Pennsylvania Constable Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Pennsylvania Constable bond (otherwise known as a Public Official bond).
At a Glance:
- Lowest Cost: $100 per year or $10 a month
- Bond Amount: Determined on a case-by-case basis (more on this later)
- Who Needs It: All constables and deputy constables appointed for state, county, or city offices in Pennsylvania
- Purpose: To protect the public from financial harm if the constable commits fraud or otherwise abuse their position of power
- Who Regulates Constables in Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute 7114(c) requires all constables and deputy constables appointed for state, county, or city offices to obtain a surety bond before being sworn in for their office term. The Pennsylvania Legislature enacted the surety bond requirement to ensure that constables do not abuse their position of power. To provide financial security for enforcing such laws, constables must purchase and maintain a surety bond to be eligible for their appointed position.
What Is the Purpose of the Pennsylvania Constable Bond?
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute 7114(c) requires all appointed constables and deputy constables to purchase a surety bond as part of the process of being sworn into office. The bond ensures that restitution is available to any damaged party should the constable fail to abide by the regulations outlined in the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 44, Chapter 71. Specifically, the bond protects claimants if the constable commits fraud or otherwise abuses their position of power. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the constable violates the terms surrounding their appointed position.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Pennsylvania Constable Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Pennsylvania Constable bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “constable” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
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How Is the Pennsylvania Constable Bond Amount Determined?
According to Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute 7114(c), the limit for the Constable bond is determined by the appointee’s local clerk of the court and must be a minimum of $500 and no more than a $3,000 amount.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Pennsylvania Constable Bond?
If the Pennsylvania Constable bond limit is under $50,000, a credit check is not required. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same rate is offered to all public officials in Pennsylvania regardless of their credit history.
How Much Does the Pennsylvania Constable Bond Cost?
The Pennsylvania Constable bond typically costs $100 per year or $10 per month. However, if the required bond limit is over $50,000 (this is unlikely), premium costs can vary. In most cases, rates sit at 0.5% of the bond amount.
How Does Pennsylvania Define “Constable”?
According to Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute 7101, a constable is a peace officer with a limited set of policing authority. Constables and deputy constables are elected by their local residents and officially appointed by the county/city/town clerk of the court. Their duties typically include serving warrants, citations, and other processes, as well as notifying citizens of town meetings.
BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.
How Do Constables Become Appointed in Pennsylvania?
Constables in Pennsylvania must navigate several steps to obtain approval for appointment by the local clerk of the court. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Training webpage for details on the process.
Appointment Period – Constables in Pennsylvania may hold an appointment term of three years beginning January 1st of the year appointed until December 31st at the end of the third year.
Step 1 – Fulfill Financial Requirements
Constables in Pennsylvania must purchase and maintain a surety bond, as well as a $250,000 to $500,000 liability insurance policy for the entirety of their appointment term.
Step 2 – Complete Appointment Application
Once elected, a completed Pennsylvania Constable Appointment Application must be submitted to the Commission on Crime and Delinquency for review. Further details on constable qualifications can be found in the Commission’s Constables Overview for Clerk of Courts.
How Do Constables in Pennsylvania Renew Their Appointments?
Constables in Pennsylvania are appointed for a term of three years (ending on December 31st) and must renew their application and submit all completed materials to the Commission on Crime and Delinquency on or before the expiration date. A renewal fee is likely required.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Constables in Pennsylvania?
Constables in Pennsylvania must purchase and maintain a $250,000 to $500,000 liability insurance policy for the entirety of their appointment term.
How Do Constables in Pennsylvania File Their Bonds?
Constables should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney when submitting their appointment applications to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (see the mailing address listed below). An additional copy of the surety bond should be filed with the appointee’s local clerk of the court as well.
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency
PO Box 1167
Harrisburg, PA 17110
The surety bond requires signatures from the surety company, as well as the constable. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- The legal name of the individual buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
- Date the bond is signed
What Can Pennsylvania Constables Do to Avoid a Claim Against Their Surety Bond?
To avoid claims against their bonds, constables in Pennsylvania must follow all regulations regarding their appointed position, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Constables in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania requires appointed constables to purchase coverage for a $250,000 to $500,000 Errors and Omissions policy, which is just another name for professional liability insurance. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Constable Customers in Pennsylvania?
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does not provide a public list of active constables in the state. We suggest contacting the Commission on Crime and Delinquency to obtain a list of appointed constables. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.