What We Know About Title Agent Liability

Did you know that Merriam Insurance has been offering Title Industry Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions) policies since 1992?

That means that we have seen a lot of insurance companies enter and exit this market for the past 20 years. While the carriers offering these policies continue to change, we have remained a stable conduit for our clients to continue to get this essential protection for their business year after year from reliable sources at a competitive price.

Do you remember any of the following companies offering Title Agent’s Professional Liability insurance (E&O)? Frontier, Executive Risk, TIG, Gulf Insurance Group, Steadfast, Hartford, Philadelphia, Interstate, Zurich, Travelers, Chubb, & AIG? All of these companies no longer offer title industry E&O policies, and this is only a partial list of those who have left the market.

Why did they all exit the market?

An overwhelming number of claims and not enough premium dollars to offset the costs of these claims will make any insurance company re-think their commitment to a product line. Simply put, they were all losing money on their title industry E&O policies.

Where did all these claims come from?

Well, many mistakes were made, especially during the real estate boom of 2004-2007. The sheer volume of business meant errors could occur. That is why the revenues you report on your application weigh heavily on the premium price you pay.

Several title underwriters also appear to have re-examined many title policy claims they have paid over the past several years. They have then sued in order to recover those monies paid if they think there is even the possibility that an error may have occurred. While many of those claims may have no merit, they nevertheless, have to be defended and are reported to the E&O carrier.

But I never had a claim; why am I being non-renewed or seeing a significant spike in my premium?

If your E&O carrier is no longer writing these policies, then you will be non-renewed. They have abandoned the entire class of business.

If you have had a significant premium increase, it is to offset the loss experience that that particular carrier is experiencing or anticipating.

It may also stem from answers you give on your application regarding your business mix or business practices. They are reviewing your answers more carefully than ever now.

Talk to us when completing your application—the answers you give may have significant impact on your premium and may even lead to a non-renewal. While insurance carriers come and go, we will remain your reliable partner in the title industry E&O marketplace.

Jennifer Holt, ACSR

About Jennifer Holt, ACSR

Service Team Manager Schenectady, NY 12301-1038 Toll-Free: (877) MERRIAM x 206 (877) 637-7426 x 206 Send Email