Title Insurance Producers and Independent Contractors

Title Insurance Producers and Independent Contractors

What is a title insurance producer (TIP) and what is a title insurance producer independent contractor (TIPIC)?

 

​​A TIP is a person (individual or company), including an attorney, who solicits, procures, or negotiates title insurance contracts for compensation or who provides escrow, closing, or settlement services that may result in the issuance of a title insurance contract.

A TIPIC is an independent contractor, including an attorney, who provides on behalf of a TIP escrow, closing, or settlement services that may result in the issuance of a title insurance contract. A TIPIC must be a commissioned notary in order to witness documents.​

Do TIPs and TIPICs need licenses to conduct business in Maryland?

 

Yes. Both must be licensed by the Maryland Insurance Commissioner to conduct business in the Maryland. It is the title insurer’s responsibility to see that all appointed TIPs and TIPICs are appropriately licensed.​

Does a TIP need an appointment with the title insurer in order to sell, solicit, or negotiate title insurance?

 

Yes. The TIP must be appointed by a title insurer in order to sell, solicit, or negotiate title insurance on behalf of the title insurer. It is the title insurer’s responsibility to see that all appointed TIPs are appropriately licensed.​

Does a TIPIC need an appointment with the title insurer for whom the TIP is selling, soliciting or negotiating title insurance?

 

Yes. The TIPIC must be appointed by the title insurer. The TIP may not use or accept the services of a TIPIC unless the TIPIC holds an appointment with the title insurer with which the contract of title insurance may be placed.​

Are there different licensure requirements for TIPs and TIPICs?

 

Both TIPs and TIPICs must be licensed as TIPs in order to conduct business in Maryland.

When submitting an application for a TIP license or an application to renew a TIP license, the person must indicate if the person will act as a TIP or TIPIC. This is done by completing an affidavit. The affidavits are called the pdfAffidavit of Title Insurance Producer Applicant and the pdfAffidavit of the Title Insurance Producer Applicant: Title Insurance Producer Independent Contractor.

In addition, other than attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland, a licensed individual or company with employees who perform services that require a license as a TIP must file a blanket fidelity bond in the amount of $150,000 covering all such employees and all TIPCs used by the individual or company. TIPs with no employees are exempt from obtaining a fidelity bond so long as they file an pdfAffidavit for Waiver of Fidelity Bond for Sole Proprietors or pdfAffidavit for Waiver of Fidelity Bond for Corporations

In addition, a sole proprietor, LLC, partnership or corporation that is a TIP, other than self-employed attorneys and law firms licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland, must file a blanket surety bond or letter of credit in the amount of $150,000.

What obligation does the TIP have to a TIPIC?

 

The TIP is the legal principal of the TIPIC. The TIP is liable for all actions of the TIPIC that occur within the scope of the TIPIC’s engagement with the TIP.

Is it the TIP’s responsibility to verify that the TIPIC is licensed in Maryland and has been appointed by the title insurer?

 

Yes. It is the TIP’s responsibility to verify that the TIPIC is licensed in Maryland and has been appointed by the title insurer.​

Is it the TIPICs responsibility to verify that the TIP is licensed in Maryland and has the appropriate bond?

 

Yes. It is the responsibility of the TIPIC to verify that the TIP has the appropriate license to conduct business in Maryland and maintains bonds that cover the actions of the TIPIC.​

What happens if the TIP is not licensed in Maryland?

 

It is a violation of Maryland law for a title insurer to knowingly use an unlicensed TIP. Because it is the title insurer’s responsibility to use only licensed TIPs, the MIA will hold the title insurer responsible for knowingly conducting business through an unlicensed TIP.​

What happens if a TIPIC provides services and the TIP’s bonds do not cover the TIPIC?

 

It is a violation of Maryland law for a TIP to use a TIPIC unless the TIP’s bonds cover the TIPIC or the TIPIC maintains a separate bond. It is the responsibility of the TIP to be sure the TIP’s bond covers the TIPIC or the TIPIC has its own bond. If the TIP’s bond does not cover the TIPIC and the TIPIC does not have its own bond, the MIA will hold the TIP and the TIPIC responsible for this violation of Maryland law.​

Who is responsible for ensuring the TIPIC has been appointed by the title insurer?

 

It is the responsibility of the TIP and the TIPIC. It is the TIP’s responsibility to notify any title insurer with whom the TIP holds an appointment of the name and license number of each TIPIC used by the TIP. If the title insurer has been advised that the TIP is using the services of the TIPIC, it is the responsibility of the title insurer to either appoint the TIPIC as its producer or notify the TIP and TIPIC that it will not authorize the TIPIC to act as its appointed producer.​

If a TIPIC is used, what information about the TIP and the TIPIC must be recorded with the mortgage or deed of trust and who is responsible for ensuring this information is included?

 

The name, address and license number of the TIP and, if applicable, the TIPIC must be recorded with the mortgage or deed or trust. It is the responsibility of the TIP to ensure this information is recorded.​

Does the MIA maintain a list of licensed TIPs, including TIPICs?

 

Yes. A list of licensed TIPs, including TIPICs, is available, via the Report Generator.

Are insurers required to use the MIA’s Title Surety Bond?

 

No. The insurer may use any surety bond form approved by the Commissioner.​

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