry. All our partner companies are A-rated under the ‘A.M. Best’ rating system and T-listed with the U.S. Department of Treasury, making them the best possible partners to every government institution.
There are also other factors which influence the cost of your public official bond. Check out our surety bond cost page, it has all the relevant information you need!
How to Get Your Public Official Bond
To get your public official bond apply online through our secure application tool. We will then review your application and get in touch with you to offer you a free quote on your bond.
You can call us anytime at 866.450.3412 if you have any questions whatsoever! We will gladly help you with your application, consult you if you need more information about public official bonds and answer all your questions. Give us a call!