Bulletin: WA2019004

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Bulletin: WA2019004

Bulletin Document
V 1
Date: November 04, 2019
To: All Washington Issuing Offices
RE: UNDERWRITING - Premium Fee Splitting

Dear Associates:

The office of the Insurance Commissioner has taken the position that any referral fees are prohibited, whether the referral fee is between two different title agents or between a title underwriter and an agent. The Office of the Insurance Commissioner believes the only compensation that is permissible is the split of the premium between offices of the same underwriter or the underwriter and the agent under their underwriting/agency agreement.  

Please contact your underwriter prior to agreeing to a fee split with any office outside of your company.   

Please refer to RCW 284-29-200 to 284-29-265 copied in part below,

RCW 48.29.210

Business inducements - Prohibited practices.

(1) A title insurer, title insurance agent, or employee, agent, or other representative of a title insurer or title insurance agent shall not, directly or indirectly, give any fee, kickback, or other thing of value to any person as an inducement, payment, or reward for placing business, referring business, or causing title insurance business to be given to either the title insurer, or title insurance agent, or both.

(2) A title insurer, title insurance agent, or employee, agent, or other representative of a title insurer or title insurance agent shall not, directly or indirectly, give anything of value to any person in a position to refer or influence the referral of title insurance business to either the title insurance company or title insurance agent, or both, except as permitted under rules adopted by the commissioner.

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