• November 15, 2017

What’s the Difference Between a Bail Bond and a Surety Bond?

What’s the Difference Between a Bail Bond and a Surety Bond?

What’s the Difference Between a Bail Bond and a Surety Bond? 1024 576 Patrick J. Thomas Agency

Bail bonds and surety bonds are inherently different, and a person looking for a bail bond is seeking a very different outcome than someone looking for the protection that surety provides.

At The Patrick J. Thomas Agency, we help businesses and attorneys acquire surety bonds that act as a special line of insurance used by the court system (or during mediation). We do not post bail or help people acquire bail bonds. While surety and bail operate similarly, there are differences between the two.

What is a Bail Bond?

Bail bonds are used to release a person who has been arrested for a crime from jail.

When a person is arrested for a crime, they are placed in jail until they can have a bail hearing. During their bail hearing, a judge will set a bail amount that can be paid to free the accused from jail during their court date. If the accused cannot pay the bail amount, they must wait in jail. A person accused of a crime who cannot afford the bail amount can also hire a bail agent to post the bond amount for them. Bail agents will charge a percentage of the total bail amount or ask for collateral to post the bond amount. Once the bond is paid, the person is released from jail until their court date.

Bail agents will usually ask you provide this information:

  • Full name of the accused
  • Information on the jail he or she is being held
  • Booking number
  • Charges

If you have more questions about how bail and bail bonds work, you should consult your attorney or bail bondsman.

What is a Surety Bond?

Surety bonds guarantee that an obligation will be fulfilled or that financial compensation will be provided if that obligation is not met. Three parties enter into an agreement when a surety bond is acquired: the principal, the obligee and the surety. The principal obtains the bond to ensure that they will perform a certain obligation to the obligee. If they fail to perform this obligation, the surety will provide compensation to the obligee.

Surety bonds also include an indemnity agreement stating that the surety will be indemnified if it pays out a loss to the obligee on the Principal’s behalf when a surety bond claim is made.  

Unlike commercial insurance, surety bonds put the risk on the principal, and the protection is for the obligee.

Examples of Surety Bonds

  • Replevin: a replevin bond deals with property that is in contention.
  • Injunction: injunction bonds are required by the courts when a party requests that a judge restrain a party from taking an action.

Not sure which bond you need? Contact The Patrick J. Thomas Agency to speak with one of our agents.


Disclaimer: this is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you need legal counsel, please contact an attorney directly.