Alaska Notary Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Notary Insurance. Notaries public are authorized in each state to serve as impartial witnesses to the signatures on important legal documents, such as wills, deeds, or powers-of-attorney. After the document is signed by a client, the notary also signs it and applies a seal to indicate that a notary has witnessed the signing and attested as to where it was signed in a particular location within the state. Some notaries also may take depositions or affidavits. Clients may come to the premises of a notary or the notary may travel to a client's location.
At times, notaries are part of larger operations such as law firms or part of an in-house service for a company. While notaries have very limited legal authority, some states require each to undergo special training, pass an exam, or both. Notaries cannot act outside their appointed state unless that state has a reciprocal agreement with another state
Notaries provide an invaluable services to the clients they serve. These professionals are appointed by the government to act as impartial witnesses to prevent acts of fraud during the signing of important documents.
Property deeds, marriage licenses, powers of attorneys, and wills are just some of the documents you are entrusted with as a notary. Should an error occur during the notarial process, you would be held legally responsible. You would also be responsible for any problems that arise at your office. To protect yourself from the risks that notaries face, it's important that you invest in the right type of Alaska notary insurance coverage.
Why do notaries need commercial insurance and what type of policies should they carry? Below, you'll find the answers to these questions so that you can make sure you are properly protected.
Alaska notary insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Notaries Need AK Notary Insurance?
As a notary, you are dedicated to upholding the duties that you have accepted to perform; however, despite your best efforts, mistakes can happen. There may be a time when you misread information presented on a document, you may enter the incorrect information on a document, or you could place your Notary seal in the incorrect location. In addition to errors that may occur with during the notarial process, there are other risks that you are exposed to as a notary.
A third-party could sustain an injury at your place of business or a member of your staff could sustain a work-related injury, for example; or, your office could be damaged in an act of nature or vandalism. When a catastrophe occurs, you are legally responsible for the damages, and those damages could cost you financially.
All it takes is one minor mistake, a fire, or a slip and fall to put you in serious financial turmoil. To protect your assets and yourself, it's important that you invest in the right type of Alaska notary insurance policies. If you're properly insured, when a disaster strikes, your insurance company will come to the rescue and cover the financial damages. In other words, commercial insurance can save you from losing your assets.
In addition to providing you with financial protection, having the right type of Alaska notary insurance coverage ensures that you are in compliance with the law. There are certain types of policies that notaries are mandated to carry. If you fail to have those coverages in place, you could lose your business - and possibly more.
What Type Of Insurance Do Notary Publics Require?
The type of Alaska notary insurance you will require depends on several factors, including where you are located, whether or not you employ a staff, and the type of services you provide. With that said, there are specific coverages that every notary should have in place, including:
- Errors and Omissions - E&O, or professional liability insurance, will cover any legal expenses that you may incur if you make any errors during the notarial process. For example, if you place your seal in the wrong location on a document or you if you mix up notarial acts and a client files a lawsuit against you, E&O insurance will help to cover your legal expenses, as well as any damages that may be awarded to the plaintiff.
- Business Owners Policy - A business owner's policy (BOP) bundles two types of commercial insurance that you are required to carry: commercial general liability and commercial property coverage. With this policy, you'll be protected against third-party personal injury or property damage claims, as well as any damages that your office may sustain in an act of nature, vandalism, or theft.
- Cyber Liability - If you are every the victim of a cyberattack or a data breach, sensitive information could be lost or stolen. Cyber liability insurance will assist with costs that are associated with recovering data, as well as any lawsuits that may be filed against you.
- Workers' Compensation - If you employ a staff, you'll also need to invest in workers comp insurance. This policy covers medical expenses and lost wages in the event that an employee is injured on the job.
Alaska Notary Public's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is low. To prevent slips and falls, all areas accessible to clients must be well maintained with floor covering in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient, and be well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. Off-premises, there is little interaction with clients except for signature and verification of identities.
Professional liability exposure is moderate. Failure to verify the identity of those signing legal documents could have a high financial impact. The accuracy, thoroughness, and fiduciary integrity of the notary are very important.
Workers compensation exposure is limited to that of an office. If work is done on a computer, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations. Off-site, notaries can be injured by slips and falls, in automobile accidents, or potentially by abusive clients.
Property exposures are generally limited to that of an office, although there may be some incidental storage or an area for minor service work. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning systems, wear, and overheating of equipment.
