Nebraska Escrow Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Nebraska Escrow bond (formally referred to as an Escrow Agent bond).
At a Glance:
- Lowest Cost: $375 per year or 38 a month
- Bond Amount: $100,000
- Who Needs It: All title insurance agents and agencies that handle escrow or security deposits within Nebraska
- Purpose: To protect the public from financial harm if the title insurance agent commits fraud or engages in unfair business practices
- Who Regulates Title Insurance Agents/Agencies in Nebraska: The Nebraska Department of Insurance
Nebraska Revised Statute 44-19,109 requires all title insurance agents and agencies that handle escrow or security deposits within the state to obtain a license from the Department of Insurance. The Nebraska Legislature enacted the licensing requirement to ensure that title insurance agents/agencies do not engage in unethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, title insurance agents/agencies must purchase and maintain a $100,000 surety bond to be eligible for licensure.
What Is the Purpose of the Nebraska Escrow Bond?
Nebraska requires all title insurance agents and agencies that handle escrow or security deposits 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 insurance agent/agency fail to abide by the regulations outlined in the Nebraska Revised Statutes Chapter 44. Specifically, the bond protects claimants if the title insurance agent/agency commits fraud or engages in unfair business practices. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the title insurance agent/agency violates the terms of their license.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Nebraska Escrow Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Nebraska Escrow bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “escrow” 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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Is a Credit Check Required for the Nebraska Escrow Bond?
Surety companies will run a credit check on the title insurance agent or agency to determine eligibility and pricing for the Nebraska Escrow bond. Title insurance agents/agencies with excellent credit and work experience can expect to receive the best rates. Title insurance agents/agencies 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 Nebraska Escrow Bond Cost?
The Nebraska Escrow bond can cost between $375 to $6,000 per year or $38 to $600 per month. 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 $100,000 bond requirement.
$100,000 Nebraska Escrow Bond Cost
|Credit Score*||Bond Cost (1 Year)||Bond Cost (1 month)|
|680 – 719||$450||$45|
|660 – 679||$700||$70|
|649 – 659||$1,000||$100|
|629 – 648||$1,500||$150|
|600 – 628||$2,500||$250|
|580 – 599||$3,500||$350|
|550 – 579||$4,000||$400|
|525 – 549||$5,000||$500|
|500 – 524||$6,000||$600|
*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 Nebraska Define “Title Insurance Agent/Agency”?
To paraphrase Nebraska Revised Statute 44-19,108, a title insurance agent or agency is a business that performs various tasks such as determining the insurability of a client, handling escrows, negotiating title insurance policies, or closing real estate transactions.
To be clear, only title insurance agents and title insurance agencies that handle escrow or security deposits are required to purchase and maintain a surety bond.
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 Insurance Agents/Agencies Become Licensed in Nebraska?
Title insurance agents/agencies in Nebraska must navigate several steps to obtain a license. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Department’s Licensing Application and Forms webpage for details on the process.
License Period – According to the Nebraska Department of Insurance, individual title insurance licenses must be renewed every two years based on the producer’s birth month and year. Title insurance agency licenses renew annually on April 30th.
Step 1 – Purchase a Surety Bond
All title insurance agents and agencies that handle escrow or security deposits within Nebraska must purchase and maintain a $100,000 surety bond.
Step 2 – Meet the Following Requirements
To apply for a license, applicants must meet the requirements listed below:
- Be 18 years of age
- Pass Insurance Examination
- Complete and submit a license application to the Department of Insurance (forms can be found here)
- Pay the non-refundable $50 license application fee
How Do Title Insurance Agents/Agencies in Nebraska Renew Their Licenses?
Title insurance agents and agencies must submit their renewal application and required fee to the Nebraska Department of Insurance upon their license renewal due date. Individual title insurance licenses must be renewed every two years based on the producer’s birth month and year. Title insurance agency licenses renew annually on April 30th.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Title Insurance Agents/Agencies in Nebraska?
Nebraska does not require title insurance agents/agencies to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a license. Title insurance agents/agencies must purchase and maintain a $100,000 surety bond.
How Do Title Insurance Agents/Agencies File Their Bonds in Nebraska?
Title insurance agents/agencies should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney when submitting their license applications to the Nebraska Department of Insurance (see the mailing address listed below).
Nebraska Department of Insurance
PO Box 95087
Lincoln, NE 68509
The surety bond requires signatures from the surety company, as well as the title insurance agent or a representative from the title insurance agency. 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 Nebraska Title Insurance Agents/Agencies Do to Avoid a Claim Against Their Surety Bond?
To avoid claims against their bonds, title insurance agents/agencies in Nebraska 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 Insurance Agents/Agencies in Nebraska?
Most reputable title insurance agents and agencies 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 Title Insurance Agents/Agency Customers in Nebraska?
Nebraska conveniently provides a public database to search for active title insurance agents and agencies 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.