In many states, they are, so there won’t be much of a price difference between companies.
Still, smart consumers are looking at two factors: quality of insurance and of the title search, says Ronald Mann, law professor at Columbia University in New York. The goal is to find a title company or attorney that will do a thorough search and an underwriter that will be there in 10 or 15 years if there’s a problem.
Even in a regulated environment, you might be able to save money, says Orlando Lucero, vice president of Stewart Title of Albuquerque LLC. While insurance costs may be regulated, ancillary expenses like wire transfer or courier fees could add up, he says. So ask about the complete transaction price, not just insurance costs.
In unregulated areas, the difference in price “could be wide — 10 percent, 20 percent or more,” says Frank Pellegrini, president of Prairie Title Services Inc. in Oak Park, Ill. To find out if you’re in a regulated area, ask your lender or state insurance department.