New rules for title insurance in Colorado kick in May 1, according to the state Division of Insurance.
“The recent update to our regulation recognizes the inherent value in services provided by title insurance companies and agencies, and moves to ensure these entities are compensated for valuable services, rather than passing hidden costs back to consumers in the form of higher premiums and closing fees,” Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marcy Morrison.
Here’s a breakdown of the changes.
- Free property reports – title insurance companies and agencies are no longer permitted to issue property reports without charge. Also included in this prohibition is the issuance of preliminary title commitments without charge. These products represent a considerable expense for the title industry that are passed back to consumers in higher premiums and closing fees.
- Free classes for real estate agents – while title entities may still teach classes relating to title insurance without charge, any costs associated for classes not primarily related to the business of title insurance must be passed back to the attendees. Classes such as internet marketing for real estate brokers, or how to prepare a real estate contract, may not be provided without charge.
- Title commitments and disclosures – a number of updates affect the internal operation of title entities, including clarifications on what is considered a reasonable search and exam, disclosure requirements on the title commitments regarding true ownership of properties, and prohibitions against overly broad coverage exceptions.
Consumer funds – title entities are no longer permitted to invest the funds they hold for other parties without first receiving written approval from the parties. A title entity that earns interest on fiduciary funds must disclose that interest was earned, and give consumers the opportunity to receive payment for any interest over certain administrative fees.