Are Bail Bond Renewal Premiums Required?

A concern faced by many clients is the dreaded bail bond renewal premium. Our office is always receiving phone calls from clients regarding the one year anniversary of their issued bail bond. The client’s criminal court case has not settled for some reason or another and they are worried about a possible renewal premium in the near future.

It is a common practice in the commercial bail bond industry to charge a renewal premium to a client. Just like many other forms of insurance, this is paid yearly. The bail bond renewal premium is also disclosed in the surety bail bond agreement, the contract used to secure the defendant’s release from custody. The section of the contract specifying the bail bond renewal premium may read something like this:

“To pay Second Party ( Bail Bond Company) $ premium amount per annum for this bail bond. The premium is fully earned upon the release of Principle (Defendant). The fact the Defendant may have been improperly arrested, or his bail reduced or  his case dismissed, shall not obligate the return if any portion of said premium. This bond is renewal each year. First Party (co-signer) agrees to pay Second Party (Bail Bond Company) a renewal premium in the amount stated above, twelve months after the date on which this Bond was executed. If said renewal premium is not paid upon written demand therefor. Second Party (Bail Bond Company) or Surety has the right to surrender Principal (Defendant), as provided in the California Penal Code, Section 1300, and exonerate the Bond.”

The surety bail bond agreement and state law clearly indicate that a bail bond renewal premium may or will be charged to the client. However, the bail bond renewal premium is charged by the bail bond company (Second Party), not the surety insurer as indicated above. Thus, the surety insurer can care less if the bail bond company charges the client the renewal premium or not! This is where most clients and criminal defense attorneys have been mislead or misinformed by some bail bond company they have dealt with in the past.

For example, Fastrak Bail Bonds, finds it an unfair business practice to charge a client a renewal premium because the case has been delayed or continued due to unforeseen circumstances. Thus, we don’t charge a renewal premium to our clients. The criminal court system is very busy, cases can be complex, why should the client have to be penalized again? This also provides relief for the retained criminal defense attorney, allowing them to focus on their client’s best interests and not having to worry about the bail bond company.

Please contact us for further information regarding our SmartBail worry-free service. Thank you.

7 thoughts on “Are Bail Bond Renewal Premiums Required?”

  1. So I posted bond for someone, the case went for two and a half years. The bond company never demanded the renewal fee (if they had I wasn’t going to pay it) the person was exonerated 5 months ago and now they want me to pay the renewal fee. What happens if I don’t pay it?

    1. The renewal premium is in your contract and it’s up to the bail bond company to enforce it. The renewal premium is due every year, just like any other insurance premiums you pay. They should mail you a notice for renewal 30 days prior to the renewal date, but not required. Being that the bail bond is exonerated, they can’t surrender the defendant for non payment of premium. However, the bail bond company may pursue the renewal premium balance by filing a lawsuit. I would negotiate the amount owed, otherwise you will have a difficult time in court, as you signed and agreed to the bail bond contract. Hope this information helps.

  2. My question concerns a bail bond that I obtained in August 2019, as the case is approaching its conclusion. The contract initially included a renewal fee of $15,000, but this fee was never charged to me. I’m aware that charging renewal premiums became illegal as of January 1, 2022, according to Penal Code 1276.1. I’m seeking advice on how to address this matter once the case is resolved. Additionally, I’ve made written inquiries to the bail bond company about the case’s status on several occasions, and they have never mentioned the existence of a renewal fee. Last week, I called them anonymously, and they confirmed that they never charged a renewal fee. If I do need to engage a lawyer, which I am considering, what type of attorney should I consult to have the lien removed from my house?

    1. I have this same problem . Also they never took of a percentage for a Teacher cosign. The new law passed January 2022 it is illegal to charge renewal fees. So due to the fact of my son going to jail the following year . When the renewal fee was charged . in 2021 . Well I’m going to file a complaint against the bail bond company. I was unaware of the renewal fee. I I was informed in time I would have revoked the bail . The bail bond guy new it was hard for us to come up with the bail as it was . So he didn’t credit the teacher discount. He makes threats to me and my property. So I’m going to have to take him to small claims . See if the judge can help with the new law ..Based on them going to jail when I was fully charged the full year .

    2. I have this same problem . Also they never took of a percentage for a Teacher cosign. The new law passed January 2022 it is illegal to charge renewal fees. So due to the fact of my son going to jail the following year . When the renewal fee was charged . in 2021 . Well I’m going to file a complaint against the bail bond company. I was unaware of the renewal fee. If I was informed in time. Believe me I was in close contact with the bond man . I would have revoked the bail . The bail bond guy new it was hard for us to come up with the bail as it was plus never credited. the teacher discount. He makes threats to me and my property. I’m going to have to take him to small claims . See if the judge can help with the new law ..Based on them going to jail. On the year it renewed in 2021 I was charged the full year .

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