Washington Title Insurance Agent Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Washington Title Insurance Agent bond.
*This page focuses exclusively on the $10,000 license bond required for title insurance agents operating in Washington. Title insurance agents that are registered as a business entity must also obtain a $200,000 Fidelity bond or similar insurance coverage. Contact BondExchange to obtain a Fidelity bond.
At a Glance:
- Lowest Cost: $100 per year or $10 a month
- Bond Amount: $10,000
- Who Needs It: All title insurance agents operating in Washington
- 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 in Washington: The Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner
Revised Code of Washington 48.29.155 requires all title insurance agents operating in the state to obtain a license from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. The Washington Legislature enacted the licensing requirement to ensure that title insurance agents do not engage in unethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, title insurance agents must purchase and maintain a $10,000 surety bond to be eligible for licensure.
What Is the Purpose of the Washington Title Insurance Agent Bond?
Washington requires all title insurance 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 insurance agent fail to abide by the regulations outlined in the Revised Code of Washington Title 48, Chapter 48.29. Specifically, the bond protects claimants if the title insurance 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 insurance agent violates the terms of their license
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Washington Title Insurance Agent Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Washington Title Insurance Agent bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “title insurance 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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Is a Credit Check Required for the Washington Title Insurance Agent Bond?
Surety companies will run a credit check on the applicant to determine eligibility and pricing for the Washington Title Insurance Agent bond. Title insurance agents with excellent credit and work experience can expect to receive the best rates, while title insurance 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 Washington Title Insurance Agent Bond Cost?
The Washington Title Insurance Agent bond can cost between $100 to $500 per year or $10 to $50 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 $10,000 bond requirement.
$10,000 Washington Title Insurance 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|
|500 – 574||$500||$50|
*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 Washington Define “Title Insurance Agent”?
To paraphrase the various tasks stated in the Revised Code of Washington 48.29.010, a title insurance agent is a third party hired by a title insurer to solicit, procure, and/or negotiate title insurance contracts on behalf of a title insurer. This also includes providing escrow, closing, or settlement services.
Exemptions to this definition include the following:
- Trust companies
- Lending institutions
- Mortgage brokerages or mortgage guaranty companies
- Attorneys licensed to practice in the State of Washington
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 Become Licensed in Washington?
Title insurance agents in Washington must navigate several steps to obtain a license. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Commissioner’s Get Licensed webpage for further details on the process.
License Period – Washington title insurance agent licenses expire one year after the date of issuance.
Step 1 – Fulfill Financial Requirements
Title insurance agents operating in the State of Washington must purchase and maintain a surety bond. In addition, a $200,000 Fidelity bond is also mandated by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
Step 2 – Complete License Application
How Do Title Insurance Agents in Washington Renew Their Licenses?
Washington title insurance agent licenses expire one year after the date of issuance. A renewal application must be submitted to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner on or before the licensee’s expiration date. A renewal application fee may apply.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Title Insurance Agents in Washington?
Washington does not require title insurance agents to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a license. Title insurance agents must purchase and maintain a $10,000 surety bond and a $200,000 Fidelity bond.
How Do Title Insurance Agents File Their Bonds in Washington?
Title insurance agents in Washington should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, electronically when submitting their license applications. The surety bond requires signatures from the surety company and the title insurance agent. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name and address of the individual buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
- Date the bond is signed
What Can Washington Title Insurance Agents Do to Avoid a Claim Against Their Surety Bond?
The easiest way to avoid a claim as a title insurance agent is to comply with all applicable license regulations. Common actions that can cause an official bond claim are listed below:
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Title Insurance Agents in Washington?
Most reputable 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 Title Insurance Agent Customers in Washington?
Washington conveniently provides a public database to search for active title insurance 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.