What is a Notary Bond & Why it Matters to Know
A notary bond (or surety bond) is insurance that protects the public if a notary unintentionally fails to fulfill, or is negligent when performing their duties. If the client is subject to financial loss, the notary bond will protect them. A notary bond differs from E&O insurance that the notary public would purchase if looking for personal protection. Not all states require a notary to be bonded, but some will require a notary bond prior to licensing.
Check with your state laws to see what’s required. You can learn more about E&O insurance, how much it costs, and how it can protect you in our article on Notary Bond Insurance. What is a notary bond? Read more.
Where to Buy a Notary Bond?
You can purchase a notary bond through a licensed insurance company that sells surety bonds. The process is simple and will generally only require the notary’s name, address and phone number. It’s easy to find a company that does instant, electronic transactions. Once in touch with a company, they will guide you through the process to cover everything.
When you purchase your notary bond, it’s important to make sure that you have the appropriate coverage for your needs. This is why it’s always best to go through an experienced insurance company that can discuss your options and provide comprehensive advice. With their help, you can ensure that your business is adequately protected and that you are legally compliant.
It is also worth noting how vital it is to read the fine print. Understand what the bond covers and any exclusions or limitations that may apply. For example, some bonds do not cover mistakes made by the notary, so ensure that your coverage does. Additionally, state bonds will also have different coverage requirements, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations pertaining to your state.
How Much Does a $10,000 Notary Bond Cost?
So, what is a notary bond? The main purpose of a notary bond is to protect the public from any financial losses that result from an individual’s negligence as a notary. A surety company typically issues the bond and requires collateral in order to guarantee the coverage amount.
Most notary bonds offer coverage between $1,000 and $25,000+; however, the cost is usually a one-time fee of between 1% and 15% of the bond amount. Your credit rating can also determine the price, and the company you purchase from will determine the cost for you. It’s also best to check your state laws as requirements differ state-to-state.
Notaries are regulated differently in each state, so it’s important to understand your state’s laws before you purchase a notary bond. With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision on which company and coverage amount best meets your needs. Your state’s public official bonding board may also require you to carry a larger bond than what’s typical in your area, which could drive up the cost. Additionally, your credit rating can be a factor in determining the price of your notary bond. Depending on the company you purchase from, your credit score can make a difference in the cost of the premium for your bond.
How do I File My Notary Bond?
Here are the steps to file your bond from nationalnotary.org in their article on Errors & Omissions Insurance.
“The process varies by state, but in general, you must file your bond either with your state’s commissioning official, or the county clerk in the county in which your principal place of business is located or in which you reside. Depending upon the state, the bond is filed with the application for a commission or after the commission is issued … within a defined time window, such as 30 or 45 days, from the date you were appointed or commissioned as a Notary.”
Once your bond has been filed, make sure to keep a copy of the filing documents for your records. This will help ensure that you have the information you need in case any questions arise about your Errors & Omissions Insurance policy. Additionally, it is important to keep your Errors & Omissions Insurance coverage up-to-date and renew your bond as needed.
By taking the time to file your bond properly and renew it regularly, you can be sure that you are adequately protected no matter what professional notary services you provide. With this peace of mind, you can focus on providing your best services to clients.
What Happens if a Claim is Made Against Your Notary Bond?
If a claim is made against your notary bond, the surety’s claim department will investigate the claim. You will need to provide your notary journal records and other requested information per your state laws. This is one of the many reasons it is a very good idea to keep excellent records in your notary journal. Claims don’t always go through, but you will be required to pay any amount that the surety pays if it does.
This is why it’s essential to have E&O insurance to protect you against any potential public claims. If a claim is paid from your bond, your commission might be subject to suspension until you can post another bond. Check your state laws to see what applies to you.
Let’s face it, mistakes happen. And, not only is it required to be bonded and carry insurance in most states, it’s a smart move. You never know what could come up, and it’s better to be covered than have to pay out of pocket. Another great way to protect yourself is to ensure that you complete your notary journal entries with the correct information.
We cover Notary Journal must-haves and provide a link to templates in our article on Notary Journals.
if you’re starting out or looking to organize your notary business better. Claims are quite rare, so there’s no need to worry if you are following state laws and best notary practices. What we hope for is that you’re set up for success if you do happen to make a mistake. Being prepared is the best thing you can do to ensure that you’re covered in the unlikely event there is a claim filed against your bond.