41-2710. Requirements for agents. (1) A title insurance agent is a person owning or leasing separately or with another licensed agent a complete set of tract indexes and abstract records of each county for which policies are written and authorized in writing by a title insurer to solicit insurance, issue or countersign policies, or otherwise engage in the title insurance business. A title insurer shall not allow or permit any person, firm, association or corporation to act as its agent in relation to the issuance of any certificate, title insurance policy, or other underwriting contract unless such person, firm, association or corporation shall first have obtained a title insurance agent’s license for each county for which policies are to be written from the director of the department of insurance. No person, firm, association or corporation shall act within this state as such agent for any title insurer without first having obtained a license from the director of insurance and filed a bond or cash deposit in lieu thereof as required herein.
(2) A separate agent’s license for each county shall be issued by the director of the department of insurance upon due showing filed by the applicant upon forms to be provided by the director of the department of insurance and payment of a fee of fifty dollars ($50.00), upon oath, that such applicant if an individual, is a bona fide resident of Idaho, if a firm or association is composed wholly of Idaho residents, or if a corporation is duly authorized or qualified to do business in the state, that the individual agent (or if a corporation or association, its managerial personnel who are going to exercise the license privilege) has reasonable experience or instruction in the field of title examinations and title insurance and the insurance laws of Idaho, that the applicant owns or leases, separately or with another, and maintains an adequate, complete set of tract indexes and abstract records of each county wherein he proposed to do business, and such application shall be endorsed by the title insurer with whom he proposed to do business that the proposed agent is known to have a good reputation and is worthy of public trust and that such title insurer knows of no fact or condition that would disqualify the agent from receiving the permit. An agent’s license shall continue from the date issued until the first day of January of each year and shall be automatically renewed thereon upon the payment of the annual fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) by the agent, unless terminated as herein provided by the director of the department of insurance for cause. If the filing fee is not promptly paid, the applicant shall be subject to a late filing fee of two dollars ($2.00) a day up to a maximum of one hundred dollars ($100).
(3) Upon the termination of any agency by a title insurer or by the agent terminating, the title insurer shall immediately notify the director of the department of insurance in writing and a title insurance agent shall forthwith notify the director of the department of insurance of the name of a new title insurer with whom he proposes to do business, with the new title insurer’s endorsement upon said notification. No title insurer shall allow the license of an agent for which it has vouched to continue unless all of the foregoing conditions have been complied with.
(4) The license of any title insurance agent may be denied, or the license suspended, revoked or renewal thereof refused, by the director of the department of insurance after notice and hearing if he finds that such license holder has:
(a) Willfully violated any provisions of title 41, Idaho Code, or the rules issued thereunder;
(b) Has intentionally made a material misstatement in the application for such license;
(c) Has obtained or attempted to obtain such license by fraud or misrepresentation;
(d) Has misappropriated or converted to his own use or illegally withheld money belonging to a title insurance company, an insured or any other person;
(e) Has demonstrated his lack of trustworthiness or competence to act as such agent or been guilty of fraudulent or dishonest practices;
(f) Has materially misrepresented the terms and conditions of a title insurance policy or contract, or the condition of the title represented thereby; or
(g) Has failed to maintain a separate and distinct accounting of escrowed funds and has failed to maintain an escrow bank account or account separate and apart from all other accounts.
(5) Before any license is denied, suspended or revoked or renewal refused, the director shall give thirty (30) days’ written notice by registered mail to the licensee or applicant and the title insurer represented by the agent, and if said agent or title insurer desires, to set a date of hearing and to allow the production of evidence by said parties or any other interested person as to the matter. The right and remedies of the parties shall be as set forth in chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code. Any decision of the director of the department of insurance shall be made in writing and filed in his office and mailed to the title insurer and agent involved.
(6) As a condition of obtaining said license, the individual to be licensed for himself or the entity to be licensed for each employee escrow officer shall obtain, file and pay for a surety bond as provided for an escrow officer.
(7) Regular examination of the tract indexes, abstract records, and any other records to ascertain compliance with title 41, Idaho Code, and related rules, of a title agent after the first examination thereof by the director shall be limited to not more than every fifth year, unless the agent otherwise requests or the director has cause to believe the same does not comply with this chapter or the rules thereunder. The director shall prepare an examination report following each examination and shall provide such report to the title agent being examined affording the person up to twenty-eight (28) days within which to review, comment and request a hearing. Unless a hearing is requested in accordance with chapter 2, title 41, Idaho Code, the examination report shall be deemed available to the public notwithstanding the exemptions from disclosure provided in chapter 1, title 74, Idaho Code. In addition, if the title agency affirmatively requests, any reply to the examination report shall be deemed available to the public notwithstanding the exemptions from disclosure provided in chapter 1, title 74, Idaho Code. However, all working papers and other records produced by, obtained by or disclosed to the director or any other person in the course of an examination hereunder shall be made available to the person or company which was the subject of the examination in any proceeding pursuant to chapter 2, title 41, Idaho Code, but shall otherwise be held by the director as an exempt record not required to be made public.
[41-2710, added 1973, ch. 135, sec. 7, p. 252; am. 2010, ch. 96, sec. 1, p. 182; am. 2015, ch. 141, sec. 111, p. 461.]