Nebraska Revised Statute 44-19,114

Chapter 44 Section 19,114

44-19,114.

Required provisions of underwriting contract with title insurer.

(1) A person, firm, association, or corporation acting in the capacity of a title insurance agent shall not place title insurance business with a title insurer unless there is in force a written contract between the parties which sets forth the responsibilities of each party and, when both parties share responsibility for a particular function, specifies the division of such responsibilities subject to the requirements of subsections (2) through (16) of this section.

(2)(a) The title insurer may terminate the contract required under subsection (1) of this section upon written notice under the following circumstances:

(i) Fraud, insolvency, appointment of a receiver or conservator, bankruptcy, cancellation of the title insurance agent's license to do business, or the commencement of legal proceedings by the state of domicile of the title insurance agent which, if successful, would lead to cancellation of the title insurance agent's license to do business;

(ii) Material breach of any provision of the contract; or

(iii) Notice of cancellation provided in accordance with contract termination requirements.

(b) Upon notice of termination, the title insurance agent shall immediately discontinue all underwriting. Nothing in this subdivision is intended to relieve the title insurance agent or title insurer of any other contractual obligation.

(3) The title insurance agent shall render accounts to the title insurer detailing all transactions and remit all funds due under the contract required under subsection (1) of this section to the title insurer within the time specified by the underwriting contract.

(4) All funds collected for the account of a title insurer by a title insurance agent shall be held in a fiduciary capacity in a qualified financial institution.

(5) At the title insurer's request, the title insurance agent or its successor in interest, transferee, or receiver shall provide access to and the right to copy all escrow files and underwriting files involving a transaction in which a title insurance commitment or title insurance policy is or is to be issued.

(6) Separate records of title insurance business written by the title insurance agent shall be maintained for each title insurer. The title insurer shall have access to and a right to copy all accounts and records related to its business in a form acceptable to the title insurer. The director shall have access to all books, financial institution accounts, and records of the title insurance agent in a form usable to the director. The records shall be retained according to section 44-19,117.

(7) The contract required under subsection (1) of this section shall not be assigned in whole or in part by the title insurance agent without the express written consent of the title insurer.

(8) The contract required under subsection (1) of this section shall include appropriate guidelines relating to:

(a) The basis of the rates to be charged;

(b) The types of risks which may be written;

(c) Maximum limits of liability;

(d) Territorial limitations;

(e) Title searches and examinations; and

(f) Underwriting.

(9) It shall be the duty of the title insurance agent to immediately report and forward to the title insurer all title-related escrow claims and title claims reported to the title insurance agent by policyholders or other persons. However, if the contract required under subsection (1) of this section permits the title insurance agent to settle claims on behalf of the title insurer:

(a) A copy of the claim file shall be sent to the title insurer at its request or as soon as it becomes known that the claim:

(i) Has the potential to exceed an amount established by the title insurer;

(ii) Involves a coverage dispute;

(iii) May exceed the title insurance agent's claims settlement authority;

(iv) Is open for more than six months; or

(v) Is closed by payment exceeding an amount established by the title insurer;

(b) All title and title-related escrow claims files settled by the title insurance agent shall be the property of the title insurer; and

(c) Any settlement authority granted to the title insurance agent may be terminated immediately upon the title insurer's written notice to the title insurance agent or upon the termination of the contract. The title insurer may suspend the settlement authority during the pendency of a dispute regarding the cause for termination. Nothing in this subdivision is intended to relieve the title insurance agent or title insurer of any other contractual obligation.

(10) If electronic claims files are in existence, the contract required under subsection (1) of this section shall address the immediate transmission of the data.

(11) The title insurance agent shall not bind reinsurance or retrocessions on behalf of the title insurer.

(12) The contract required under subsection (1) of this section shall include specific terms of a title insurance agent's compensation.

(13) The title insurance agent shall maintain an inventory of all policy forms or policy numbers assigned to the agent by the title insurer.

(14) For each title insurance agent under contract with a title insurer, the title insurer shall have on file a statement of financial condition of each title insurance agent as of the end of the previous calendar year setting forth an income statement of title insurance business done during the preceding year and a balance sheet showing the condition of its affairs as of the prior December 31 certified by the title insurance agent as being a true and accurate representation of the title insurance agent's financial condition. Attorneys actively engaged in the practice of law, other than that related to title insurance business, are exempt from the requirements of this subsection.

(15) The title insurance agent shall annually, concurrent with the renewal date of its contract, furnish the title insurer with proof that the title insurance agent is in compliance with section 44-19,109.

(16) The title insurance agent shall provide the title insurer with access to and the right to copy all accounts and records maintained by the title insurance agent with respect to title insurance business placed with the title insurer.

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