Title Insurance Agent Licensing
New York is one of three states that does not license or register title insurance agents. The NYSLTA has advocated to agent licensing for many years. In that time, we have drafted several pieces of legislation and lobbied both the legislature and the former Insurance Department.
The Administration Title Agent Licensing Bill of 2014
On January 21, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his budget. The budget bill included a change to the Insurance Law to license title insurance agents. This bill - designated S6357/A8557 - is currently in the legislative process.
Click here to download the pertinent section of the budget bill.
Click here to download the NYSLTA's Legislative Memorandum on S6337/A8557
The Seward-Cahill Title Agent Licensing Bill - 2013
In 2012, the Association committed to developing a new approach to title agent licensing, based on an existing agent licensing bill drafted by the NYS Insurance Department. This new bill is the work of both title agents and underwriters. It removes elements from previous bills that had raised objections from other groups.
In August 2013, the Chair of the State Senate Insurance Committee, Senator James Seward (R) introduced this bill as S-5923. Shortly thereafter, the Chair of the State Assembly Insurance Committee – Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (D) – introduced companion bill A-8202.
These bills amend the State Insurance Law to include the licensing of title insurance agents. The majority of the bill makes “ministerial” changes to adapt the insurance law to the unique characteristics of title insurance, which differs greatly from property & casualty insurance.
Highlights of S-5023/A-8202:
- Provides a functional definition of a title insurance agent;
- Requires substantial performance of core title services, consistent with RESPA requirements;
- Creates a competency examination for a license;
- Exempts experienced title agents and attorneys in good standing from the entrance exam;
- Establishes continuing professional education standards;
- Toughens penalties for violations and enhances consumer protection;
- Relieves attorneys of continuing professional education requirements by accepting CLE credits in lieu of CPE.
Click on the links to download documents prepared by the NYSLTA to educate non-title insurance people about this bill:
Talking Points (Title insurance Agent Licensing Position Paper)