New York State Seal
STATE OF NEW YORK
INSURANCE DEPARTMENT
25 BEAVER STREET
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10004

George E. Pataki
Governor

Howard Mills
Acting Superintendent

The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on April 29, 2005, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

Re: Agent of a Title Insurance Corporation; Licensing Inquiry

Question Presented:

Must an agent or other representative of a New York State authorized title insurance corporation be licensed as an insurance agent to sell title insurance in New York State on behalf of the title insurance corporation?

Conclusion:

No. An agent or other representative of a New York State authorized title insurance corporation is not required to be licensed as an insurance agent to sell title insurance on behalf of a New York State authorized title insurance corporation.

Facts:

A Pennsylvania corporation that sells title insurance would like to know if it must be licensed by the New York State Insurance Department to sell title insurance on behalf of a New York State authorized title insurance corporation. The Pennsylvania corporation is not a title insurance corporation. The Pennsylvania corporation is not registered with the New York State Secretary of State.

Analysis:

N.Y. Ins. Law § 2101(a)(4) (McKinney Supp. 2005) excludes "any agent or other representative of any title insurance company" from the definition of insurance agent contained in N.Y. Ins. Law § 2101(a) (McKinney Supp. 2005) and used in N.Y. Ins. Law Article 21 (McKinney 2000 & Supp. 2005). Thus, an agent or other representative of a New York State authorized title insurance corporation is not required to be licensed as an insurance agent and would not be acting as an insurance producer1 without a license under N.Y. Ins. Law § 2102(a)(1) (McKinney Supp. 2005).

Moreover, N.Y. Ins. Law § 2115(a) (McKinney Supp. 2005), which prohibits an insurer and its agent or other representative from paying a commission or other compensation to any person, firm, association or corporation for acting as an insurance agent in New York State except to a licensed insurance agent of such insurer or to a person described in N.Y. Ins. Law § 2101(a)(2) or (4) (McKinney Supp. 2005), is specifically not applicable to a title insurance corporation or its agent or representative pursuant to N.Y. Ins. Law § 2115(b) (McKinney Supp. 2005).

This opinion is limited to an analysis of the New York State Insurance Law. The New York State Secretary of State may be contacted to determine if the Pennsylvania Corporation must be registered as a foreign corporation to transact business in New York State.

For further information one may contact, Senior Attorney Robert Freedman at the New York City Office.


1   N.Y. Ins. Law § 2101(k) (McKinney Supp. 2005) defines "insurance producer" in N.Y. Ins. Law Article 21 (McKinney 2000 & Supp. 2005) to mean:  "an insurance agent, insurance broker, reinsurance intermediary, excess lines broker, or any other person required under the laws of this state to sell, solicit or negotiate insurance.  Such term shall not include . . . (4) any agent or other representative of any title insurance company . . . ."