Frequently Asked Questions

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Title Industry Assurance Company (TIAC) FAQ

Why make TIAC your choice for E&O insurance?

Unlike other insurers of title agents and abstracters professional liability/errors and omissions insurance, Title Industry Assurance Company (TIAC) is owned and governed by its ALTA member insureds and exists solely to provide for the E&O needs of its title agent and abstracter insureds nationwide. Since title professionals own and govern TIAC, we have the knowledge and expertise to customize our coverage for the special needs of our insureds. Managed by insurance professionals, TIAC has provided a stable and competitive market since 1988.

What is TIAC and what led to its formation?

Abstracters and title agents across the country have long been troubled by recurring errors and omissions insurance problems brought about by abrupt market changes. Dramatic swings in prices and availability led the American Land Title Association to look for a better alternative that would bring long-term stability for title professionals seeking E&O coverage.

After considering several different approaches, ALTA leaders decided that the most effective solution would be to create TIAC, an independent risk retention group wholly owned by members of the Association. TIAC issued its first policy in June of 1988 and has been continuing to insure more and more title professionals since that time.

What is a risk retention group?

Under the 1986 amendments to the Liability Risk Retention Act of 1981, a risk retention group is a special purpose insurance company owned solely by its policyholders, which may write only liability insurance-including E&O coverage. Under the Act, TIAC is chartered and licensed in Vermont for the purpose of issuing title agents and abstracters E&O insurance nationwide.

Who is eligible to apply for coverage?

Any active or associate member of ALTA may apply for E&O coverage from TIAC. TIAC gladly provides quotations to non-members as well. To purchase coverage, members must own stock in TIAC.

What is the stock purchase requirement?

To insure with TIAC, an ALTA active or associate member is required by the federal law establishing risk retention groups to purchase stock in TIAC. Two classes of TIAC stock are offered and the purchase of either class satisfies the stock purchase requirement.

Class A stock is priced at $1,000 per share with a minimum purchase requirement of 1.5 shares for every five professional employees or part thereof. Since there are no partial shares, the requisite number of shares must be rounded upward. Class A shareholders have full voting rights and may qualify to serve on TIAC’s Board of Directors.

Class C stock is priced at $100 per share ($1 par value) and there is a one share purchase requirement, no matter how large or small the insured firm is. Class C stock has limited voting rights and Class C shareholders may not serve on the Board of Directors of TIAC. Class C stock may be redeemed for its $1 par value.

For specific rules, rights and requirements, please refer to the Summary Business Plan and Disclosure Document which is available upon request to the Underwriting Manager.

Who is considered a professional employee?

TIAC defines “professional employee” as “All owners, officers and employees engaged on a full or part time basis in one or more of the following activities to be insured: abstracting, searching, title underwriting, title opinion, escrow/closing services, commitment or policy preparation”.

Can an ALTA member sell TIAC stock?

ALTA members may sell their TIAC stock if they decide not to purchase E&O coverage, leave the title industry, etc. Because TIAC is a risk retention group, members are in fact required to sell their stock should they be declined for coverage or for any other reason decide not to purchase the E&O coverage. Please see the Summary Business Plan and Disclosure Document for specific rules and requirements concerning the purchase and sale of TIAC stock.

Is TIAC stock assessable?

No. Under the laws of the state of Vermont, the state in which TIAC is incorporated, stock in any corporation-including TIAC-is non-assessable.

What coverage does TIAC offer?

Coverage is provided on a “claims made” basis and includes prior acts coverage for qualified insureds. TIAC’s policy insures professional services rendered as a title agent (including limited title opinion coverage), title abstracter, UCC searcher, corporate document searcher, public records searcher, flood zone certifier, escrow agent, closing agent, witness closer, and notary public. Optional coverages available to qualified insureds include:

  • First Dollar (No Deductible) Defense Coverage
  • Claims Expenses in Addition to the Limit of Liability
  • Annual Aggregate Deductible
What policy limits and deductibles are available?

TIAC offers flexible policy limits from $250,000 to $1,000,000 per claim and from $250,000 to $2,000,000 annual aggregate.

Deductible options range from $2,500 to $50,000 or more.

Higher limits are available to qualifying insureds.

All limit and deductible options are, of course, subject to TIAC’s underwriting guidelines.

How does TIAC determine its premiums?

Premiums are based on a number of factors including:

  • Number of professionals insured
  • Annual gross income from covered title activities
  • Policy limits and deductible selected
  • Coverage selected
  • Prior E&O loss experience
  • Prior E&O insurance history

For a specific premium quotation, an application for insurance must be completed and sent to:

TIAC’s Underwriting Manager
Title Industry Assurance Company
7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1500E
Bethesda, MD 20814.
Fax: 1-800-TIAC FAX

For an application, please call our toll-free number 1-800-628-5136 or follow this link.

What type of policy will TIAC issue?

TIAC will issue a “claims made” policy that insures the named ALTA member company, as well as all of its principals, partners and employees. In the event of cancellation or non-renewal by TIAC (except for non-payment of premium), a one year extended reporting endorsement may be purchased to cover claims reported during the extended reporting period arising from negligent acts, errors or omissions which occurred prior to the end of the policy period and otherwise covered by the policy. Full retroactive coverage is provided to eligible insureds for claims made during the policy period that arise from past negligent acts, errors or omissions if, on the effective date of the policy to be issued, no insured had any knowledge of such negligent act, error or omission.

How are claims handled?

TIAC has retained as claims counsel one of the leading professional liability/errors and omissions insurance defense firms in the country in order to provide prompt, courteous and professional claims handling to its insureds. TIAC’s claims counsel is the law firm of Troutman Sanders LLP with offices throughout the United States.

Can I pay by credit card?

No you may only pay by check, money order or certified funds.

However to ease the payment delay with mailing your check you may use our Pay By Fax form. This form allows you to fax or email your check which will allow for immediate processing. You may only use this form for a check. You cannot use this form for a certified funds check, money market account check or money order.

These are program highlights used for the purpose of illustration only. The coverage provided is that set forth in the terms, conditions and limitations of the policy of insurance. We will be happy to send you a specimen policy at your request.