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Public Official Bond: A Comprehensive Guide For Insurance Agents


This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Public Official bond.


What Is a Public Official Bond?


A Public Official bond is a government-required surety bond that elected and/or appointed public officials must purchase as a prerequisite to being sworn into state, county, or city office. The duties of public officials vary based on their position in government and the applicable laws surrounding said position. In general, public official bonds obligate the appointed individual to act honestly and faithfully perform the duties of their position. Public Official bonds protect the public from financial harm if the public official violates the terms of their appointment by committing fraud or otherwise abusing their position of power.


Public Official bonds must remain active for as long as the public official’s term of office.


Unlike most insurance products, surety bonds protect a third party (the obligee) from acts that violate the law. When the surety company suffers a loss due to a public official’s actions, the appointee must repay the surety company for such losses, as well as court costs (this is somewhat of a rarity) and other fees.


Who Is Required to Purchase a Public Official Bond?


In most states (around 15), many government positions require a surety bond before they may be sworn in for their elected term. Public Official bonds cover town, city, county, or municipal governments, state government agencies, state/county/city courts, as well as community and state colleges. Below is a general list of elected and/or government-appointed officials that may be required to obtain a Public Official bond:


  • Governor

  • Mayor

  • Attorney General

  • State Auditor

  • State Treasurer

  • Fire Marshall

  • Court Clerks

  • Sheriff

  • Deputy Sheriff

  • Constable

  • Peace Officer

  • Commissioner

  • Tax Commissioner

  • City Clerks or other City Officials

  • Town Clerks or other Town Officials

  • County Clerks or other County Officials

  • Deputy/Special Game Wardens

  • Agents Selling Hunting and Fishing Licenses

  • Deputies and employees of Public Officials


Who Regulates Public Official Bonds?


State, county, city, and other municipal government agencies regulate Public Official bonds based on laws written by their legislature. Such governments enforce the law by instituting appointment requirements like educational mandates and a surety bond. The surety bond ensures that the obligee and/or public will be compensated if the public official violates the terms surrounding their appointed/elected position.

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