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.
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- How Much Does Notary Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Notaries Need Business Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Notary Publics Need?
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?
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 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 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 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.
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.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 7389 Business Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
- NAICS CODE: 541120 Offices of Notaries
- Suggested ISO General Liability Code(s): 61224, 61225
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8810
Description for 7389: Business Services, NEC
Division I: Services | Major Group 73: Business Services | Industry Group 738: Miscellaneous Business Services
Notary Insurance Coverage
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.
Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.
Commercial insurance steps in to help you manage these risks, avoiding a situation which requires you to pay exorbitant costs out-of-pocket.
Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.
Types Of Small Business Insurance
Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:
- What type of business am I running?
- What are common risks associated with this industry?
- Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
- Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
- Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?
A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:
|Business Insurance Policy Type||What Is Covered?|
|General Liability Insurance||What is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.|
|Product Liability Insurance||What is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.|
|Commercial Property Insurance||What is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.|
|Business Owners Policy (BOP)||What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.|
|Commercial Auto Insurance||What is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.|
|Commercial Umbrella Policies||What is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.|
|Liquor Liability Insurance||What is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.|
|Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)||What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.|
|Surety Bond||What is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).|
Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.
Business Insurance Required by Law
If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.
Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.
Other Types Of Small Business Insurance
There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Contractor's Insurance
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Directors and Officers
- Employment Practices Liability
- Environmental or Pollution Liability
- Management Liability
- Sexual Misconduct Liability
Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.
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
- 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.