(a) A person shall not act in the capacity of a title insurance producer and a title insurer shall not contract with any person to act in the capacity of a title insurance producer with respect to risks located in the District unless the person is licensed as a title insurance producer in the District of Columbia in accordance with this chapter.
(b)(1) A title insurance producer licensed in the District shall:
(A) Disclose on all recorded documents the name of the particular title insurer;
(B) Exclude or eliminate the word “insurer” or “underwriter” or similar term from its agency’s name; and
(C) Provide, in a timely fashion, each title insurer with which it places business any information the title insurer reasonably requests to comply with reporting requirements of the Commissioner.
(2) A title insurance producer operating in the District of Columbia licensed in the District of Columbia on January 1, 2011, shall have 180 days after January 1, 2011, to comply with the requirements of this subsection.
(c)(1) The Commissioner shall require the title insurance producer to maintain the coverages listed in paragraph (1A) of this subsection for the benefit of the title insurer in amounts commensurate with the producer’s average exposure, under terms and conditions, and from insurers, acceptable to the Commissioner:
(1A) At the time an application for an initial, renewal, or reinstatement of a title insurance producer license is filed, the applicant shall provide satisfactory evidence to the Commissioner of having secured the applicable proof of financial responsibility as herein provided:
(A) Each business entity with a title insurance producer license is required to obtain an Errors and Omissions policy in an amount not less than $500,000 per occurrence or claim;
(B) Each individual with a title insurance producer license is required to obtain Errors and Omissions coverage in an amount not less than $500,000 per occurrence or claim, either through the business entity through which the individual is employed or otherwise covered, or through an individually-issued policy;
(C) Each business entity with a title insurance producer license is required to obtain a surety bond in an amount not less than $200,000 executed by the applicant as principal and by an insurance company as surety or obligor. The Bond shall run to the District of Columbia government as the obligee and benefit the District or any other aggrieved party, including consumer and title insurers;
(D) Each individual with a title insurance producer license is required to obtain surety coverage in an amount not less than $200,000, either through a business entity where the individual is employed or otherwise covered, or through an individually issued bond;
(E) Each business entity with a title insurance producer license is required to obtain a fidelity bond or similar insurance policy in an amount not less than $200,000 that covers all employees and contractors. A sole proprietor with no employees or a limited liability entity with no employees shall be exempt from this requirement.
(2) The Commissioner may promulgate rules specifying acceptable alternatives to the preceding insurance requirements. The availability of closing or settlement protection shall not be an acceptable alternative to the requirements of this subsection.
(d) If the title insurance producer delegates the title search to a third party, such as an abstract company, the title insurance producer shall exercise the appropriate diligence, in good faith, to determine that the third party is covered by or maintains the errors and omissions coverage required by subsection (c) of this section.
(e) All funds collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Securities and Banking Regulatory Trust Fund established by § 31-107(b-2).
Effect of Amendments
The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-40 rewrote (b)(1)(A) and (c)(1); and added (c)(1A).
For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2123 of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-463, July 2, 2010, 57 DCR 6542).