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California Public Official Bond

What is a public official surety bond?

A public official surety bond, also known as a public service bond, is required for elected or appointed officials to protect the public as they discharge the duties of their office. Specifically, the bond protects the public if the official violates the regulations of the municipality, county, state, or other public entity he or she serves.

If a suit is brought against you, the surety company will be responsible for paying the claim, but you will be required to pay the company back once the suit is concluded.

How much does a public official bond cost?

Pricing is based on a percentage of the bond amount. The cost varies from state to state and by the level of government requiring the bond. Here are some examples of public official bond pricing:

Cost of Public Official Bonds

Bond Amount Cost*
(Annual Premium)
$50,000 or less 0.45% (up to $225)
$50,001 -$100,000 0.40% (up to $400)
$100,001+ 0.35% ($350 or more)

*Cost can vary depending on the bond amount required and your credit rating.

Are there different types of public official bonds?

There are two types of public official bonds: fidelity bonds and faithful performance bonds. While they are different instruments, the terms are often used interchangeably to refer to each of these bond types.

A fidelity bond is designed to ensure an official acts honestly, in other words, that you will fulfill your obligations in an ethical and above-board manner.

A faithful performance bond is operational in nature. It is a guarantee that you will discharge your duties faithfully and to the full extent you are required. This bond is designed to protect against negligence and malfeasance.

Why do I need a public official bond?

A public official bond protects the public in instances in which you may have violated your duty either through malfeasance or negligence. It provides a means to hold officials accountable.

The bond is designed to safeguard the interests of taxpayers and consumers and is required in all states. The bond is an indemnity and not a forfeiture bond. This means that it indemnifies or compensates those who have suffered harm or loss due to the actions of the official.

Officials that may be required to have a public official bond include, but aren't limited to: court clerks, commissioners, Notaries, deputies, sheriffs, other sworn officers, tax collectors, city managers, city treasurers, judges, mayors, and city officials. This is not an exhaustive list, and you should consult statutes covering your office or your oversight agency to determine if you need a public official bond.

What are some public official bond requirements?

Each state has its own specific requirements covering public official bonds. However, bonds are generally effective before and after the official takes office and cover the duration of that office’s tenure. No matter the state or its specific requirements, a bond protects the public against improper conduct and omissions committed by the official the bond covers.

Bonds are secured at the personal expense of the official rather than being paid for by the governmental entity or agency they serve. You can expect to undergo a credit background check, which will indicate your ability to pay in the event of a claim.

How can I get a public official bond?

If you are required to have a public official bond, you can obtain one from a reputable surety bond company that understands your state or municipality's requirements.

As part of the process, you should expect to provide a number of documents to qualify, including, but not limited to:

  • The bond application.
  • A bond form.
  • Financial documents.
  • A copy of your credit score
  • Evidence that you hold your elected position or are a government employee.

The Simple Bonding Process

View your price or request a free quote
Discover unbeatable value with coverage options tailored to your needs.
Sign your contract and pay the premium
Seal the deal and ensure protection and peace of mind for your business.
Receive your surety or fidelity bond
Expect a speedy turnaround. Our typical turnaround time is 24 hours or less.
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