December 7, 2009

Reminder to title insurance agents: continuing education now required

Jefferson City, Mo. – The state Department of Insurance is reminding agents licensed to sell title insurance in Missouri that continuing education will be required starting Jan. 1, 2010. Missouri law changed with Senate Bill 66, an insurance bill passed in 2007. Producers authorized to sell title insurance, during renewal every two years, must show proof of eight hours of continuing education.

Qualifying courses may include, but not be limited to:

·         A real property law or title insurance-related course taught by a college or university or instructor who has taught a course of real property or title insurance law at the school;

·         A course approved by the Department of Insurance, developed or sponsored by an authorized insurer, recognized agents’ association, title insurance trade organization, or appropriate private provider; and

·         A course approved for continuing legal credit (CLE) by the Missouri Bar Association.

“Selling title insurance with consumers’ best interests in mind requires not just expertise of the insurance business, but also the real estate business,” said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP). “This new requirement will help to ensure title agents stay current on the often complex and ever-changing world of real estate.”

A list of courses approved by DIFP is on the continuing education page of the department’s Web site. (LINK TO: ).

Some agents are exempt – namely those who live in a different state, provided that state has continuing education requirements for title licensing.

States that issue a title license and require continuing education:  Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Agents with questions can contact the department’s Licensing Section at 573-751-3518 or mailto: licensing@insurance.mo.gov.

SB 66 enacted other provisions intended to improve regulations of title insurance. The new law prohibits misuse or commingling of escrow with other funds, with tight restrictions on deposits and payments; requires title insurers to review the practices of their contracted agencies; and requires full disclosure of affiliated business arrangements; requires prompt issue of a title insurance policy after closing.

###

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

###