N.J.S.A 17:46B-1. Certain words defined

17:46B-1. Certain words defined

Certain words defined. As used in this act:

a. “Title insurance” means insuring, guaranteeing or indemnifying owners of real property or others interested therein against loss or damage suffered by reason of liens, encumbrances upon, defects in or the unmarketability of the title to said 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 in a manner designed to evade the provisions of this act.

b. The “business of title insurance” shall be deemed to be (1) the making as insurer, guarantor or surety, or proposing to make as insurer, guarantor or surety, of any contract or policy of title insurance; (2) the transacting or proposing to transact, any phase of the title insurance, including abstracting, examination of title, solicitation, negotiation preliminary to execution of a contract of title insurance, and 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; or (3) the doing, or proposing to do, any business in substance equivalent to any of the foregoing in a manner designed to evade the provisions of this act.

C. “Title insurance company” means any domestic company organized under the provisions of this act for the purpose of insuring titles to real estate, any title insurance company organized under the laws of another state or foreign government and licensed to insure titles to real estate within this State pursuant to section 25 of this act, and any domestic or foreign company having the power and authorized to insure title to real estate within this State as of the effective date of this act and which meets the requirements of this act.

d. “Applicants for insurance” shall be deemed to include 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 such application are not agents for a title insurance company.

e. “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, or any of them, to an insured or to 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 and includes the premium for the assumption of the insurance risk, charges for abstracting or searching, examination, determining insurability, and every other charge, whether denominated premium or otherwise, made by any title insurance company or title insurance agent.

g. “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of New Jersey.

h. “Approved attorney” means an attorney at law admitted to practice in the State of New Jersey, who is not an employee of a title insurance company or of a title insurance agent, upon whose examination of title and report thereon a title insurance company may issue a policy of title insurance.

i. “Title insurance agent” means a person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, cooperative or joint-stock company authorized in writing by a title insurance company to solicit insurance risks and collect fees in its behalf and who in the regular course of business as such agent shall perform all of the following functions: examine title to real estate, determine insurability in accordance with underwriting rules and standards prescribed by such title insurance company, and issue a title report, binder, or commitment to insure, and policy based upon the examination performed by such agent and determination of insurability as aforesaid. Provided, however, the term “title insurance agent” shall not include officers and salaried employees of any title insurance company authorized to do a title insurance business within this State.

j. “Single insurance risk” means the insured amount of any policy or contract of title insurance issued by a title insurance company unless two or more policies or contracts are simultaneously issued on different estates in identical real property, in which event, it means the sum of the insured amounts of all such policies or contractS.However, any such policy or contract that insures a mortgage interest that is excepted in a fee or leasehold policy or contract, and which does not exceed the insured amount of such fee or leasehold policy or contract, shall be excluded in computing the amount of a single insurance risk.

k. “Net retained liability” means the total liability retained by a title insurance company under any policy or contract of insurance, or under a single insurance risk as defined in or computed in accordance with subsection j. of this section, after the purchase of reinsurance.

l. “Foreign title insurance company” means a title insurance company organized under the laws of any other state of the United StateS.

m. “Alien title insurance company” means any title insurance company incorporated or organized under the laws of any foreign nation or of any province or territory thereof, not included under the definition of “foreign title insurance company.”

n. “Personal or controlled insurance” means a policy of title insurance where the source or origination of the application for insurance or where the insured or one of the insureds under such policy is, or the loss thereunder is payable to:

(1) The title insurance company issuing such policy, or (a) any person or corporation directly or indirectly owning or controlling a majority of the voting stock or controlling interest in such title insurance company, or (b) any corporation which is directly or indirectly controlled by a person or corporation which also controls the title insurance company as described in paragraph (1)(a) of this subsection, or (c) any corporation making consolidated returns for United States income tax purposes with such title insurance company or any corporation described in paragraphs (1)(a) and (1)(b) of this subsection; or

(2) The title insurance agent issuing such policy, or

(a) If such title insurance agent is a natural person:

(i) his spouse, his employer or his employer’s spouse; or

(ii) any person related to him or the persons mentioned in subparagraph (i) of paragraph (2)(a) of this subsection within the second degree by blood or marriage; or

(iii) if his employer is a corporation, any person directly or indirectly owning or controlling a majority of the voting stock or controlling interest in such corporation; or

(iv) if his employer is a partnership or association, any person owning an interest in such partnership or association.

(b) If such title insurance agent is a corporation,

(i) any person directly or indirectly owning or controlling a majority of the voting stock or controlling interest in such corporation; or

(ii) any corporation which is directly or indirectly controlled by a person who also controls the title insurance agent as described in subparagraph (i) of paragraph (2)(b) of this subsection; or

(iii) any corporation making consolidated returns for United States income tax purposes with any corporation described in subparagraph (i) or (ii) of paragraph (2)(b) of this subsection.

o. “Source” as used in this act means and includes clients and customers of attorneys at law and real estate brokers, where such attorney or broker acts as a title insurance agent in an individual, partnership or corporate capacity.

p. “Person” as used in this act means a firm, partnership, association, corporation, cooperative or joint-stock company as well as individuals, unless restricted by the context to an individual as distinguished from some other entity.

L.1975,C. 106,S.1; amended 1990,C. 131,S.1.

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