- October 26, 2001
- All Issuing Offices in Florida
- Mortgage Impairment Insurance
Over the years there have been several attempts to undermine the use of Title Insurance by promoting a product known as Mortgage Impairment Insurance. This is a product sometimes provided by Property and Casualty Insurers which purports to insure the priority of a mortgage. It is not based on a Title Search but rather on an affidavit from the borrower and a credit report. Some offerings have been made by entities which are not insurance companies of any kind. Stewart Title Guaranty Company, along with several other underwriters and the Florida Land Title Association and American Land Title Association, are all combating this attempt to undermine our business that is properly regulated by the Insurance Department in Florida as well as in many other states.
These companies use forms which are not Insurance Department approved, they do not maintain reserves, and provide coverage of limited value. They are able to market their product due to their very low cost, perhaps half the cost of Title Insurance.
As a result of a recent meeting with the Florida Department of Insurance, a memorandum has been provided by The Department to all Underwriters cautioning them and their Agents of these illegal products. A copy of the Department's release is available through the Florida District Office.
THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.