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Public Official Bond

Public officials wield tremendous authority in our society and are in positions of great trust. They work the levers of legislative, administrative, and judicial power. Whether elected or appointed, they often handle great sums of money or privileged information and can exert significant power over individual lives. If our public officials fail to perform their duties in a lawful fashion, they can compromise the faith people have in our government. For this reason, many types of public servants are required to take out a public official bond.

What is a Public Official Bond?

A public official bond is a surety bond that guarantees that bonded officials will perform their duties according to the law and for the public good. It does this by creating a financial incentive to work ethically and a mechanism to hold officials financially accountable for their actions in office.

The bond protects the government entity the official works for as well as the general public.

How Do Public Official Bonds Work?

Like other types of surety bonds, a public official bond is a legal agreement between three essential parties:

  • The Obligee is the person or agency that requires the bond. Typically, the state government is the designated obligee in public official bonds.
  • The Principal is the person who is bonded, in this case, the public official.
  • The Surety is the insurance company that underwrites the bond.

If a person has been damaged by a public official's fraudulent behavior, they can file a claim against the bond. The surety is responsible for thoroughly investigating each claim. If they find the claim is accurate, the surety promptly pays the claimant up to the bond's full value. If they find the claim has no merit, the surety will dismiss it. When a claim is paid, the principal must reimburse the surety.

The need to guard the public trust is so strong that former officials remain bound by their official behavior long after they leave office. While most surety bonds are no longer active once they expire, public official bonds remain in effect for five full years after they expire.

Who Needs a Public Official Surety Bond?

Public official surety bonds are mandatory for all elected and many appointed public officials. Governors, mayors, judges, court clerks, sheriffs, deputies, commissioners, tax assessors, local school board members, hunting and fishing license agents, and many other officials are all required to get bonded. Each bond's specific requirements are detailed in individual state codes. Individual state codes detail the specific requirements for these bonds.

How Much Does a Public Official Bond Cost?

Each state sets the value of the public official bonds they require. The surety bond's cost is a tiny fraction of the bond's value, typically ranging 1-5%. Unlike most surety bonds, it is usually the agency that employs the public official that pays the bond premium rather than the principal. However, it is the principal's credit rating that determines the premium cost.

How Can I Obtain a Public Official Bond?

At Viking Bond Service, we make acquiring a surety bond easy. You'll get your public official bond in three simple steps:

  1. Complete our online application.
  2. We'll run your credit report.
  3. We'll contact you if we need additional information.

That's it. We'll send you a competitive quote ASAP.

Get Your Free Quote on a Public Official Bond

Make Viking Bond Service your surety partner! Contact us online, or call 1-888-2-SURETY (1-888-278-7389). We're here to answer your questions!

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