Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Birrane has recently learned that some contracts for thesale of real property located in the State of Maryland contain unlawful language requiring the buyer topurchase title insurance from a specified title company in order to receive seller-provided closing costassistance.
Maryland home buyers have the right to choose their settlement agent and title insurer. Any attempt to require that title insurance be purchased from a particular title company as a precondition for obtaining closing cost assistance is prohibited in Maryland.
You, as the buyer, may decide who will conduct the closing and issue the title insurance policy. While the real estate agent or broker may suggest or recommend a title insurance producer, you cannot be required to use that company. Additionally, some real estate firms or mortgage companies have “affiliated business arrangements” with a particular title insurance producer or insurance company. If such an arrangement exists, it must be disclosed in writing so that you can make an informed decision.
Before choosing any firm to conduct the settlement, buyers are advised to contact the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) to verify that the firm and/or insurer is licensed to conduct business in the state. Only licensed producers can conduct settlements so you may also confirm that the individual settlement officer possesses a valid license. You may also visit our Company and Producer Search page on our website.
This information is available on the MIA’s website, www.insurance.maryland.gov. Buyers can also call the MIA at 410-468-2000 or 1-800-492-6116 to confirm the licensing status of a producer or insurance company.
Special Note: The Maryland Insurance Administration remains fully operational during the COVID-19 emergency. If you would like to file an insurance complaint, please use our online portal: https://enterprise.insurance.maryland.gov/consumer/ConsumerPortalWelcomePage.aspx.
About the Maryland Insurance Administration
The Maryland Insurance Administration is an independent State agency charged with regulating Maryland’s $28.5 billion insurance industry. For more information about the Insurance Administration, please visit www.insurance.maryland.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin, Twitter at @MD_Insurance, LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/maryland-insurance-administration or Instagram at @marylandinsuranceadmin.
200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-468-2000 | 1-800-492-6116 (toll free) | 1-800-735-2258 (TTY)