Q: Can I shop for an owners title policy...the only option I am being given is the settlement firm's owners policy???
I just purchased a residence for 605k in Maryland (no mortgage)
I asked the settlement co what the fee would be for the owners title policy and they quoted me $3265 (Chicago Title)
I thought that was rather high and would like to know if I could directly shop prices with Title Insurance companies? If I find a significantly lower quote would a rep from that Title insurance company have to be present at the settlement closing. Thanks for your advice
A: I’m not sure how that would work. The title agent closing the transaction is mostly paid from the commission on the title insurance. If you buy lenders title from one and owners title from another title agent, I think you pay for two closings. Many title agents represent more than one underwriter. All are required to file a schedule of their prices with the Insurance Commissioner. Perhaps your chosen title agent (and you, as the buyer, had the right to choose him) can use another carrier.
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A: A homebuyer/borrower may engage whatever settlement/title company they wish to conduct the closing. It would be very unusual for a second title company to issue the policy. Among other reasons, the title company doing the closing does the title examination upon which the policy will be based. I suppose in theory you could pay two different companies to do overlapping work if they were willing, but I can't imagine that arrangement would save money.
If you are dissatisfied with whatever title company you first contacted, due to pricing or other reasons, you have the right to select another company (with whatever payment may be due for work already completed). Keep in mind that there are other ways to save on title insurance, such as requesting a re-issue rate if available.
While not legal advice I hope this information helps.
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