Are You Required to Carry Notary Insurance?

If you are beginning to work as a notary, one of the questions you may have is whether you are required to carry notary insurance, also referred to as Errors & Omissions Insurance. This is a question that we at Lifetime Investments, serving the greater Mesa, AZ area, are often asked. Here is the answer to this question. 

Are You Required to Carry Notary Insurance?

No. When you become a notary, you are required to put up what is known as a notary bond. If a mistake is made on one of the papers you are notarizing, the money to cover that mistake comes out of your notary bond. As such, you are not required to carry notary insurance, as the bond provides the legal minimum needed. 

Why Should You Carry Notary Insurance?

The main reason why you should consider carrying notary insurance is because it offers you more protection than a notary bond. A notary bond is the minimum amount of coverage that you are required to have. But if the damages done by your error cause more monetary damage than the bond covers, you can be sued and have to pay this amount out of your own pocket. Notary insurance helps to provide you with a greater level of coverage in the event of an error or omission, helping you to protect your personal finances.

While it is not required by law, there are many benefits to purchasing and carrying notary insurance. If you are looking to buy notary insurance in the greater Mesa, AZ area, let Lifetime Investments help you. Contact us today to learn more about these policies or to get a price quote for the right policy for you. 

Beauty Salons, Nail Salons, And Other Personal Care Operations Have Special Insurance Needs

If you are the owner of a salon providing personal care services such as haircuts, styling, nail care, skin care, tanning, massage, you need to consider the special needs of the business and your customers in order to have adequate insurance protection. It is best to work closely with your insurance agent at Lifetime Investments in Mesa, AZ to make sure any risks that are specific to your business, including any chemicals and equipment you work with are covered as well as your employees and your facilities.

Lifetime Investments in Mesa, AZ are the experts you can count on for insurance of any salon operations.

Salon Considerations

Things to consider include:

  • Personal care issues
  • Chemical used for treatments
  • Legal working status of employees
  • Product liability

The agents at Lifetime Investments in Mesa, AZ are well versed in the specific needs of any owner-operated salon and understand all the insurance requirements.

Naturally, you will need to insure the premises against any potential risk of damage. Additionally, you will need to insure the clients against any accidental harm. The types of insurance necessary depend on the activities that occur in each salon. There are different insurance requirements for a tanning salon in comparison to a salon that only offers skin care.

There are concerns about the equipment used in these operations, the problem with cross-contamination between clients and the toxic chemicals that are used in the business operations. All of these factors are considered by a competent insurance underwriter when working with a business owner to create adequate insurance coverage for their operations.

Reach Out To Your Agent

Be sure to check with your agent at Lifetime Investments in Mesa, AZ. Lifetime Investments in Mesa, AZ gives a free insurance review to make sure you have adequate coverage for all of your salon operations. They have many client s that work with salons and are the experts you need to talk with to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.

Ensure Your Special Items Receive Special Coverage

A locked gate bars passers-by from admittance to a private residence in the Copper Square area of downtown Phoenix AZ. 2007-06-17.

Specialty insurance is probably not the first thing on your mind when you start shopping for homeowner’s insurance, but it is an important consideration. You have wrapped your home in a gated entry, and feel that your homeowners insurance has you “covered!” However, did you know you can increase the amount of coverage for personal property – your personal belongings inside the home? You may be surprised that many policies include limits on certain items, most of which are higher-end purchases you may have made through the year, such as cameras, electronic equipment, guns, and jewelry.

Let’s say you decide a policy with $50,000 in personal property coverage should be sufficient, you owe it to yourself to check into any limits your insurer will pay to replace or repair them. Thinking you “have it all covered,” you may not read through the policy and see something like: “$500 limit on guns” or “$1,000 limit on computers.” What will be your response when you experience a loss and file a claim only to find your $50,000 in personal property coverage will only cover up to the policy’s limits on certain listed items?

