The Difference Between a Title Agency and an Underwriter

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A title underwriter is an entity that authorizes and issues authority for its agents (title agencies, like Cumberland Title), to write title insurance policies. The underwriter assumes the ultimate financial risk as they stand behind the policy and actually insures the property against insurance defects. They also agree to defend the owner of the title policy in court should ever the need arise surrounding legal issues with the title.

A title underwriter possesses a certain set of skills to do their job effectively. They bear a knowledge and expertise about the law and how it applies to specific situations, the ability to analyze and understand the associated risks involved in a transaction, experience and judgment to perceive the magnitude and probability of the risks, as well as a keen awareness of the many intricacies of a title insurance policy.

A title agency – such as Cumberland Title – is an agent for the underwriter, which has been carefully vetted to meet strict standards of the underwriter. We are authorized to issue title commitments and title policies on behalf of the underwriter, and prepare documents for those transactions. The title underwriter trusts that we will properly and thoroughly examine property records so as to determine rightful ownership, as well as make investigate for any possible liens, encroachments, or easements associated We would not represent the title holder in court, nor give legal advice pertaining to that if such a situation arose.

Both entities are regulated by the Bureau of Insurance, which regulates the insurance industry through examining and licensing procedures of insurance companies, reviewing rates and coverage forms, and conducting audits.

As always, if you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to reach out to Cumberland Title at