Lending

Shop Around for Title Insurance

Members can gain significant savings by comparison shopping.

September 15, 2010
KEYWORDS insurance , title
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By Timothy Dwyer

Your members may not have a very good understanding of what title insurance covers or what it costs. But title insurance is one of the largest expenses when closing on a purchase or refinance.

Title insurance is required by virtually all lenders—Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Housing Administration—on almost every real estate transaction, whether it’s a purchase or a refinance. It protects the financial institution and homeowner from losses due to mistakes when deeds were filed in the local property office, unreleased liens, unknown relatives or others claiming ownership, to name a few.

Shopping around

In many states, there has been little price competition until recently so there wasn’t much point in shopping for title insurance or explaining it to members.

However, now you and your members can comparison shop for title insurance and your members can gain significant savings as a result.

Take a few minutes to explain the importance of title insurance to your members. Let them know that shopping for title insurance can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in closing costs. Provide the level of service your members have come to expect by introducing them to the lowest-cost title provider.

For example, Entitle Direct offers direct-to-consumer title insurance at rates that are generally 35% below other competitors. It offers a free online quote and provides title insurance in 33 states and the District of Columbia.

Give members choices

According to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, your members have the right to select their own title insurance provider. You can provide the best service by offering members choices.

Keep in mind that pricing in each state is different, as are the criteria for discounts. In addition, neither Texas nor New Mexico currently offers any price competition as their rates are set by the state.

Research companies to make sure they have a favorable Financial Stability Rating with Demotech Inc. Its Financial Stability Ratings are accepted by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Speak with the provider you choose before ordering. Ask about service levels, geographic coverage, and any other pertinent details.

Set yourself apart from the myriad of other local and national mortgage lenders by shopping for title insurance on behalf of your members. You’ll save them money and have happy members.

TIMOTHY DWYER is CEO of Entitle Direct Group Inc., Stamford, Conn. Contact him at 203-724-1150.

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