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Bond Q&A

I keep getting bills for bond renewal, but case is closed.  How do I cancel the bond?

Civil Court Surety Bonds are unique and different from other bonds, or insurance, in many different ways.  One important distinction is that a probate bond, whether guardianship or estate, cannot be canceled without an order from the Court.


Yes, there are sometimes circumstances the principal, or the bonding company, would like to cancel a bond.  But that is not possible.  By law, only the Court can discharge, or cancel, a Surety Bond.  The insurance carrier is prohibited by law from canceling a probate bond until the Judge says it's okay.


Easy fix... once the case has concluded, judge will issue a 'FINAL ACCOUNTING' or other order that will usually contain language discharging bond.  It's often found at the very end of such order, almost unnoticed until you look for it.


Simple solution: Just email us the court order discharging bond, and we'll submit to carrier for pro-rated refund (after the first year).  First year premium is always fully earned upon issuance. 



POSTED JUNE 06, 2016 11:29 AM
I live outside of Ohio, in another state. Can you offer me an Ohio probate bond, for a case within Ohio?

YES!  Provided you meet other qualifications, residing outside of Ohio will not disqualify you from obtaining bond from our agency.  We often hear customers indicate other agents aren't able to help clients if they live out of Ohio.  We have direct access to multiple brokerages licensed in all 50 states.



POSTED FEBRUARY 17, 2016 1:07 PM
I need a professional license bond, or public official bond.  Can you help me?

Many insurance agents are like swiss army knives... they have an arsenal of tools ...ehhh insurance carriers... to help you find the right coverage.  But general insurance agents don't specialize in any particular field.  Since we write A LOT of bonds, more per week than many agents write in a year, our insurance practice offers any type of Civil Surety Bond you could think of, from multiple bond carriers.  YES - we issue both Ohio Professional License Bonds, and Ohio Public Official Bonds.



POSTED JANUARY 27, 2016 2:16 PM
I'm the court appointed guardian for 3 years, and I just paid the 4th annual bond renewal.  The ward just died.  Do I get a refund?

Typically speaking with most insurance companies issuing bonds, a pro-rated refund is provided effective date of court order releasing bond.


We often have requests from guardians asking to cancel a bond.  Once an Ohio probate court guardianship bond is issued, the insurance carrier - and the guardian - are on the hook until the court issues an order discharging bond.  Insurance carrier is prohibited from canceling bond until court orders discharged.  Unlike most other insurance and bonds, a principal cannot simply request the bond be terminated.  


Simple solution: Just email us the court order discharging bond, and we'll submit to carrier for pro-rated refund (after the first year).  First year premium is always fully earned upon issuance. 



POSTED JANUARY 15, 2016 1:22 PM
It's a simple estate and there aren't any funds. I do not have an attorney. Why can't I obtain a probate court bond?

​Although probate court matters may seem simple, and court personnel may accept filings directly from applicants, many intricacies are involved with any estate.


When an estate bond is issued, applicant is ultimately responsible for any liability, but insurance carrier issuing bond is initially responsible for claims against bond. Under certain circumstances, if estate administrator disburses money not pre-authorized by court, bond could be ordered to pay.  This is even if expense was incurred for benefit of estate, even if no malfeasance was intended.  Many other difficult estate issues may arise throughout the estate administration.  We highly recommend to obtain a qualified attorney.


While probate courts will accept filings without an attorney, insurance carriers issuing bonds generally require applicant to have an attorney.  An attorney is another layer of expertise to avoid liability from a bond.



POSTED NOVEMBER 24, 2015 11:49 AM
Where can I find an Ohio probate lawyer, how much does an Ohio probate attorney cost?

These questions are best answered by an Ohio attorney experienced in probate matters.  Phil Pavarini, leading Ohio probate bond agent, recommends contacting your local bar association for more information about finding, interviewing, and selecting an attorney.  While Pavarini is unable to recommend, upon request, a specific probate attorney, his firm can email list of attorneys who've handled probate in the past.  We do not recommend any specific attorneys.



POSTED OCTOBER 26, 2015 10:17 AM
Why do I need great credit to be approved for probate bond?  The court said it was no problem, just call any insurance agent!

by Phil Pavarini Jr. 