It is time to find peace of mind…

Talk to me… make sure that you not only feel comfortable with the policy you’re buying, but that you fully understand any possible limitations. We will discuss additional riders that are available and you can describe or show any special items you own, such as collectibles, jewelry, or artwork. With my experience with multi-carriers, I will know which carrier offers a rider, that can easily be added so you can obtain sufficient coverage, or at the very least, schedule the items at a stated value or appraisal cost. We can make a knowledgeable decision whether some of your special items will require additional coverage; rather like a spin-off from a homeowners policy – that will provide coverage for just those specialty items you choose.

Be aware that you’ll have to provide appraisals to ensure adequate coverage, and that you should always have your special items appraised regularly to maintain adequate coverage in the event the items increase in value.

Jan Vitale
Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years

Getting Married? Protect Your Happiest Day

Specialty Insurance for WeddingsIf you’re planning a wedding, and getting married the last thing you want to think about is insurance.

You figure everything will work out just the way it’s supposed to. There is no question of the love you and your fiancé share and your intention to spend the rest of your lives together.

There are times, though, when things happen that are out of your control.

  • Your reception hall might go out of business with no warning.
  • You might lose a deposit from a vendor.
  • There could be a weather event that prevents you from having a beachfront ceremony, forcing you to postpone the date.
  • Your photographer could also lose your pictures, or wild party guests could cause damage to the reception hall, leaving you with the bill.

All these scenarios could cost you time, money and a lot of aggravation on what should be the happiest day of your life.

Fortunately, insurance is available to give you a safety net. Several insurance carriers have attractive, comprehensive plans that are very affordable.

The coverage comes on one policy. Property coverage includes cancellation/postponement, photo/video expense, gifts, special attire (like your dress), special jewelry and loss of any deposits. You can choose the level of protection you need for a cancellation or postponement. Limits range from $1,500 to $175,000.

Limits for other coverages listed are a percentage of the cancellation/postponement amount. They range from $3,000 to $3,500 each.

Some carriers will also include a sublimit for professional counseling, if desired.

It is also important to add liability coverage. Your reception venue may ask for proof of this coverage. This will provide protection for you should someone in your party cause injury or damage to someone or the venue itself.

Your wedding day is a very special day. Including insurance as part of the planning process will give you the peace of mind you deserve to focus on what really matters.

Jan Vitale

Independent Insurance Agent

Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years

The Top 10 Insurance Blunders – and How to Avoid Them

YOU are the insured; you have home insurance, auto insurance, or even specialty and commercial policies… but do you really know the protection you have, or are you at risk of experiencing a major insurance blunder? Insurance blunders are going to happen; that is life, but when it comes to buying insurance, what you don’t know can hurt you…and your family…for years to come.

Jan Vitale, Lifetime Investments, LLCI frequently tell my clients, “Without me – all you have is insurance!” I have a long history of being a passionate advocate for all their needs.  Today, learn how to identify the top ten insurance blunders and what to do to avoid them with these tips.

Buying insurance on price alone.

Although price is a major consideration, it’s even more important to have a reliable company and agent available should a claim arise. Take time to investigate the reputation and rating of the insurance company by visiting a third-party insurance rating company like A.M. Best, Fitch Ratings, Weiss or Standard & Poor’s. Make sure the company will be there when you need them, especially before buying long-term insurance policies like life insurance.

Tip: Investigate an insurance company’s complaint ratio by visiting the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website.

Failure to fully understand your policy.

Take time to evaluate your coverage and make sure you fully understand what is included in the policy. Exclusions, addendums, limitations, restrictions and other “fine print” can make a big difference in price and coverage. Don’t be afraid to ask questions…it’s a normal part of doing business.

Tip: Actually read the policy and don’t make assumptions. For example, many people reject rental car insurance without understanding the total out of pocket expenses and other limitations that leave them at risk with standard auto insurance or credit card-provided coverage.

Forgetting to update policies or make changes when needed.

