Notary Bulletin

Surety Bonds and E&O Insurance: Know The Difference

In business, legal disputes are a fact of life — and Notaries are often named in lawsuits when problems are found on a notarized document. In our increasingly litigious society it’s crucial for Notaries to know the difference between a surety bond — which protects signers — and E&O policies that guard a Notary’s personal and professional assets from liability.

Some people mistakenly assume that state-required surety bonds cover Notaries against financial loss in a lawsuit. But surety bonds only protect signers from loss caused by a Notary’s error, not the Notary. For protection against liability, Notaries must take out an Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance policy. Unlike surety bonds, E&O insurance does not have to be reimbursed in the case of a claim pay-out.

Though best practices are an important safeguard against getting sued, Notaries can sometimes become entangled in lawsuits through no fault of their own — such as when their name is forged by someone else on a document or a seal image is copied and misused without the Notary’s knowledge. An E&O policy keeps the Notary covered in these situations and can also help pay for legal expenses such as hiring an attorney.

For more information on obtaining an E&O policy, you can also call (800) US NOTARY (876-6827) or visit us online.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

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