Texas Peace Officer Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Texas Peace Officer 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 licensed/appointed peace officers in Texas
- Purpose: To protect the public from financial harm if the peace officer commits fraud or otherwise abuses their position of power
- Who Regulates Peace Officers in Texas: The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
Texas Administrative Code Title 37, Part 7, Chapters 211-229 requires all peace offers licensed and appointed by a law enforcement agency in Texas to obtain a surety bond. The Texas Legislature enacted the surety bond requirement to ensure that peace officers do not abuse their position of power. To provide financial security for enforcing such laws, peace officers must purchase and maintain a surety bond to be eligible for their appointed position.
What Is the Purpose of the Texas Peace Officer Bond?
Texas Administrative Code Title 37, Part 7, Chapters 211-229 requires all licensed peace officers to purchase a surety bond as part of the process of being appointed by a law enforcement agency. The bond ensures that restitution is available to any damaged party should the peace officer fail to abide by the regulations outlined in the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s Statutes and Rules Handbook. Specifically, the bond protects claimants if the peace officer commits fraud or otherwise abuses their position of power. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the peace officer violates the terms surrounding their appointed position.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Texas Peace Officer Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Texas Peace Officer bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “peace officer” 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 Texas Peace Officer Bond Amount Determined?
The limit on the Texas Peace Officer bond can significantly vary based on the locale and elected official’s position. In most cases, a Peace Officer bond limit is determined by the state governor and must be in an amount they deem necessary for any appointed or elected official in said department, institution, commission, bureau, board, or agency.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Texas Peace Officer Bond?
No, a credit check is not required for the Texas Peace Officer bond. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same rate is offered to all peace officers in Texas regardless of their credit history.
How Much Does the Texas Peace Officer Bond Cost?
The Texas Peace Officer 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 Texas Define “Peace Officer”?
According to Texas Administrative Code 211.1, a peace officer is a person elected, employed, or appointed to ensure that all rules and regulations are carefully being followed to safeguard individuals and property. Their duties typically include responding to emergencies, arresting and processing criminals, as well as testifying in court, and preparing incident or investigation paperwork.
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 Peace Officers Become Appointed in Texas?
Peace officers in Texas must navigate several steps to obtain approval for a license from the Commission on Law Enforcement, as well as an appointment by a local law endorsement agency. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Commission’s Rules for further details on the process.
Step 1 – Purchase Surety Bond
Peace officers in Texas must purchase and maintain a surety bond for the entirety of their appointment term.
Step 2 – Complete Appointment Application
According to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, peace officers must meet the following requirements to become licensed, as well as achieve qualification for appointment:
- Meet minimum standards for enrollment and initial licensure (see here)
- Successful completion of the basic licensing course
- Passing the state licensing examination
If you are an out-of-state resident, please carefully review the Out of State/Federal Application.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Peace Officers in Texas?
In most cases, Texas does not require peace officers to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to an appointment with a law enforcement agency. However, peace officers must purchase and maintain a surety bond.
How Do Peace Officers in Texas File Their Bonds?
Peace officers in Texas should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney when submitting their appointment applications to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (see the mailing address listed below).
Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
6330 E. Hwy. 290, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78723
The surety bond requires signatures from the surety company, as well as the peace officer. 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 Texas Peace Officers Do to Avoid a Claim Against Their Surety Bond?
To avoid claims against their bonds, peace officers in Texas 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 Peace Officers in Texas?
Most governing institutions will purchase liability insurance covering losses pertaining to a public official committing fraud, negligence, or misconduct. 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 Peace Officer Customers in Texas?
Unfortunately, Texas does not provide a public list of active peace officers in the state. We suggest contacting the Commission on Law Enforcement here to obtain a list of appointed peace officers. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.