Life events require major updates to your insurance coverage; everything from marriage to taking an extended vacation may have insurance implications. Take time to plan in advance and notify your agent of any life changing events (marriage, retirement, leaving for college, new job etc…)

Tip: Don’t forget to update your name, address and phone number if you have relocated or had a change of marital status, employment or other significant life event.

Making assumptions about your coverage.

Many people “think” they have coverage when they don’t. Common situations include taking a vehicle out of the USA (Mexico – Canada), and not knowing what coverage, if any, will extend to a foreign country or relocating (homeowners coverage may not cover belongings in transit) or other common exclusions.

Tip: Ask your agent! If you have never taken the time to sit with your agent and talk about your insurance needs, assets and desired levels of protection then make it a priority to do so. Insurance is one portion of a comprehensive financial planning strategy.

Paying late and missing deadlines.

If you are like some people who might have have a tendency to ignore all those reminders and updates sent from the insurance company; after all, they begin to look the same after a while. Big mistake! Take the time to open, review and act upon all insurance company/agent correspondence. One of the most commonly encountered blunders is also the easiest to prevent – late payments! Don’t allow your auto, homeowners or life insurance policy to be cancelled simply because you forgot the payment. Not only will it leave you vulnerable to potential claims but it can increase your premiums.

Tip: Sign up for automatic payment of your insurance policies to make sure they are always paid on time. Just be sure to verify the amount due each year in the event of an increase in premiums.

Skipping the important insurance products.

Most people focus on those types of insurance required by law or a mortgage company: auto insurance, homeowners insurance and perhaps employment provided health insurance. Unfortunately, that often leaves you vulnerable to some of the most frequently encountered problems including liability claims, disability and of course…loss of income.

Tip: Talk to your agent about affordable rates for these frequently used insurance types:

  1. Disability insurance.
  2. Life insurance.
  3. Long-term care insurance.
  4. Personal liability insurance.
  5. Supplemental health and drug coverage.

Failure to insure valuables separately.

Most homeowner policies have limits on jewelry, computers, electronic equipment and other valuables including business or hobby related items. Adding additional coverage for valuables is easy and inexpensive – just ask your agent about a rider to the existing policy.

Tip: Take inventory of your belongings. Photographs, identification numbers and/or receipts or appraisals will help determine the proper level of insurance and assist In submitting a claim should the need arise.

Duplicating insurance.

It’s particularly easy to duplicate coverage or have a gap in coverage especially if you tend to use different providers for auto, home, life, health and other coverage. One of the benefits of working with one agent is the ability to coordinate coverage, have one primary point of contact for all your insurance needs and eliminate duplicate or gap in coverage (which also will save money!).

Tip: When shopping for insurance, ask your agent for multiple policy discounts if you switch all your policies to one provider. Not only will you eliminate duplicate coverage but multiple policy discounts can reduce the total cost significantly.

Buying before obtaining quotes.

Most people buy a home, car, boat or other major purchase and then shop for insurance…big mistake! Avoid unpleasant surprises and costly premiums by obtaining insurance quotes prior to making a major purchase. Not only will you have a better idea of how to budget for the new purchase but it often makes you aware of prior damages or other issues that can be hard to spot. For example, major water-related claims on a home or extensive body work on a car could be a primary reason to negotiate a lower price.

Tip: Always obtain an insurance quote on the exact home, car, boat or other major item before making the purchase. It’s a good way to learn about hidden defects and avoid unpleasant surprises!

Naming, title and other troubles.

What’s in a name? A Lot! Another commonly encountered and easily overlooked insurance blunder is how a policy, beneficiary or title is recorded. Names matter especially when it comes to legal transactions. Areas most prone to problems include beneficiaries, ownership of real estate, cars, automobiles or other major investments as well as health or personal care coverage.

Tip: Always use legal names and verify that each policy includes the item and owner(s) or beneficiary including social security number or other proper identification.

Making MORE happen for my insurance clients…

Jan Vitale

Arizona Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years

This article and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publisher will not be responsible for errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.