Thursday, January 26, 2012

Title insurance legislation alive in the 2012 session

Two measures related to title insurance are working their way through the committee process early in the 2012 Florida Legislative Session, with both being approved this week in their first Senate committee hearing.

Title Insurance Claims.  A simple claims practices measure, HB 961 and SB 826, would require title insurance companies to pay full policy limits within 90 days after a challenge to title is filed or cover all additional costs that are incurred by the insured while a dispute to title is being cured, including attorney fees and costs. For additional information, see SenateStaff Analysis of SB826 (Jan. 16, 2012).

Title Insurance & Agents.  SB 1404 and HB 643 would make modest changes in the regulation of title insurance and agents.  The Senate and House bills were both amended in their first committee meetings (the Senate this week, the House last week) and now contain identical language, under which:
  • Agent CE.  The continuing education requirements for agents is modified.
  • Attorney escrow funds.  Attorneys who serve as title insurance or real estate settlement agents would be required to deposit and maintain funds received in connection with such transactions into a separate trust account, unless maintaining funds in the separate account for a particular client violates rules of the Florida Bar.
  • Policy Forms and Rates.  Would establish time-frames for the Office of Insurance Regulation to act on filed forms and rates.
  • Data.  Title insurance agents and agencies could be sanctioned for failure to submit data annually to the Office of Insurance Regulation.
This summary was prepared by Perry Cone and posted at

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