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E-Filing Services Benefit Title Agents


E-Filing Services Benefit Title AgentsErrors & Omissions & Privacy Insurance for Risk Protection

 

Counties throughout the country are increasingly simplifying the process of recording land records and submitting documents through e-filing services. Title agents, banks, attorneys, lien filers and government agencies use these on-line services to expedite the recording process in addition to saving money. Prior to e-filing, counties typically accepted documents sent by express mail, courier service or via walk-ins to the county office (of course, many still do).

In addition to facilitating the registration process, e-filing significantly reduces the gap between delivery and registration, cuts down on errors, improves auditability, and enables title agents to provide superior service to customers. The title agency staff can track document workflow in real time as documents are received, reviewed, and recorded. What’s more, e-filing provides title agents with a competitive edge or at minimum puts them on the same level playing field with others already using e-recording.

Document Security Is Critical for Title Agents

E-filing can also provide increased document security. There are e-filing services that use Automated Clearing House (ACH) to automatically transfer taxes and recording fees from the submitter to the county account. In addition, once a document is scanned in the privacy of a title agent’s office, it’s encrypted and sent directly to the county. This helps to mitigate the possibility of documents being misplaced, damaged or delayed en route as can occur via traditional methods (messenger service, express mail). E-filing services also verify data transmission to protect against data tampering and corruption – this is very important, especially in the age of cyber attacks and data breaches.

It is important, however, to remember that even with the benefits of e-recording errors can and do occur, which is why Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance for title agents is a must-have coverage. Typical claims go beyond improper or inadequate documentation; they involve negligent title examination, escrow negligence, delays in closing transactions, breach of contract, among others. An E&O policy will provide protection in these cases. Furthermore, a policy can be designed to meet the specific title agent’s liability limits and deductible needs. It can also be customized to include escrow coverage, full prior acts coverage, and defense outside the limits available, if need be.

Moreover, even with the increased security of having encrypted documents and security protocols provided by e-filing services, purchasing Cyber Liability/Privacy coverage is a very smart decision for title agents. Title agents have in their possession confidential information that if breached can result in identify theft and significant third-party claims for expenses and losses. Furthermore, a cyber breach can generate regulatory investigation and potential fines and penalties. With Dodd-Frank, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and increased enforcement by the FTC of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB), all “financial institutions”, including title agents, must protect the personal non-public financial data of their customers against theft by third parties. There is also the cost to notify all affected parties, legal defense fees, and the expenses to manage the crisis. A Cyber Liability policy can be designed to help with all these costs.

At Axis Insurance Services, LLC, we specialize in providing title agents with E&O insurance in addition to Cyber Liability/Privacy coverage. We understand the exposures involved and can customize a policy to address these risks. Give us a call at (877) 787-5258 for more information.

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Blogged on: November 6, 2013 by Mike Smith
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