We often answer calls from frustrated consumers seeking a probate bond.  They've been muddling through the often cumbersome court process, being directed from office to office, desk to desk, scheduled for hearing after hearing, and paying fee after fee.  More than once a court has, almost whimsically, advised a probate bond applicant that 'it's no problem, just call any insurance agent!'... only to find agent after agent is unable to help them.


One of the first requirements of any probate bond is to have an attorney.  But bonds are based on the assumption their will be no risk for the insurance carrier to suffer any loss.  The probate bond could be thought of as the carrier being you're 'co-signor' for the value of the bond.  But if there's a loss, unlike insurance, the probate bond carrier would seek to recoup the loss from the applicant, the principal.


PERSONAL CREDIT SCORE IS TRACK RECORD OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND PREDICTS LIKELIHOOD OF FUTURE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY


A less than perfect credit score, or history of failure to keep credit agreements, can indicate many things, but most often seems to be either financial irresponsibility or ignorance.  A habitual low credit score predicts someones future compliance with financial obligations.  Would you be co-signer for someone you didn't know who has already demonstrated financial irresponsibility or ignorance?


SEEK ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY


Our advice is first to seek the advice of an attorney.  An attorney would help you walk through the process, and it's the first barrier to obtaining a probate court bond.  If you're unable to be approved with one insurance carrier for probate bond due to credit issues, it's very likely none will approve.  There are other options, non-standard probate bond markets, but in our experience, it's easier and less costly to find an alternate applicant.  Some law firms may even offer to secure the bond and be the administrator, executor, themselves.



POSTED JULY 08, 2014 7:33 PM
How to Obtain Ohio Probate Court Bond

Ohio Probate Bond Requirements

by Phil E Pavarini Jr


When considering requirements to obtain Ohio probate court bonds, it’s important to understand the Court’s requirements to file a case are often very different than the insurance carrier’s requirements to obtain bond. We get daily calls from frustrated consumers attempting to obtain a probate bond. Let’s clarify some of the confusion…


Court requirements could be regulated by each jurisdiction’s local court rules, statutes, regulations, administrative code, or other governmental policy.  Such requirements could vary widely, not only by jurisdiction, but also by Judge or Magistrate.

Insurance carriers issue Probate Court Bonds.  In a nutshell, a probate bond could be thought of as the insurance carrier ‘co-signing’ with applicant for full penalty amount of the bond.  Bonds are different than insurance in that carrier does not expect a loss, they’re only guaranteeing to pay on your behalf, not accept the loss.  If a loss occurs, insurance carrier will pay and recoup all losses, plus expenses and costs, from the principal, or applicant for bond.


Well intentioned court personnel often advise petitioners, “It’s no problem, just call any insurance agent they issue them all the time.”  That’s when consumers get frustrated with insurance agents, when we have to break the news someone is not bondable.


A decision to co-sign for another person is not to be taken lightly.  It’s a big financial risk for the co-signer, something many family members would be reluctant to offer.  Personal credit history of the applicant, the person insurance company will be ‘co-signing’ for by issuing bond, is critical.  A probate bond is essentially insurance carrier guaranteeing that applicant is responsible with money.  The insurance carrier doesn’t know applicant, they can only go by what the data demonstrates… and personal credit history is one of the few indicators available.

NOT APPROVED!  Now what?    


Options are available.

An often costly solution is to find a surplus lines, non-standard or ‘high risk’ insurance carriers sometimes accept marginal risks.  Rates are much higher, a typical probate bond cost is MUCH LESS THAN 1%, non-standard carriers could be as much as 15%!!!  They will also often  require a ‘Letter of Credit’ from an acceptable financial institution.


Alternate applicant… a friend or family member with very good credit… or sometimes law firms could apply in the firm name (they probably charge extra for the service).  This is almost ALWAYS about 1/10th the price.  In fact, it’s rarely in applicants best interest to pay for a high risk bond rather than find a DIFFERENT APPLICANT.    


We’re always happy to answer any probate bond questions!



POSTED MAY 29, 2014 11:40 AM

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