Notary Insurance Policy Information
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 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.
Notary insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked notaries insurance questions:
- What Is Notary Insurance?
- How Much Does Notary Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Notaries Need Business Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Notary Publics Need?
- What Are Notary Publics Risks & Exposures?
- What Does Notary Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Notary Insurance?
Notary insurance is a type of insurance that protects notaries public from financial losses and liability claims that may arise from errors or omissions in their work.
This type of insurance typically covers damages resulting from notarizing a document that is later found to be fraudulent or incorrect, as well as any legal fees incurred during a lawsuit.
Notary insurance is not required by law, but it is highly recommended for notaries to have as it provides peace of mind and protection for them and their assets.
How Much Does Notary Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small notaries ranges from $27 to $39 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
Why Do Notaries Need Business Insurance?
Notaries are public officials who are responsible for witnessing the signing of important documents and verifying the identity of the individuals signing these documents. In order to carry out these duties, notaries are required to have a certain level of knowledge and expertise, and they must follow strict guidelines and procedures.
However, despite their training and professionalism, notaries can still make mistakes or be accused of wrongdoing. This is where insurance comes in. Notaries need insurance to protect themselves and their business from financial loss due to errors, omissions, or legal claims that may arise in the course of their work.
For example, a notary may be sued if they make a mistake while witnessing the signing of a will or other legal document, or if they are accused of fraud or misconduct. In these cases, the notary may be required to pay legal fees and other costs, which can be financially devastating without notary insurance.
In addition to protecting the notary themselves, insurance can also provide protection for the notary's clients. For example, if a notary fails to properly authenticate a document, their clients may suffer financial or other types of losses as a result. Insurance can help to cover these losses and ensure that the notary's clients are compensated for any damages.
Overall, insurance is an important tool for notaries to protect themselves and their clients from financial loss and legal claims. It is a necessary part of the notary profession and helps to ensure that notaries can carry out their duties with confidence and peace of mind.
What Type Of Insurance Do Notary Publics Need?
The type of 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.
What Are Notary Publics 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.
What Does Notary Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Notaries can be sued for various reasons, including negligence, fraud, and errors or omissions in their work. Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, can help protect notaries from the financial burden associated with these lawsuits. Here are a few examples of situations where notaries might be sued and how insurance can help:
Negligence: If a notary fails to properly identify a signer or neglects to follow proper notarization procedures, they may be sued for negligence. In this case, E&O insurance can help cover the costs of legal defense and any damages awarded to the claimant if the notary is found liable.
Fraud: If a notary knowingly participates in fraudulent activity, such as notarizing a forged signature or falsifying information in a notarial certificate, they can be sued for fraud. Although E&O insurance may not cover intentional wrongdoing, it can still provide coverage for legal defense costs up to the point where fraudulent intent is proven. In some cases, the policy may also cover damages awarded to the claimant if the notary is found liable.
Errors and omissions: Sometimes notaries make mistakes, such as misstating information on a notarial certificate or failing to properly complete a required journal entry. If the error results in financial harm to a party involved in the transaction, the notary may be sued. E&O insurance can help pay for the costs of legal defense and any damages awarded to the claimant if the notary is found liable.
Breach of duty: If a notary breaches their duty of care or violates professional standards, they may be sued for damages. This can include situations like disclosing confidential information or failing to report suspected fraud. E&O insurance can help cover legal defense costs and damages awarded to the claimant if the notary is found liable.
In all these situations, having a robust E&O insurance policy in place can help protect notaries from the financial burden of lawsuits, ensuring they can continue to perform their duties without fear of personal financial ruin. It is essential for notaries to carefully review their insurance policies to ensure they have appropriate coverage for their specific situations and jurisdictions.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 7389 Business Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
- NAICS CODE: 541120 Offices of Notaries
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8810 Clerical Office Employees NOC
7389: Business Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
Division I: Services | Major Group 73: Business Services | Industry Group 738: Miscellaneous Business Services
7389 Business Services, Not Elsewhere Classified: Establishments primarily engaged in furnishing business services, not elsewhere classified, such as bondspersons, drafting services, lecture bureaus, notaries public, sign painting, speakers' bureaus, water softening services, and auctioneering services, on a commission or fee basis. Auctions of used cars and agricultural commodities, such as livestock and produce, are classified in Wholesale Trade.
- Agents and brokers for authors and nonperforming artist
- Apparel pressing service for the trade
- Appraisers, except real estate appraisers
- Arbitration and conciliation services
- Artists' agents and brokers, except performing artists
- Auctioneering service on a commission or fee basis
- Authors' agents and brokers
- Automobile recovery service
- Automobile repossession service
- Automobile shows, flower shows, and home shows: promoters of
- Bartering services for businesses
- Batik work (handprinting on textiles)
- Bottle exchanges
- Bronzing baby shoes
- Business brokers (buying and selling business enterprises)
- Charge account service (shopping plates) collection by individual
- Check validation service
- Cloth: cutting to length, bolting, or winding for textile distributors
- Contractors' disbursement control
- Convention bureaus
- Convention decorators
- Copyright protection service
- Correct time service
- Cosmetic kits, assembling and packaging
- Cotton inspection service, not connected with transportation
- Cotton sampler service
- Coupon redemption service, except trading stamps
- Credit card service (collection by individual firms)
- Decoration service for special events
- Demonstration service, separate from sale
- Directories, telephone: distribution on a contract or fee basis
- Divers, commercial
- Drafting service, except temporary help
- Drawback service, customs
- Drive-a-way automobile service
- Embroidering of advertising on shirts, etc.
