A surety bond is a legal tool commonly used by governments to encourage lawful and ethical behavior by businesses. Your title agency surety bond protects customers and the state from harm caused by misconduct in the operation of the agency. In the event that a claim is upheld, damages can be paid up to the total amount of the bond.
In Maryland, this bond offers coverage for title insurance producers. Title insurance settlement agents in Virginia are also required to have this type of bond policy. In Ohio, a title agent bond is required for individual title insurance agents or agencies. Other states, such as Iowa, refer to this bond as a real estate closing bond or, simply, a closing bond.
Title insurance agencies search real estate records to determine property ownership. They're an integral part of real estate transactions, representing title insurance companies that protect property buyers from disputes over old liens, unpaid taxes, and other problems. They do title searches, handle legal documents and other functions as requested by clients.
When dealing with real estate, title agencies share similarities with escrow agencies. However, the two often operate in different manners. Title agents may be involved with the issuing of a real estate title. Escrow agents typically act as middlemen, making sure both the seller and buyer are in agreement on terms. Note that escrow agents may have separate bond requirements from title agents. Be sure to check your state’s licensing requirements.
Please note that title insurance agents deal with real estate titles and have nothing to do with motor vehicle titles.
Many states require you to post a title agency surety bond in order to do business as a licensed title insurance agency or title agent. Surety bonds for title agents offer protection for your clients and the state from possible dishonest, misleading or unprofessional behavior by your agency that imperils them financially.
The bond premium can range from 1% to 3% of the full bond amount required in your state, depending on your personal credit score and on your business's financial health and history.
NNA Surety Bonds offers policies for title agencies in the following states, with premiums listed at 1% of the bond coverage amount:
|State||Bond Amount||Cost* (Annual Premium)|
|Idaho||$10,000 – $50,000||Varies*|
|Kansas||$25,000 / $50,000 / $100,000||$250 - $1,000*|
State laws regulating mortgage and real estate professionals vary, but most states require title insurance agents to acquire a surety bond. Here are some steps to qualify for a title agency bond:
NNA Surety Bonds provides policies for title insurance agents in the following states: Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
If you're ready to apply, or if you need more information about title agent licensing requirements, we'll be happy to help. Fill out our form to learn more about getting the surety bond required in your state!