What is a Bond: A bond is an obligation of the Surety (the company issuing the bond) to protect a person or entity (in this case your municipality or public entity) against financial loss caused by the acts of the principal (in this case your city official or employee).
Municipal or Public Entity Positions to consider Bonding: There are essentially three types of municipal officials or employees serving the municipality or public entity:
First: the elected official who, although ultimately answerable in the political process for their performance, is a representative of those who have elected him or her and owes a duty to faithfully perform the functions assigned to them for the public good.
Second: public agents, or appointed officials, also share the responsibility of owing this special duty to their municipality or public entity. For the appointed official, the duty to faithfully perform emanates from the governmental powers reposed in the official. Power, authority and control would not exist absent the appointment to office.
Third: the public employee, although serving for the public good, does not owe the same duty as the elected or appointed official. The public employee does not hold a special position of trust relative to the public, but instead owes a duty to his or her employer, in this case the municipality or public entity.
Bond Coverage vs. Your Municipal Liability Protection Plan (MLPP) Coverage:
Bonds serve a different purpose than coverage provided under your MLPP. Coverage under your MLPP protects the municipality or public entity from negligent acts of an elected or appointed official or public employee that could result in a third-party claim or suit. Bonds protect the municipality or public entity from a financial loss as a result of an improper or illegal act of an elected or appointed official or public employee.
What are the Types of Bonds Available:
There are numerous types of bonds available in the market. The most commonly used by a municipality or public entity are Fidelity Blanket Bonds, Fidelity Schedule Bonds, Public Official Individual Bonds, Public Official Schedule Bonds, and Public Official Blanket Bonds.
Fidelity Bonds: Statistics show a shocking increase in employee theft. The only protections against this kind of loss are good internal control, regular outside audits and a Fidelity Bond. Fidelity Bonds are often referred to as “honesty insurance.” They cover loss due to any dishonest act of a bonded employee. The employee may steal alone or with others. The loss may be money, merchandise or any other property, real or personal. The Fidelity Bond is available in a group (blanket) or individual (schedule) form. These bonds are available in $5k, $10k, $25k, $50k, and $100k coverage amounts for periods of one and three years with the three-year bond provided at a reduced rate.
Public Official Bonds: For the public official entrusted with the handling of public funds, the primary purpose of the Public Official Bond is the protection of those funds from mismanagement and theft: Public Official Bonds guarantee taxpayers that the official will do what the law requires. A public official is expected to “faithfully perform” the duties of the office. Public Employee Bonds are also available for bonding the subordinates of the public official (those people who are not required by statute to be bonded). Those subordinates need to be bonded for dishonesty only.
Types of Public Employee Bonds and Coverages:
Individual Bond – Covers a single official for a specific amount.
Name Schedule Bond – Covers specific individuals for a stated amount in a schedule attached to the bond.
Position Schedule Bond – Covers specific positions for a stated amount in a schedule attached to the bond.
Public Employee Blanket Bond – This bond covers all employees (except Treasurers, who are required to post individual qualifying public official bonds and cannot be covered by a blanket bond) unless specifically excluded.
Honesty Blanket Bond Coverage – Insures against loss sustained by the insured through any dishonest act committed by any of the employees. Recovery is limited to the bond penalty.
Honesty Blanket Position Bond Coverage – Insures against loss sustained by the insured through any dishonest act committed by any of the employees. The amount of coverage on each employee is the stated limit of liability.
Faithful Performance Blanket Bond Coverage – Insures against loss sustained by the insured through any dishonest act committed by any employees and failure to faithfully perform their duties or account properly for all monies to an amount not exceeding the stated limit of liability. Recovery is limited to the bond penalty.
Faithful Performance Blanket Position Bond Coverage – Insures against loss sustained by the insured through any dishonest act committed by any of the employees and failure to faithfully perform their duties. The amount of recovery on each employee is the stated limit of liability.
Who is Required by Law to be Bonded:
Tit. 11 § 8-105. Certain officers to give bond
The municipal governing body shall require the municipal treasurer, any officer or employee designated by ordinance to sign municipal warrants or municipal checks, and any other officers or employees as the governing body may designate by ordinance, to give bond for the faithful performance of his/her duties within 10 days after his election or appointment, in such amount and form as the governing body shall prescribe. The municipality shall pay the premiums on such bonds.
Tit 11 § 1-102. Definition
“Officer or official” means any person who is elected to an office in municipal government or is appointed to fill an unexpired term to an elected office, and the clerk and the treasurer whether elected or appointed. When “officer” or “official” is modified by a term which refers to a personnel position or duty, the holder of the position or duty is not an officer or official of the municipality for any purpose.
Tit. 11 § 27-111. Bond of clerk and judge
A. The clerk of each municipal court shall give bond to the governing body of the municipality where the court is established. The bond shall be approved by the governing body and shall be in an amount to be fixed by the governing body.
B. The municipal governing body may provide that the judge, the alternate judge, and an acting judge, or any of them, shall give a bond to the governing body of the municipality where the court is established. If bond is required, it shall be in an amount to be fixed by the governing body. It shall be conditioned in the same manner as the bond that is required of the clerk of the court, and it shall be approved by the governing body.
Please contact the OMAG Underwriting Department for the appropriate application.