Public Official Bonds

All across the United States, elected or appointed officials are trusted by their constituents to make important decisions that can affect American lives immensely. To protect these constituents, public official bonds are needed by various elected or appointed officials to guarantee that the public official will faithfully perform their job duties. Breaches of those duties could include fraud, dishonesty or neglect.

Any public official handling financial matters or money and making decisions for a public entity may be required to secure a bond.


Public officials who need to be bonded can range widely. Certain states like Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey and Texas have more requirements for officials than other states.

Typically, those handling money are more likely to have a bond requirement.

  • Treasurers, tax collectors and assessors from various entities at the school district, county, city or state level may need bonds.
  • Public servants like policemen, sheriffs, fire chiefs or marshals or constables may need to secure public official bonds.
  • Those in the legal field like judges may also have requirements.

Specific bond requirements are determined by the obligee. The obligee can be at the local, county, or state level. Premiums on public official bonds vary by state and type of bond needed. Typically, a public official who handles more money carries more risk and requires higher premium.


Generally, Merchants Bonding Company requests a completed and signed application for all public official bonds.


Surety bonds are issued by Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual) through insurance agents. Contact your local insurance agent or use our Find an Agent tool. They will guide you through the process, informing you of what documents and information are needed by the surety (Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual)) to underwrite your bond.


A surety bond is a three-party agreement that ensures the fulfillment of a commitment or contract. For instance, the surety (Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual)) may provide a surety bond to a construction company (the principal) which is required by the state (the obligee), ensuring the construction company will perform the duties as outlined in the contract. In bonding the construction company, Merchants assumes the risk should the company default or not fulfill their contract. A surety bond is different from traditional insurance in that the principal is obligated to pay back the surety company on any claims paid out.

All information provided is subject to change.