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Insurance Needs for Process Servers

At first glance, it may seem ridiculous that a process server would need to carry insurance. After all, his job is simply to deliver paperwork, right? However, the truth is that a process server may run into any number of scenarios that, without insurance, could leave him on the hook for thousands of dollars in damages. In addition, some states require that process servers carry insurance. Whether or not it is required, insurance is a must-have for any process server.

Before purchasing insurance, it is important to speak with a qualified insurance agent. Making a mistake in your selection of coverage could prove extremely costly. Provided here is a quick guide to insurance for process servers.

Professional Liability Insurance vs. Errors & Omissions Insurance
Today, these two terms are often used interchangeably. However, this was not always the case. Traditionally, Errors & Omissions Insurance was the more complete coverage. Professional Liability generally covered only negligent as opposed to intentional acts or omissions and did not cover bodily injury or property damage. Errors & Omissions Insurance usually covered all of the above.

Now the distinctions have been largely forgotten. This means that it is not always clear exactly what will be covered by each type of policy. You will need to carefully read the policy to understand what is covered and determine whether you will need any sort of supplemental insurance.

The Difference Between Bonding and Insurance
Many process servers feel that if they are bonded, that they do not also need insurance. This is not the case. Many jurisdictions require process servers to be both bonded and insured. Even if this not a requirement, insurance is still necessary for those who are bonded. This is because bonding and insurance are entirely different things.

A surety bond can, in a sense, be seen as protection for other parties against your mistakes. If your error causes damages to someone else, those damages may be paid by the bonding company. You will then be billed by the bonding company for the amount paid. Insurance can be seen as your own protection. If you are sued, your insurance company will cover the damages without expecting repayment from you.

How Much Insurance Do I Need?
There is no one size fits all answer to the question of how much insurance you should carry. This is dependent on many factors, from the size of your company to the amount of risk you are willing to assume. If your jurisdiction requires that you carry insurance, there may be a state-mandated minimum, which may or may not be sufficient. Your insurance agent will help you decide how much insurance you need.

The Bottom Line
From accidentally mis-wording a document to inadvertently serving it to the wrong party, there are numerous errors that a process server may make. These errors may, at best, cause inconvenience to your client, and at worst may be responsible for the case being lost. If you make an error, it is well within the client's rights to sue you. Insurance can help to protect you and your business. Contact a qualified insurance agent to find the insurance package that is best for you.

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Rules of Process Serving
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