Crime exposures are minimal but can include employee dishonesty and fraud. Hazards increase without proper background checks and monitoring procedures. All job duties, such as ordering, billing and disbursing should be separate and reconciled on a regular basis. Receipts should be issued for any cash payments received.
Inland marine exposures are limited to valuable papers and records and the transport of the notary seal and other information and equipment that the notary may carry. Duplicates should be kept off-site to allow for re-creation in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned. If vehicles are provided to employees, there should be written procedures in place regarding personal use by employees and their family members. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained, and records kept in a central location.
Alaska Notary Insurance Coverage
To find out more about additional Alaska notary insurance policies you might need and how much coverage you should invest in, speak to an broker that has experience with commercial insurance for notaries.
Alaska Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
If you're an entrepreneur who is thinking about starting a business in Alaska, it's important to have a basic understanding of the state's overall economy before you set up shop. Regardless of how high-quality the products and services you are planning on offering may be, if the location where you open your organization doesn't offer a target market that your products and services will appeal to, chances of success are slim. Furthermore, if a workforce isn't available to support your business, you'll have a hard time staying afloat.
With that said, it's important for business-minded individuals who are thinking about starting a company in Alaska to familiarize themselves with the state's economy; it's also a good idea to have an understanding of the commercial insurance requirements.
Following is an overview of economic trends and commercial insurance policies that business owners are required to carry in The Last Frontier.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Alaska
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Alaska was 6.1% in December of 2019. While that's significantly higher than the national unemployment rate, which was 3.4% in December, 2019, it's lower than it was one year prior, when the rate of unemployment was 6.5% in December of 2018. Though the workforce is growing slower than it is in other states, economists do predict that the rate will continue to decline in the coming years.
Despite Alaska's remoteness and cold climate, it's actually a great start to start a business. According to the Tax Foundation, Alaska is the second most tax-friendly state for business owners in the United States, as there's no individual income tax or state sales tax. Additionally, Alaska has the second highest rate of new business owners, as well as the second highest percentage of available employees (as per 2016).
As in most states, the best spots to start a business in Alaska are the state's biggest cities and the surrounding areas. This includes Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. Other key areas that are seeing a boost in business development in recent years include Homer, Sitka, Prudhoe Bay, and Ketchikan.
While there are several industries that are experiencing growth in The Last Frontier, specific sectors thrive more than others. Businesses that are related to the following industries are booming in AK:
- Fishing, which is also one of the largest contributors to the state's economy.
- Mining, which provides more than 4,500 jobs in Alaska.
- Petroleum, which is responsible for 34% of jobs in the state. In fact, Prudhoe Bay is North America's largest oil field.
- Tourism is the second largest private sector employer in the state. Each year, millions of people from around the globe travel to Alaska to marvel at the numerous natural wonders that can be found here.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Alaska
The Alaska Division of Insurance regulates insurance in AK. Alaska mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Alaska requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Alaska also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Professional Services Insurance
Get informed about small business professional services insurance, including Professional liability, aka errors and omissions (E&O insurance), that protects your business against claims that a professional service you provided caused your client financial loss.
- Answering Service
- Attorney Lawyer
- Business Consulting
- Corporate Wellness
- Court Reporter
- Debt Collection Agency
- Detective Agency
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Consultant
- Executive, Career & Life Coaching
- Executive Search Firm
- Expert Witness
- Financial Services
- Financial Planner
- HR Consultant
- Insurance Agents & Brokers Insurance
- Mediator - Arbitrator
- Medical Billing
- Music, Drama & Dance Therapy
- Office Machine Repair & Maintenance
- Project Management
- Temporary Staffing
- Tax Preparer
Let's face reality. People today are claims conscious, resulting in a significant share of malpractice lawsuits against professionals.
Liability resulting from the rendering of or the failure to render professional services is excluded in most liability coverage forms. This means that a policy covering a account's or lawyers' office will cover liability arising out of the maintenance or use of the premises, but specifically exclude liability arising out of the rendering of a professional service or the omission of such a service.
In addition to the professions in which actual physical or mental injury may be caused to clients, certain other professions are exposed to claims for malpractice.
Claims may be brought against lawyers, accountants, architects, and similar professional persons for errors or omissions in their professional capacity. Errors & Omissions insurance pays damages that might be awarded to a plaintiff alleging professional negligence.
Professional liability policies are made available to such risks, and these policies provide essentially the same protection as is afforded under the physicians, surgeons or dentists professional liability policy.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Professional Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Money and Securities, Special Floater, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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Also learn about Alaska small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including AK business insurance costs. Call us (907) 531-9001.