What's the Difference? Notary vs E&O

A notary public (notary) is a person who is appointed and authorized by the state to act as a public official to perform signer identification and witness services for important documents used in legal, financial, real estate and other business industries. As a public official, the notary may carry both a Notary bond and an Errors & Omissions (E&O) policy. What is the difference between the coverage each provides?

Notary Bonds

Errors & Omissions Policies

What Is A Notary Bond?

What is a notary bond? In many states, notaries are required to hold a notary bond to protect the public from financial harm resulting from the notary’s wrongdoing. The bond guarantees that notaries will perform their notarial duties in accordance with the law.

What is a Notary E&O policy?

A Notary E&O policy protects the notary from liability in the event they are alleged to have made a mistake while performing their legal duties as a notary public.

What is the coverage type?

Surety bond

What is the coverage type?

Insurance policy

Who does a notary bond protect?

The public

Who does an E&O policy protect?

The notary

What is the bond amount for a notary?

Each state determines the required bond amount for notaries. The bond amount can range from $500 to $25,000.

What is the policy amount of an E&O policy?

The notary decides how much coverage they would like. Coverage can range from $10,000 up to $100,000. $25,000 in coverage is generally recommended.

How does Merchants underwrite notary bonds?

Notary bonds can be instantly issued on the Merchants Bonding Company Hub™.

How does Merchants underwrite E&O policies?

E&O policies can be instantly issued on the Merchants Bonding Company Hub™.

What happens if someone makes a claim against my Notary bond?

A claim can be made against the bond for compensation. The surety will pay the claim if the notary violated their notarial duties. The bondholder is responsible for paying back the surety in full.

What happens if someone makes a claim against my E&O policy?

E&O policies will cover up to the limits of coverage for losses caused by the notary due to unintentional errors or omissions. Legal expenses will also be covered, even if the claim is groundless. Unlike a surety bond, losses paid do not require repayment.

How do I get a Surety Bond?

Surety bonds are issued by Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual) through insurance agents. Contact your local insurance agent or use our Find an Agent tool. They will guide you through the process, informing you of what documents and information are needed by the surety (Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual)) to underwrite your bond.

What is a Surety Bond?

A surety bond is a three-party agreement that ensures the fulfillment of a commitment or contract. For instance, the surety (Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual)) may provide a surety bond to a construction company (the principal) which is required by the state (the obligee), ensuring the construction company will perform the duties as outlined in the contract. In bonding the construction company, Merchants assumes the risk should the company default or not fulfill their contract. A surety bond is different from traditional insurance in that the principal is obligated to pay back the surety company on any claims paid out.

All information provided is subject to change.