What is a Public Official Surety Bond?

  • 3 min read

A public official surety bond is an agreement between three parties: the principal, the obligee, and the surety. The principal is any individual or company who stands as a representative of a public agency. The obligee is another person or organization that has some sort of claim towards this principal. Lastly, the surety acts as a third party, who agrees to accept financial responsibility in case of negligence on the part of the principal party. As such, a public official surety bond is a form of collateral provided by an independent entity – usually, but not always, an insurance company – in order to guarantee that individual’s good conduct while serving in their role as representative of their agency or company. If you are interested in learning more about how these bonds can benefit your individual situation and business needs, read on and discover everything you need to know about public official surety bonds.

What Can Be Included in a Public Official Bond?

There are a number of events that can cause a government agency to demand a public official surety bond from the representative of that agency. For example, if a candidate for public office has a financial liability that could impact their ability to faithfully perform their duties as a representative for their constituents, a surety bond may be required. If an employee of a public agency is applying for a security clearance and has unresolved financial obligations, a surety bond may be required to cover those obligations if the employee is hired. If an elected official has a history of financial mismanagement, such as non-payment of taxes, a surety bond may be required to cover a financial obligation incurred by the constituents they serve.

Why Do Public Officials Need a Surety Bond?

Once again, the details surrounding why each type of public official surety bond is necessary varies slightly, but in general, they serve the same purpose. Namely, they protect the people who depend on the actions of that public official – be they individuals or groups of people – from any financial burden that might result from damages caused by that official’s negligence. Indeed, sometimes public officials find themselves in situations where they commit a violation for which they should be held financially responsible. For example, if an elected official uses their office to enrich themselves financially, the constituents who voted for this official may be left holding the bill for any damages that result from this misconduct. In such an instance, a public official bond can help mitigate the financial impact of this misconduct.


The public official surety bond is a vital means of ensuring that the people who act as representatives for government agencies are entirely trustworthy. If a public official commits any misconduct that results in financial damages, a surety bond can help to offset those losses. If you are seeking a public official bond, be sure to choose an insurance company you trust to best protect your interests.

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