Bulletin: NY000442

Date:
April 22, 2010
To:
All New York State Office Counsel, Managers and Agents
RE:
Notice of Claim Requirements/ Stewart Title Insurance Company Anti-Fraud Plan

Dear Associates and Agents:

Stewart Title Insurance Company's procedures require that all inquiries and notices regarding potential claims be directed in writing to the companies' legal department at:

Stewart Title insurance Company
300 East 42nd Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Attention: Legal Department

This requirement is also set forth 2006 ALTA Owners and Lenders Policy.

Over the past several years, many states have passed legislation and/or regulations requiring insurance companies to implement Anti-Fraud Plans. This Bulletin is to provide you with some basic information regarding the Anti-Fraud Plan that has been established by Stewart Title Guaranty Company and Stewart Title Insurance Company.

New York State Law Provides:

New York - Mandatory reporting - State Insurance Code Section 405; State Insurance Code Section 409 (Fraud prevention plans and special investigations units)*

"Any person licensed ... who has reason to believe that an insurance transaction may be fraudulent, or has knowledge that a fraudulent insurance transaction is about to take place, or has taken place shall, within thirty days after determination by such person that the transaction appears to be fraudulent, send to the insurance frauds bureau on a form prescribed by the superintendent, the information requested by the form and such additional information relative to the factual circumstances of the transaction and the parties involved as the superintendent may require."

New York - Mandatory reporting - Regulations - Section 86.5 - Reports of fraudulent acts

Any person licensed pursuant to the provisions of the Insurance Law who determines that an insurance transaction or purported insurance transaction appears to be fraudulent or suspect shall submit a report thereon to the Insurance Frauds Bureau. Reports shall be submitted on the prescribed reporting form issued by the Insurance Frauds Bureau or upon any other form approved by order of the superintendent. Reporting may also be done by means of any electronic medium or system approved by order of the superintendent.

If Stewart, in good faith, has cause to believe and can substantiate that title insurance fraud has been or is being committed, Stewart will report such fraud to the New York State Department of Insurance or to the appropriate Federal, State, or local law enforcement authority when required to do so or when referral would be appropriate. Such reports from Stewart to the Department shall contain information that clearly defines and supports the allegation of suspicious activity. Stewart will record the date that reports of such suspected insurance fraud are sent directly to the Department.

Stewart's policy is to notify law enforcement agencies immediately upon finding evidence of fraudulent activity, and to the extent necessary or requested, Stewart will prepare specific reports for the use of investigating authorities regarding the fraudulent activity. In addition to referral for possible prosecution, the matter will be reviewed by Stewart's Legal Services personnel for a determination whether to deny payment of a claim or whether to seek restitution

Stewart Title Guaranty Company has an in-house Special Investigation Unit which conducts investigations into alleged fraudulent activities affecting it, its affiliates and agents in compliance with the New York regulations.

If fraud has been perpetrated against you or your agency, or if you become aware of activity which you feel may constitute an effort to defraud your agency and/or Stewart Title Insurance Company, please report the activity immediately to:

Stewart Title insurance Company
300 East 42nd Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Attention: Legal Department
Phone: (800) 853-4803

Or you may leave an anonymous message by calling the Stewart Watch line (800) 729-1900 Ext. 8090.

Note: Copy and distribute this email to your office personnel, title examiners, title officers, searcher and anyone else that you feel should know about it.

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:
NL000073 Stewart Title Guaranty Company Anti-Fraud Plan
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None