Insurance for Notary Public
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Professional Liability insurance (aka E&O insurance) for Notary Publics
Professional Liability insurance can help protect notary publics and other occupations that provide professional services to clients and customers. This type of insurance can help shield you against claims of negligence, errors or omissions in your work, missed deadlines, and other forms of liability related to your services and professional advice or recommendations.
As a notary public, you provide essential services to your clients. Screening signers’ identities, verifying documents, and witnessing signatures are all important duties that you no doubt perform with great care and attention. But what if you make a mistake? An error—even a tiny one—could result in a large claim against your business.
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What is Professional Liability Insurance?
Professional Liability insurance (also referred to as Errors and Omissions or E&O insurance) helps safeguard you against claims of mistake, misrepresentation, or negligence related to your work. Claims are typically made by a third party who allege that they suffered some form of financial damage as a result of the services or advice they received from you.
What does Professional Liability insurance for notary publics cover?
A Professional Liability policy can protect notary publics and other professional service providers from the financial impact of claims resulting from:
- Errors, mistakes, or omissions in your work
- Undelivered services
- Missed deadlines
- Professional negligence
- Breaches of contract
Coverage is typically provided for:
- Attorney fees
- Other expenses relating to the claim, including court costs
- Costs and expenses related to a settlement
- Costs and expenses related to a judgment
Why do Notary Publics need insurance?
Notary Publics provide professional services that potentially expose them to liability claims. A Professional Liability insurance policy helps protect your business assets, profitability and professional reputation against claims or lawsuits resulting from the service or advice you have provided to a client.
Importantly, Professional Liability insurance also protects notary publics against false or meritless claims. Lawsuits are often expensive, even if a claim made against you is baseless. Attorney’s fees and other related expenses can easily total in the thousands of dollars. Your Professional Liability insurance policy will cover these costs, so you are not left paying them from your own pocket.
How much does Professional Liability insurance cost?
The cost of Professional Liability insurance for notary publics will vary from person to person or business to business, even those serving the same area. This is because insurance companies consider a wide variety of information about you and your business to help calculate your premium.
Some of the factors used to determine the cost of Professional Liability insurance include:
- Where you do business – Where is your business located? What geographic areas do you do business in?
- Annual revenue – Taking on larger contracts creates more risk, which will be reflected in your premium.
- Claims history – A history of liability claims may mean that more are likely to occur, making you a greater risk to insure.
- Risk management procedures – If you are taking steps to minimize the chance of future claims, your insurer may take this into account.
- How much coverage you need – The more insurance coverage you need (or want), the more you can expect to pay.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is notary insurance mandatory?
Professional Liability insurance may be required for notary publics in some cities or states. Check your local or state government website to learn more about which insurance might be mandatory in your area.
Even if Professional Liability insurance is not mandatory for notary publics in your state, you might still want to consider getting a policy. Professional Liability provides important protections that can give you peace of mind as you perform your duties.
What's the difference between a notary bond and E&O insurance?
Notary bonds are meant to protect the public, whereas E&O insurance is designed to protect the notary.
A notary bond is a way to help guarantee that a notary public will perform their duties lawfully and ethically. In some states, notary publics must purchase a bond in order to work as a notary. The value of the required bond varies from state to state. Clients or customers can make a claim against the bond if they allege that the notary public’s work was not up to the standards of the profession.
An E&O insurance policy provides notary publics with important protection. It will cover the costs associated with lawsuits and other legal action, which a notary bond does not.
I have a Notary Bond. Doesn't that protect me?
A notary bond provides protection for clients and customers, not the notary public. While your clients and customers can be reimbursed from your notary bond (up to the limits of the bond’s value), it does not protect you from further legal action.
If you are sued by a client, your notary bond will not cover legal expenses, such as attorney’s fees, court costs, settlements, or judgements. These can easily total in the thousands of dollars (or more) and can be financially devastating for a small business. A Professional Liability policy will cover these costs, helping preserve your business accounts and ability to continue working.