Fidelity bonds are a type of insurance that protects businesses from loss caused by dishonest or fraudulent acts of their employees. The bonds are designed to cover things like theft, embezzlement, and forgery. These bonds are typically purchased by employers and provide coverage for the company in the event that an employee causes a financial loss. A fidelity bond can be used to help the company recover its losses and recoup any money that was stolen or misused.
Who Needs Fidelity Bonds?
Fidelity bonds are required for many different types of businesses, including those in the banking and financial services industry, retail businesses, telemarketing companies, and real estate companies. Fidelity bonds are also required by many states as a condition of obtaining certain types of professional and business licenses. Additionally, certain federal laws, such as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), require employers to carry fidelity bonds on certain plans.
Types of Fidelity Bonds
1. Commercial Crime Bond: A commercial crime bond is a type of fidelity bond designed to protect businesses from losses due to employee theft or dishonesty.
2. ERISA Bond: An ERISA Bond is a type of fidelity bond that is required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 to protect pension funds from losses due to mismanagement or embezzlement by employers or their employees.
3. Janitorial Bond: A janitorial bond is a type of fidelity bond that provides protection in the event that a janitorial service fails to perform its services as promised or fails to pay for services rendered.
4. Public Official Bond: A public official bond is a type of fidelity bond that is purchased by a government entity to protect it from losses resulting from the dishonest or fraudulent acts of public officials or employees.
5. Contractors Bond: A contractors bond is a type of fidelity bond which is required by most state and local governments to guarantee that a contractor will comply with the terms and conditions of a contract.
How Much Do Fidelity Bonds Cost?
The cost of a fidelity bond depends on the amount of coverage needed and the type of bond required. Generally, fidelity bonds are priced based on a percentage of the total bond amount, typically ranging from 0.5% to 10% of the bond amount. For example, a $50,000 fidelity bond might cost anywhere from $250 to $5,000. In addition, some states may require additional licensing fees to obtain a fidelity bond.
Fidelity Bonds Requirements
Fidelity bonds requirements vary by state and industry, but typically require businesses to purchase a minimum amount of coverage. The coverage amount is usually based on the size of the business, the type of services offered, and the potential exposure to employee dishonesty. In addition, businesses may be required to provide evidence of financial responsibility and maintain certain levels of financial stability.
Fidelity Bonds – The Bottom Line
Fidelity bonds are generally considered low-risk investments, which is why they are often used to protect financial institutions like banks and other businesses from employee theft or fraud. They are also used to provide protection for other types of losses, such as damage to property or equipment, or natural disasters. While they may not offer the potential for high returns like other investments, they are an important part of any portfolio, as they can provide valuable protection in the event of a financial loss.