Idaho Title Agent Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain an Idaho Title Agent bond (sometimes referred to as a Title Insurance Agent bond).
At a Glance:
- Lowest Cost: $100 per year or $10 a month
- Bond Amount: Determined on a case-by-case basis (more on this later)
- Who Needs It: All title agents operating in Idaho
- Purpose: To protect the public from financial harm if the title agent commits fraud or engages in unfair business practices
- Who Regulates Title Agents in Idaho: The Idaho Department of Insurance
Idaho Statute 41-2710 requires all title agents operating in the state to obtain a license from the Department of Insurance. The Idaho Legislature enacted the licensing requirement to ensure that title agents do not engage in unethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, title agents must purchase and maintain a surety bond to be eligible for licensure.
What Is the Purpose of an Idaho Title Agent Bond?
Idaho requires all title agents to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a license. The bond ensures that restitution is available to any damaged party should the title agent fail to abide by the regulations outlined in the Idaho Statutes Title 41, Chapter 27. Specifically, the bond protects claimants if the title agent commits fraud or engages in unfair business practices. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the title agent violates the terms of their license.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain an Idaho Title Agent Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining an Idaho Title Agent bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “title agent” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.
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How Is the Bond Amount Determined?
Idaho Statute 41-2711 states that the Title Agent bond limit must be in the minimum amount of $10,000 per county in which the title agent is licensed. The bound amount increases by $10,000 for each additional escrow officer in each county that is employed by the title agent. However, the bond limit has a $50,000 max.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Idaho Title Agent Bond?
Surety companies will run a credit check on the title insurance agent to determine eligibility and pricing for the Title Agent bond. Title agents with excellent credit and work experience can expect to receive the best rates. While title agents with poor credit may be declined by some surety companies or have to pay higher rates. The credit check is a “soft hit”, meaning that the credit check will not affect the applicant’s credit.
How Much Does the Idaho Title Agent Bond Cost?
The Idaho Title Agent bond can cost between 0.5% to 5% of the bond amount per year. Monthly subscription options are also available. Insurance companies determine the rate based on several factors including your customer’s credit score and experience. The chart below briefly references the approximate bond cost on the $10,000 bond requirement.
$10,000 Idaho Title Agent Bond Cost
|Credit Score*||Bond Cost (1 Year)||Bond Cost (1 month)|
|625 – 720+||$100||$10|
|600 – 624||$250||$25|
|575 – 599||$300||$30|
|550 – 574||$500||$50|
|500 – 549||$700||$70|
*The credit score ranges do not include other factors that may result in a change to the annual premium offered to your customers, including but not limited to, years of experience and underlying credit factors contained within the business owner’s credit report.
How Does Idaho Define “Title Agent”?
To paraphrase Idaho Statute 47-210, a title agent (occasionally called a title insurance agent) is a person appointed by a title insurer to determine the insurability of a prospective client, as well as solicit, issue, and countersign title insurance policies on their behalf.
Title agents should not be confused with individuals that certify, prepare, and/or issue abstracts or titles of ownership to property. These individuals are likely licensed as abstractors and are not subject to this bonding requirement.
BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.
How Do Title Agents Become Licensed in Idaho?
Title agents in Idaho must navigate several steps to obtain a license. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Department of Insurance’s Title Agent webpage for further details on the process.
License Period – Idaho title agent licenses expire on January 1st of each year.
Step 1 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Title agents must purchase and maintain a surety bond.
Step 2 – Complete the Application
The completed Title Insurance Agent License Application must be submitted to the Idaho Department of Insurance. Along with the application, the following requirements must be attached:
- Plant Information (if this is a brand new plant, it must be inspected and approved by the Department prior to license issuance. If the applicant is purchasing or leasing an existing plant, attach a copy of the purchase and sales agreement)
- Certified copy of surety bond
- Limited Liability Addendum (only applies to title agents that are a Limited Liability Company)
- Copy of business filing with the Secretary of State
- Documentation of verifiable experience in the title insurance industry
- Documentation of familiarity and understanding of applicable sections of the Idaho Code and Rules
How Do Idaho Title Agents Renew Their License?
The title agent license must be renewed by January 1st of each year with the Idaho Department of Insurance. A completed Title Insurance Agent Renewal Packet and non-refundable fee of $50 is required.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Title Agents in Idaho?
Iowa does not require closing agents to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a license. Closing agents must purchase and maintain a $25,000 surety bond.
How Do Idaho Title Agents File Their Bonds?
Title agents should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney when submitting their license applications to the Idaho Department of Insurance (see the mailing address listed below).
Department of Insurance
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720
The surety bond requires signatures from the surety company, as well as the title insurance agent. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- The legal name of the individual buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
- Date the bond is signed
What Can Idaho Title Agents Do to Avoid a Claim Against Their Surety Bond?
To avoid claims against their bonds, title agents in Idaho must follow all license regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Unethical business practices
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Title Agents in Idaho?
Most reputable title agents/title insurance agents will purchase business liability insurance. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Idaho Title Agent Customers?
Idaho conveniently provides a public database to search for active title agents in the state. The database can be accessed here. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.