- May 10, 1993
- All Florida Offices and Agents
- Requests for Indemnification Letters
This office produces indemnity letters as needed by other agents and their underwriters for the State of Florida. Due to the volume of business we do in this state, the number of letters requested has grown to the point where we receive requests for indemnity letters daily. Most of the indemnity requests are legitimate and the requested letter is prepared and released. Less than one in five are refused.
To expedite these requests for indemnification letters, we ask that you when you submit requests the following requirements be fully complied with:
A cover letter from the agent requesting the indemnification explaining clearly the nature of the problem.
Copy of the Stewart Title Guaranty Company owners or mortgage policy in question.
Copy of the commitment issued by the proposed underwriter showing the current status of title and the problem to be indemnified against.
Copy of the instruments in question.
These letters contain liability to some extent like a title policy. The letters are only issued if we first determine that we have an existing liability, and that liability is extended through a new transaction by the issuance of the indemnity letter. Accordingly, we are issuing over a known title problem. Because of this, your assistance is needed in order to cure the title problem.
These requests are typically received with very short notice because there is a closing pending within a day or sometimes within hours. Typically the information received accompanying the request for indemnification is incomplete resulting in additional work in this office and delay in obtaining the letter. This means requests back to your office inquiring as to delay and asking for assistance which causes still more lost time.
Issuing the indemnification is not the end of the matter. Many indemnification letters allow a closing to take place over a problem that needs to be fixed and can be fixed. This may be a fairly simple matter such as obtaining an affidavit or a corrective deed or may be much more involved and may require undertaking a quiet title action or some other drastic measure.
Whatever the case, it is the continuing duty of the local Stewart office or agent to work with us, just as you do with claims, to rectify the problem. In the past, however, most of these have not been rectified. We are in the process of setting up a follow-up procedure whereby the indemnities will be rectified, where practical. We will begin with letters issued as of January 1, 1993, in order to have a point of departure. As time permits, we will also go backward over prior letters which we issued.
Your anticipated cooperation is appreciated.
THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.