Item #120 - Errors and Omissions Insurance

What is Errors and Omissions Insurance and why would you want it?

The state of California requires every notary to carry a $15,000 notary bond. Many notaries think that's
enough to cover any mistakes they make. However, the notary bond exists only to pay the public. As a notary,
if you make a mistake and a court finds against you, are personally responsible for the damages awarded.
The bond will chip in the first $15,000 of the damages to cover the loss for this amount. However, the
bonding company will then ask you for the money. If you don't have it, the bonding company will attach your
wages and anything you own to secure repayment.

Errors and Omissions insurance covers you. If you are found at fault and required to pay damages, E&O will
your expense. $15,000 E&O will cover the bonding company. There is also another advantage to E&O. If you
are sued, the E&O company is potentially at risk, therefore, they have more of an incentive to protect you.
If the fault in the lawsuit is not clearly yours, the E&O company will usually provide help with your
defense in order to protect their money.

Do you really need E&O? Every notary has some amount of risk. However, if you are notarizing only for your
employer, your employer may already have you covered. If you are doing a low volume of notary work, it may
not be worthwhile to pay for E&O. However, if you are notarizing for the general public, doing a large
volume of work, or are in a distracting environment, it would probably be best to get coverage.