Notary E&O Insurance

Notary E&O Insurance

Notary errors and omissions (E&O) insurance protects notaries by covering claims related to their professional services.

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E&O insurance for notaries

A notary, also known as a notary public, is a person authorized by the government to witness the signing of important legal documents and to administer oaths and affirmations.

They verify the parties’ identities in a transaction, ensuring that they are signing the document willingly and knowingly and that the document is legally binding. Notaries serve as impartial witnesses and play a critical role in many legal and financial transactions, such as real estate transfers, wills, powers of attorney, and loan documents.

Notaries need E&O insurance, also called professional liability insurance, to protect themselves from potential claims or lawsuits arising from their professional activities. As notaries are often involved in significant legal and financial transactions, mistakes or oversights in their work could result in financial losses for their clients, which may lead to claims against the notary.

Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance can protect notaries from financial losses and legal expenses arising from claims of negligence, errors or omissions in their professional services. 

This type of insurance can cover damages awarded to clients due to a notary’s mistakes or oversights and legal defence costs, which can be substantial even if the notary is not found liable.

For example, if a notary accidentally notarizes a document with incorrect information or fails to verify a client’s identity properly, and this error results in financial losses for the client, the client may file a claim against the notary. 

E&O insurance provides financial protection by covering a notary’s costs of defending against the claim and paying any damages awarded to the client up to the policy limits.

Without E&O insurance, notaries may be personally liable for any damages or legal costs that result from claims against them, which can put their assets at risk.

A typical notary insurance policy includes the following coverages:

  • Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance: Also known as professional liability insurance, E&O insurance is essential for public notaries. It protects against claims of negligence, misrepresentation, failure to deliver a service as promised, errors, and omissions in the professional services you offer to your clients. E&O insurance protects a wide range of professionals who give advice or provide services to their clients for a fee.
  • Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance: CGL, or general liability insurance, covers notaries if third parties make bodily injury or property damage claims against you. It is designed to protect notaries from financial losses resulting from accidents that occur while conducting business, such as while working on a client’s property or meeting with clients in their office.

For example, if a notary accidentally spills coffee on a client’s laptop, causing damage to the computer, the client may file a claim against the notary for the cost of repairing or replacing the computer. CGL insurance covers the costs of defending against the claim and paying any damages awarded to the client up to the policy limits.

Additional coverages for notaries

To create a comprehensive notary insurance policy, you may want to consider including additional coverages, such as:

  • Business Owner’s Policy (BOP): A BOP combines several types of coverage into a single package. They are customizable, and notaries can choose the specific coverages they need based on their risk exposures.

A typical BOP may include general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and business interruption insurance, which provides coverage for loss of income and other expenses that arise when a business is forced to shut down due to a covered loss.

BOPs are typically less expensive than purchasing each type of coverage separately, and they can be a cost-effective way for notaries to obtain the protection they require.

  • Cyber Liability Insurance: Notaries need to protect themselves and their clients in case of data breaches or other cyber incidents that may compromise sensitive information. As notaries increasingly rely on technology to conduct their business, they may face a higher risk of cyber threats, such as hacking, phishing, or malware attacks. If a notary’s computer system is hacked and sensitive client information is stolen, the notary may face legal and financial liabilities, as well as damage to their reputation.

Cyber liability insurance can protect notaries in cyber incidents by covering the costs of responding to a data breach, notifying affected parties, and offering credit monitoring services to clients. It can also provide coverage for legal fees, damages resulting from a lawsuit related to the breach, and public relations expenses to help manage the notary’s reputation.

  • Commercial Property Insurance: If a notary owns, rents, or leases a physical office space where they conduct their business, commercial property insurance can provide coverage for damage or loss to the physical property and contents of that office space.

Commercial property insurance can protect notaries from financial losses from events such as fire, water damage, theft, vandalism, and weather-related damage. It covers repair or replacement costs for damaged or lost property, including the building structure, office equipment and electronics, furniture, and supplies.

The cost of notary E&O insurance can vary depending on several factors, such as:

  • Your location
  • The services you provide
  • The types of insurance you need and the coverage limits
  • Your years of experience
  • Your education and certification
  • Your annual and gross projected revenue
  • Your insurance claim history

Standard notary E&O insurance may cost approximately $450 per year for a policy with a $500,000 coverage limit.

If you have questions about the type of policy you need and its coverage limits, speak to a licensed Zensurance broker who can advise you and tailor your policy to suit your requirements.

Getting insured is quick and easy!

Complete our 5-minute online application for a free notary liability insurance quote.

Common claims scenarios


Problem: While notarizing a contract between two parties, you fail to properly verify the identity of one of the signees. The other signee notices the error and sues you for negligence.

Outcome: Your E&O insurance may cover your legal defence fees and any out-of-court or court-ordered settlement awarded to the plaintiff.

cyber hacker stealing financial infromation

Problem: Your laptop is hacked, and sensitive client information, such as names, addresses, and social insurance numbers, is stolen.

Outcome: Your cyber liability insurance may cover client notification and identity theft protection costs, credit monitoring fees, and your legal expenses if a client takes legal action against you because of the data breach.

client meeting

Problem: While meeting with a client at their office, you accidentally spill coffee on their laptop, inflicting significant damage to the device.

Outcome: Your commercial general liability insurance may pay to repair or replace the client’s damaged laptop.

Frequently asked questions

Does a notary E&O insurance policy from Zensurance cover me if I provide services in more than one province?

Yes. Your customized E&O insurance policy from Zensurance protects you for the services you provide across Canada and online.

If a client alleges a notary made a mistake, can they be sued even if there was no error?

Yes. We live in a litigious society. If a notary is facing an allegation from a client, such as making a mistake, the client can bring a lawsuit against you seeking compensation. Defending yourself from lawsuits, even ones without merit or dismissed by a court can be costly.

Can a public notary be held personally and financially liable for their notarial services?

Yes. A notary can be held liable for the cost of damage or loss a client endures resulting from the services they provide.

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