Bulletin: CA2018002

Date:
October 11, 2018
To:
All California Issuing Offices
RE:
RATES AND/OR FORMS UPDATE - Rate Manual Update

Dear Associates:

The Stewart Title Guaranty Company Schedule of Charges and Forms for Title Insurance in the State of California ("Manual") has been amended and updated and, pending California Department of Insurance approval, is anticipated to become effective on November 26, 2018; please promptly post as required. The redline version and version with those changes accepted are attached as a link for your convenience. (Click here to view a copy of the "Redline" and the "Accepted" versions).

Many of the changes are updates to wording, grammar, and headings for the ease of reading and understanding, and for simplification, consistency, and clarifications. There are a couple of new items, a few deletions, and changes to pricing for residential refinance S.T.A.R. rates and the residential resale rates. To best understand the changes and which apply to you, the Manual itself should be read thoroughly and carefully in its entirety.

The following is a list of certain substantives, highlighted changes:

(1) Section 1.10 - Title Insurance Payment - the changes to this section provide clarification on when insurance coverage takes effect.

(2) Section 1.26 - Special Discounted Title Premiums - this new section provides for discounted title premiums for active military personnel, senior citizens and first-time homebuyers.

(3) Section 1.27 - Joint Protection Policies - this new section discusses combining concurrent owner’s and lender’s policies under one joint protection policy jacket. 

(4) Section 2.17 - Binders - the minor changes to this section clarify the applicability of binders to other sections and clarify which parties may benefit from the binder discount.

(5) Section 2.20 - Major Transactions - the changes to this section clarify the applicability of this section as compared with the Basic Rates in section 11.3 for non-residential transactions and provide long overdue clean up and clarification throughout the section to provide consistency with language elsewhere in the schedule of charges.

(6) Section 3.19 - Secondary Market Short Form Residential Loan Policy - the minor changes to this section provide clarity and consistency with the language elsewhere in the schedule of charges.

(7) Section 3.21 - Stewart Title Absolute Rate (S.T.A.R.) - the changes to this section provide clarity on the type of title products available under the S.T.A.R. and increase the liability amounts for residential refinance transactions to be more competitive with the centralized, streamlined refinance rates of the other major title insurance underwriters found operating in California.

(8) Section 7 - Commitment for Title Insurance - this replaced/new section addresses charges and requirements for the issuance of a commitment for title insurance that was not previously set out in the schedule of charges.

(9) Section 9.14 - Recorded Document Guarantee - this section was updated to include the ALTA equivalent of this Guarantee product.

(10) Section 10 - Endorsements - this section is updated to correct some inconsistencies and document descriptions, and a few endorsement prices were lowered, standardized and updated.

(11) Section 11.1 - Rates for Use in the following Counties: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama - the minor changes to this section clarify that these rates only apply to insured properties located in these counties.

(12) Section 11.2 - Residential Rates - the changes in this section include an increase to the residential resale rates to be more competitive with the residential resale rates of the other major title insurance underwriters found operating in California.

If you have any questions about these changes, any pricing concerns, or any other bulletin please contact a member of your Stewart Title Guaranty Company’s California Underwriting Team.

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

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.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None