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Title Insurance Agent Licensing - Frequently Asked Questions

Agents and Brokers Index | Licensing Information | Instructions & Forms

Q1. Who must obtain a title insurance agent license?

  1. sells or negotiates the sale of a title insurance policy; and
  2. evaluates the insurability of title, based upon the performance or review of a title search; and
  3. performs one or more of the following functions:
    1. collects, remits, or disburses title insurance premiums, escrows, or other related funds;
    2. prepares, amends, marks up, or delivers a title insurance commitment or certificate of title for the purpose of the issuance of a title insurance policy by a title insurance corporation;
    3. prepares, amends, or delivers a title insurance policy on behalf of a title insurance corporation; or
    4. negotiates the clearance of title exceptions, in connection with the issuance of a title insurance policy.
A regular salaried officer or employee of an authorized title insurance corporation or of a licensed title insurance agent who engages in the activities specified above does not have to be licensed as a title insurance agent provided the person does not receive a commission or other compensation for services that is directly dependent upon the amount of title insurance business done.

A person or business entity that does not engage in the activities specified above in item 1, item 2, and one of the activities in item 3 in a particular transaction need not be licensed as a title insurance agent.

An individual who engages in the activities specified in Insurance Law section 2101(y) must be licensed either individually as a title insurance agent or must be a sublicensee on behalf of a business entity that is licensed as a title insurance agent.

A business entity that engages in the activities described in Insurance Law section 2101(y) must be licensed as a title insurance agent. Every business entity must operate through at least one sublicensee but may have more than one sublicensee. Every sublicensee of a business entity must be a natural person who meets all of the qualifications to be licensed individually as a title insurance agent.

In addition, a business entity may employ licensed title insurance agents who are not sublicensees. An individual who is not an officer, director, partner, member, or manager, as appropriate, of an entity that is applying for a license must obtain an individual license as a title insurance agent. An individual may be licensed both individually and as a sublicensee of a business entity. An individual may be a sublicensee of more than one business entity.

If a business entity maintains more than one office, then each office must be in the charge of at least one supervising person. A supervising person may not be responsible for more than one office that is open at the same time except under limited circumstances. The supervising person must be licensed either as a sublicensee of the business entity or individually as a title insurance agent.

Q2. Who may be a sublicensee of a business entity?

Q3. Would a profit sharing agreement satisfy the “financial or other beneficial interest” requirement set forth in Insurance Law section 2139(b)?

Q4. How can an individual or sublicensee become qualified to act as a title insurance agent if New York is the applicant's declared home state?

  1. an applicant must complete a New York-approved prelicensing course for title insurance agents and pass the New York title insurance agent examination. The person must complete the prelicensing course prior to sitting for the examination; OR
  2. an applicant that is currently licensed as an attorney-at-law in New York and is in good standing with the New York State Office of Court Administration need not complete a prelicensing course or pass a title insurance agent examination. The applicant must submit a certificate of good standing from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the Division where the attorney was admitted.

Q5. How can an individual or sublicensee become qualified to act as a title insurance agent if New York is NOT the applicant's declared home state (i.e., applicant is a non-resident)?

Q6. Are there words that may not be used in a title insurance agent entity's name?

Q7. Must an employee of an UNDERWRITER obtain a title insurance agent license?

Q8. May an entity be a sublicensee of a business entity?

Q9. May a sublicensee also have an individual license?

Q10. Does each individual sublicensee need to apply for a title insurance agent license?

Q11. Does an examining counsel need to apply for a title insurance agent license?

Q12. Must an applicant answer all the questions listed on the application?

Q13. What is a company appointment and is it required?

Q14. May a person or business entity that is not licensed as a title insurance agent receive commission or otherwise be compensated based upon business generated for acting as a title insurance agent?


Updated 10/05/2015

 

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