As used in this chapter:
(A) "Title insurance" means insuring, guaranteeing, or indemnifying owners of real property or others interested in real property against loss or damage suffered by reason of liens or encumbrances upon, defect in, or the unmarketability of the title to the real property, guaranteeing, warranting, or otherwise insuring by a title insurance company the correctness of searches relating to the title to real property, or doing any business in substance equivalent to any of the foregoing.
(B) "The business of title insurance" means the following:
(1) The making as insurer, guarantor, or surety, or proposing to make as insurer, guarantor, or surety, any contract or policy of title insurance;
(2) The transacting, or proposing to transact, any phase of title insurance, including solicitation, negotiation preliminary to execution, execution of a contract of title insurance, insuring, and transacting matters subsequent to the execution of the contract and arising out of it, including reinsurance;
(3) The doing or proposing to do any business in substance equivalent to any of the foregoing.
(C) "Title insurance company" means any of the following:
(1) Any domestic title guaranty company and domestic title guarantee and trust company to the extent that they are engaged in the business of title insurance;
(2) Any domestic company organized under this chapter for the purpose of insuring titles to real property;
(3) Any title insurance company organized under the laws of another state or foreign government;
(4) Any domestic or foreign company that has the powers and is authorized to insure titles to real estate within this state on December 12, 1967, and that meets the requirements of this chapter.
(D) "Applicants for insurance" includes all those, whether or not a prospective insured, who from time to time apply to a title insurance company or to its agent for title insurance and who at the time of that application are not agents for a title insurance company.
(E) "Risk premium" for title insurance means that portion of the fee charged by a title insurance company, agent of a title insurance company, or approved attorney of a title insurance company to an insured or an applicant for insurance for the assumption by the title insurance company of the risk created by the issuance of the title insurance policy.
(F) "Fee" for title insurance means the risk premium, abstracting or searching charge, examination charge, and every other charge, exclusive of settlement, closing, or escrow charges, whether denominated premium or otherwise, made by a title insurance company, agent of a title insurance company, or an approved attorney of a title insurance company to an insured or an applicant for insurance for any policy or contract for the issuance of title insurance. "Fee" does not include any charges paid to and retained by an attorney at law or abstractor acting as an independent contractor whether or not the attorney or abstractor is acting as an agent of a title insurance company or an approved attorney and does not include any charges made for special services not constituting title insurance, even though performed in connection with a title insurance policy or contract.
(G) "Approved attorney" means an attorney at law who is not an employee of a title insurance company or a title insurance agent and upon whose examination of title and report on the examination a title insurance company may issue a policy of title insurance.
(H) "Title insurance agent" means a person, partnership, or corporation authorized in writing by a title insurance company to solicit insurance and collect premiums and to issue or countersign policies on its behalf. "Title insurance agent" does not include officers and salaried employees of any title insurance company authorized to do a title insurance business within this state.
(I) "Single insurance risk" means the insured amount of any policy or contract of title insurance issued by a title insurance company.
(J) "Foreign title insurance company" means a title insurance company organized under the laws of any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.
(K) "Alien title insurance company" means a title insurance company that is incorporated or organized under the laws of any foreign nation or any province or territory of a foreign nation and that is not "a foreign title insurance company."
(L) "Non-directed escrow funds" means any funds delivered to a title insurance agent or title insurance company with instructions to hold or disburse the funds pursuant to a transaction in which a title insurance policy will be issued, but without written instructions to either deposit the funds in an account for the benefit of a specific person, or to pay the interest earned on the funds to a specific person.
(M) "Business day" means any day, other than a Saturday or Sunday, or a legal holiday, on which a bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or savings bank is open to the public for carrying on substantially all of its functions.
Effective Date: 03-30-1999