Do not expect insurance policies to cover deliberate acts. To that end a common attorney malpractice insurance policy exclusion is for notarizing documents without getting properly verification of the person’s identity.
Expect a claims denial for firms that fraudulently notarize documents.
The ProAssurance policy exclusion for this is very straightforward:
“any claim involving a certificate or acknowledgement of signature notarized by any Insured without the physical appearance or proof of identity of the signatory;”
Similar exclusions in other insurers policies which may or may not explicitly mention a notary. The exclusion may also be a blanket exclusion for deliberate acts.
As an aside attorneys do not need a notary bond to notarize documents. As long as they are licensed attorney in most jurisdictions that's all that is necessary. Staff on the other hand will need a notary bond.
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Lee Norcross, MBA, CPCU
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(616) 940-1101 Ext. 7080