Clarifying a common misconception: title insurance premiums

We've said it before, and we want to make it absolutely clear because we continue to get questions about title insurance premiums. Title insurance premiums are NOT created equal.

While you no doubt have heard that title insurance underwriters are legally required to file their rates with the local insurance commission, underwriters do not file identical rate schedules.

It is true that title companies who are agents of the same underwriter must charge the same title insurance premium. But sometimes title companies become agents of multiple underwriters, using one title insurance underwriter for one jurisdiction and a second underwriter in another jurisdiction, etc.

Federal Title is a prime example of this. We use different underwriters depending on the jurisdiction, allowing us to pass extended savings on to our homebuyers.

We receive calls fairly regularly from confused agents and lenders who are wondering why our Quick Quote reflects a title insurance premium on a Maryland property that is hundreds of dollars less than the other quotes. It's not because our quote is incorrect, it's because our underwriter charges a lower premium.

That title insurance premiums are created equal is a common misconception we wish to clarify for our agents and lenders, because we believe they are our best ally when it comes to looking out for the best interest of our homebuyers.

Fewer hands in the pie means more pie to go around

Happy Pi Day! What better day than Pi Day to remind homebuyers about all the hands in their "pie" so to speak when it comes to real estate closings.

It's no surprise that everyone wants a piece of the proverbial pie, from the real estate agent's commission to the lender's fees to the government's taxes and, yes, even the title company's charges.

Having to share some of your pie is a fact of life. Having to give up all of your pie is a tragedy of life.

Just like homebuyers, we don't like having to give up our entire pie. That's why we have held firmly as an independent title company – we will not share our pie, or profits, with referral sources through Affiliated Business Arrangements or Marketing Service Agreements.

Not all title companies feel the way we do. They happily share their pie with their referral sources because they believe they can make it up by taking more pie from unassuming homebuyers. Unfortunately, they are often right.

Homebuyers who understand how much dough is at stake, however, are often surprised by the cost difference between one title company to the next. When made fully aware of these differences, most homebuyers choose to spend less.

With fewer hands in the pie, as our company founder Todd Ewing likes to say, there's more pie for everybody. In this case it means a cost savings of up to $750 for our clients.

The cost savings we extend to our homebuyers is part of our revolutionary REAL Credit™ program, which reflects costs passed through to consumers who close with other, affiliated title companies. To date, the cost savings hovers above $8 million.

That's a lot of pie.

Close It!™ House of the Week: Sophisticated urban living in LeDroit Park

We're swanking things up for this week's installment and checking out a luxurious Victorian semi-detached home that's achieved centenarian status in LeDroit Park. This home went on the market this week for $1.249 million.

This house offers two decks that overlook a private yard that is large enough for entertaining. In addition to 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, this house also has an English basement that can be rented out to supplement the mortgage payment.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $284,417.34. Monthly payments will then be around $5,461.90 per month. For a complete picture of the cash to close, including the seller's side of the transaction, try the Web version of Close It™ or download the free Close It™ iOS app.

Close It!™ House of the Week: Contemporary, luxury condo on 14th Street Corridor

We stumbled across a gorgeous 6th floor condo that's just a couple blocks from Federal Title's new office on 14th Street. It's a spacious 665 square foot 1-bedroom condo that offers sweeping views of the city and a central, walkable location that's tough to beat. It's listed at $465,000.

Located in the contemporary condo building known as The Ashton, this unit is on the quiet side of the building in Logan Circle along the booming 14th Street Corridor. It offers hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances and an in-unit washer/dryer. Luxurious touches such as marble counters, custom cabinetry and a spa-like bathroom – not to mention breathtaking views – are just some of the amenities this unit has to offer.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $107,886.81. Monthly payments will then be around $2,394.04 per month, including the HOA fee. For a complete picture of the cash to close, including the seller's side of the transaction, try the Web version of Close It™ or download the free Close It™ iOS app.

Refinancing home loan will require new lender's title insurance policy

Refinancing home loan will require new lender's title insurance policy

For those who closed with Federal Title in the recent past and who may be considering refinancing their mortgage, we'd like to let you know we can provide you substantial savings on your closing costs.

In addition to providing a reissue rate discount on your title insurance premium, Federal Title also offers repeat clients a $200 credit applied toward settlement fees. When you order settlement services through our website, you can save an additional $100.

We'd like to remind you that it's your legal right to choose your own settlement service provider. Often times borrowers are not aware or informed of this right and end up spending more on closing costs than they should.

Get a free and anonymous Quick Quote from us and see how it stacks up to your mortgage lender's title company.

As you may know, we are the leading independent title company serving the DC metro area, and our settlements are conducted by licensed attorneys – not inexperienced notaries. Our online reviews tell our story.

  • Ways to save at closing

    Title charges are the largest chunk of closing costs and can vary by hundreds of dollars.

    Learn more

  • What are closing costs?

    The real estate closing process involves loan steps, legal steps and title steps.

    Learn more

  • What's title insurance?

    Insure your legal ownership just like you'd insure the building, but for lots cheaper.

    Learn more

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Our blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. Rate tables and figures that appear on our blog are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For current rates & policies, refer to our Quick Quote and Consumer Guide. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on our blog.