- Engrossing, e.g., diplomas and resolutions
- Exhibits, building of: by industrial contractors
- Field warehousing, not public warehousing
- Filling pressure containers (aerosol) with hair spray, insecticides, etc.
- Fire extinguishers, service of
- Firefighting service, other than forestry or public
- Flagging service (traffic control)
- Floats, decoration of
- Florists' telegraph service
- Folding and refolding service: textile and apparel
- Fundraising on a contract or fee basis
- Gas systems, contract conversion from manufactured to natural gas
- Handtool designers
- Handwriting analysis
- Hosiery pairing on a contract or fee basis
- Hotel reservation service
- Identification engraving service
- Inspection of commodities, not connected with transportation
- Interior decorating consulting service, except painters and paper
- Interior designing service, except painters and paper hangers
- Inventory computing service
- Labeling bottles, cans, cartons, etc. for the trade: not printing
- Laminating of photographs (coating photographs with plastics)
- Lecture bureaus
- Lettering service
- Liquidators of merchandise on a contract or fee basis
- Mannequin decorating service
- Map drafting service
- Mapmaking, including aerial
- Message service, telephone answering except beeper service
- Metal slitting and shearing on a contract or fee basis
- Meter readers, remote
- Microfilm recording and developing service
- Mounting merchandise on cards on a contract or fee basis
- Music distribution systems, except coin-operated
- Notaries public
- Packaging and labeling service (not packing and crating)
- Paralegal service
- Parcel packing service (packaging)
- Patent brokers
- Patrol of electric transmission or gas lines
- Photogrammetric mapping service (not professional engineers)
- Photographic library service, still
- Photography brokers
- Pipeline and power line inspection services
- Playwrights' brokers
- Post office contract stations
- Presorting mail service
- Press clipping service
- Printed circuitry graphic layout
- Process serving service
- Produce weighing service, not connected with transportation
- Product sterilization service
- Promoters of home shows and flower shows
- Racetrack cleaning, except buildings
- Radio broadcasting music checkers
- Radio transcription service
- Recording studios on a contract or fee basis
- Redemption of trading stamps
- Repossession service
- Restaurant reservation service
- Rug binding for the trade
- Safety inspection service, except automotive
- Salvaging of damaged merchandise, not engaged in sales
- Sampling of commodities, not connected with transportation
- Scrap steel cutting on a contract or fee basis
- Shoe designers
- Showcard painting
- Shrinking textiles for tailors and dressmakers
- Sign painting and lettering shops
- Solvents recovery service on a contract or fee basis
- Speakers' bureaus
- Sponging textiles for tailors and dressmakers
- Styling of fashions, apparel, furniture, and textiles
- Styling wigs for the trade
- Swimming pool cleaning and maintenance
- Switchboard operation of private branch exchanges
- Tape slitting for the trade (cutting plastics, leather, etc. into widths)
- Tax collection agencies: collecting for a city, county, or State
- Tax title dealers: agencies for city, county, or State
- Telemarketing (telephone marketing) service on a contract or fee basis
- Telephone answering, except beeper service
- Telephone solicitation service on a contract or fee basis
- Textile designers
- Textile folding and packing services
- Time-share condominium exchanges
- Tobacco sheeting service on a contract or fee basis
- Tourist information bureaus
- Trade show arrangement
- Trading stamp promotion and sale to stores
- Trading stamp redemption
- Translation service
- Water softener service
- Weighing foods and other commodities not connected with
- Welcoming service
- Window trimming service
- Yacht brokers
Notary Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about additional 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.
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
- Armored Car
- Attorney Lawyer
- Background Music Services
- Business Consulting
- Chemical Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Claims Adjuster
- Commercial Laundries
- Commodity Broker
- Corporate Wellness
- Court Reporter
- Credit Bureaus
- Debt Collection Agency
- Detective Agency
- Diaper Services
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Consultant
- Executive, Career & Life Coaching
- Executive Search Firm
- Expert Witness
- Financial Planner
- Financial Services
- Funeral Directors
- HR Consultant
- Inspection Bureaus
- Insurance Agents & Brokers Insurance
- Mediator - Arbitrator
- Medical Billing
- Music, Drama & Dance Therapy
- Office Machine Repair & Maintenance
- Piano Tuners
- Project Management
- Safety Consultants
- Speakers Bureaus
- Tax Preparer
- Temporary Staffing
- Title Abstractors
- Valet Parking
- Specialty Consultants
- Specialty Service Business
The professional services industry, which includes occupations such as lawyers, doctors, accountants, and architects, often deals with sensitive and complex issues that carry a high risk of liability. These professionals are expected to provide their clients with expert advice and guidance, and any mistakes or oversights can result in significant financial consequences for both the client and the professional. This is where insurance comes into play.
Business insurance provides protection against the financial repercussions of potential mistakes or accidents that may occur while providing professional services. For example, a lawyer may make an error in their legal representation that leads to a financial loss for their client. Without insurance, the lawyer would be personally responsible for covering the cost of this loss. Insurance helps to protect professionals from these types of financial burdens and allows them to focus on providing high-quality services to their clients.
In addition to protecting against financial losses, commercial insurance can also provide legal defense for professionals facing legal action as a result of their work. This can be especially important for professionals in high-stress or high-risk fields, such as doctors or architects, who may be at a higher risk of being sued for professional negligence.
Overall, the professional services industry needs insurance to protect against financial losses and legal action, ensuring that professionals can continue to provide high-quality services to their clients without the added stress and burden of potential financial consequences.
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.