A surety bond is an agreement made between a person and a bondsman. The bondsman agrees to post the necessary bond so the defendant can be released from jail. This agreement is backed by an insurance company contract signed by the person and the bondsman on behalf of the insurance company. There has to be enough cash or collateral to cover the full amount of the bond in case the defendant misses his or her court date. Only a person who has been licensed by the Washington Department of Insurance may post a surety bond.