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April 29, 2018

Do I need $1 million (E&O) insurance to get more Notary business?

Do I need $100,000 or $1 million in Errors & Omission (E&O) insurance to get more Notary business?
It is not uncommon for some companies to require that a Notary have more than the standard amount of E&O Insurance. There is no state mandated minimum for E&O unlike a Notary Bond where the law requires every Notary to file an official bond for $15,000 which is designed to pay limited claims against the Notary Public.

But please make no mistake. All Notaries must carry some form of E&O insurance to protect themselves from unintentional errors and omissions they make. Of course, E&O policies will not cover fraudulent acts or intentional errors. Without E&O Insurance, you will have to pay for the cost of the judgment or settlement and your own legal expenses. The financial impact can force a Notary to renounce his/her Notary commission and possibly even declare bankruptcy depending upon then severity of the error.

The high coverage of an E&O policy is based on the false perception that the companies would get a better class of Notary or that they are protected from any and all errors made by the Notary. This is farthest from the truth. I have more than 20 years of experience being a Notary and have never increased my E&O Insurance above the standard amount of $15,000/- primarily for 2 reasons. First, the number of companies requiring $100,000 or even $1 million in E&O Insurance are few and far between and the number of jobs that a Notary gets does not make up for the increased premium for the additional coverage. Second, the E&O policy only covers clerical errors and does not cover any fraudulent acts committed by the Notary. As a matter of practice, I double and sometimes triple check my work and am always cautious of the people who appear before me for a notarization. More importantly, I never do anything that even has the appearance of a scam or fraud. I have no intention of being someone’s boyfriend with no escape clause!!

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May 14, 2017

Million dollar E and O?

Filed under: Carmen Towles,Popular on Facebook (some) — Tags: , — admin @ 10:10 am

So it seems that their is a signing service sending out emails to all of the notary signing agents in their data base, informing them that for $100 each they can buy into their companies million dollar E and O policy. I have been asked to weigh in on this. My initial reaction was how odd it was and many questions come to mind. For one, I am not sure that it is even possible for a group of notaries to be under one policy. (I put a call in to an E and O provider at the time of writing this blog and I am waiting for my answer. If any of you veteran notaries know, please post it in the comments section below.) Also, all notaries are independent contractors. They have their own business, and we all work and reside in different states. Another question came to mind; would your name be listed among all the others who buy in under the policy? And would all notaries receive an actual policy? Unfortunately, the email that folks received did not answer any of these questions. What I can say, (and i mean no disrespect) is that on the surface it looks like this signing service is trying to get a little help from the notaries paying their E and O policy. I imagine a million dollar policy is very expensive. If the signing service wants to weigh in that would be great. I believe they are a member of 123.

I never understood the demand from these signing services for such high amounts in the first place. E and O for notaries covers errors and omissions (like forgetting to sign, wrong date, incorrect venue, etc) ONLY- nothing more. In this case of a million dollars, I cant imagine that that these types of errors would even come close to this high dollar amount. And typically, errors are caught before they even have a chance to turn into a problem.

I’d love to hear what you have to say about this…

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January 13, 2015

E&O insurance: where do I get it & how much do I get?

Everybody is getting E&O insurance these days. Ironically, the only notaries who I have heard about having claims on their policies are the ones who went overboard and got a million dollars of coverage just for show which turned them into a target. But, on a brighter note, you need E&O in order to get hired. Yes, it is more of a fashion show than something you actually need, but the fact that signing companies don’t take you seriously if you don’t have it makes it a necessity. The question is — how much & who do you get it from?

Lots of vendors sell E&O insurance.
Notary Rotary sells it. NNA offers one stop shopping for notaries including E&O. One notary claims that Merchant Bonding offers the best rate on E&O. One notary said that Traveler’s charged him only $170 for 100K for four years which is excellent as others charged $265 for the same coverage. It seems that companies that cater exclusively to notaries do not always have the best rates on insurance, although the convenience of one stop shopping makes it worth while to pay a little more.

How much should you get?
The quantity of your E&O depends on who you are trying to impress. If you just do signings for signing companies, perhaps 25K is enough. If you are full-time and want to appear professional, it is better to have 100K rather than claiming in your notes section to be professional. Don’t say it — show it! If you want to work on the white glove list for major Title companies, then 500K or a million might be in order. I don’t know what that costs, but if you are getting paid big bucks regularly, then whatever they charge is probably worth it.

If you want to comment on this blog entry: let us know where you buy your E&O and what it costs!

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