COLUMBUS - Purchasing a home or business property is a time of joy, excitement and inevitably stress generated by the work and by the unfamiliarity buyers have with the layers of demands from loan calculations to insurance commitments being thrust at them. The Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) may help by providing information about the various insurance types and also through its rigorous regulation of insurance agents, Jillian Froment, ODI director, said.
Title insurance is required by lenders in such mortgage loans to protect the lender from loss associated with a faulty title. However, personal protection for the purchaser of the property being mortgaged is not automatic. Personal protection for the buyer can be purchased but only if requested by the buyer in addition to the title insurance already purchased by the borrower for the lender.
In all such cases, the insurance products being offered and the agents offering them are regulated by ODI which has set high standards for the professional conduct practiced by insurance agents and brokers. The title insurance company or agent are governed by the same rules as agents selling the more familiar life, auto and health insurance coverages.
For example, all insurance agents are prohibited from giving “inducements” including expensive gifts or kickbacks and rebates to obtain insurance business from any party in the purchasing process.
Buyers or other insurance agents who become aware of such inducements associated with their transactions should immediately report them to the ODI Fraud and Enforcement division at 1-800-686-1527 or ODI.Enforcement@insurance.ohio.gov
“All insurance professionals and their associates - including those working in title insurance - are subject to the same standards of professional conduct and clear rules designed to protect the public by ensuring agents are providing fair and impartial information to consumers,” Froment said.
Specific information on the topic including access to the code sections, bulletins and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on
the Ohio Department of Insurance website, www.insurance.ohio.gov