Washington Notary Insurance Policy Information
Washington 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 Washington 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.
Washington 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 WA 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 Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington 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.
Washington 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.
Washington Notary Insurance Coverage
To find out more about additional Washington 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
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- Safety Consultants
- Speakers Bureaus
- Temporary Staffing
- Tax Preparer
- 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.
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Also find WA local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Washington small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including WA business insurance costs. Call us (206) 801-0021.