Responsibilities and obligations of a notary

Updated on Tuesday 7 November 2017

The notary's obligations: to insure the monetary consequences of its activity with an insurance company known to be creditworthy and be responsible towards all clients.


The obligation of professional liability insurance

According to article 13 of the decree dated May 20, 1955, all notaries are required to insure their professional civil liability. This obligation is not, in itself, unique, as it affects other professionals in the most diverse activities (doctors, lawyers, bailiffs, etc.).

This insurance covers damage caused to third parties as a result of errors, mistakes, or negligence on behalf of the notary or its staff. It mainly intervenes in the event of litigation and damage.

The obligation of solidarity with all other members of the profession: the collective guarantee

Along with this traditional insurance, the French notary has organized a collective guarantee, which covers the financial consequences of willful misconduct and negligence, that cannot be covered through conventional insurance techniques. This is a unique guarantee among the legal professions..

This collective guarantee has two mechanisms:

  • regional guarantee funds, the financial resources of which are provided by the contributions which are paid by the notaries depending on the region in question, and a central guarantee fund, the financial resources of which are provided by contributions borne by all notaries in France.

Therefore, in the case of damage caused to a client by a notary, while exercising his professional functions, the financial coverage of this damage is borne:

  • by the company insuring the risk of professional civil liability, and if applicable, by the Regional Guarantee Fund,
  • last but not least, and always if applicable, by the National Guarantee Fund,
  • as a last solution, if all these remedies have not been enough, through all the notaries in France, among themselves.