Difference Between An Agency And An Underwiter


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Meridian Title Corporation (MTC) is an independent title insurance agency. As a title insurance agency, we are authorized agents for several title insurers (sometimes referred to as “title insurance underwriters” or “underwriters”). What this means is when we are going to handle the sale of a house and will be issuing a title insurance owner’s policy we can issue the policy on behalf of one of our underwriters. It’s similar to a person who sells life insurance for a variety of companies and that person might write the life insurance policy on Bankers Life or Colonial Life. Meridian can write a title insurance policy on any one of its underwriters such as Arsenal Insurance Corporation, First American, Fidelity National, Old Republic, Chicago Title, and Commonwealth Land Title.

MTC has contracts with each of its underwriters and each contract spells out certain duties and responsibilities that MTC, as the agent, must follow. One of the biggest things an agent cannot do is settle title claims on behalf of the insurer. If MTC receives a claim from a homeowner, MTC must notify the Underwriter who they wrote the policy on to let them handle the matter.

MTC will collect a title insurance premium for the issuance of each policy. Under the agency contract with the Underwriter, MTC will be entitled to a portion of that premium as a commission and MTC has to send a portion to the underwriter.

Since the title insurance policy is issued by MTC on behalf of an Underwriter, MTC will contact the Underwriter periodically to ask their guidance and direction on how to insure a transaction. This underwriting support is important to MTC since the policy issued will be the Underwriter’s and the agent wants to make sure they are following the Underwriter’s guidelines.

In short, Meridian Title Corporation issues commitments and policies only as an authorized agent on behalf of one of the Underwriters named above.

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