Over the last few weeks we have received isolated questions on who should pay the title insurance in Florida. It is no secret in the title insurance community that the sunshine state works a bit differently then most other states.
The first thing to note is that the agreement of sale or “contract” controls the day and that is pretty much true no matter what state you are operating in. The contract should always stipulate who pays for the Florida title insurance. In Florida it is more important then anywhere else for the contract to mention such. This is due to conflicting local customs. There are many areas of Florida where it is customary for the Seller to pay for the title insurance policy.
In the two most heavily populated counties Miami-Dade County and Broward Counties, Buyers typically cover the cost of Florida title insurance. (Of course there are exceptions, for example with bank owned properties it is very typical for the bank to control and pay for title insurance) However if you travel a bit north to 3rd most populated region of Florida, it is very typical for sellers to pay for the cost of title insurance in Palm Beach County.
It is important to note that even when the seller pays for the title insurance it is still the buyers choice of which Florida Title Company.
Section 9 of RESPA prohibits a seller from requiring the home buyer to use a particular title insurance company, either directly or indirectly, as a condition of sale. Buyers may sue a seller who violates this provision for an amount equal to three times all charges made for the title insurance.
When pricing out a transaction in Florida as a buyer, seller, realtor or bank always make sure you read the purchase agreement. As a buyer it is a good idea to consult with an attorney prior to finalizing your agreement. No matter what is customary or “normal,” the payment of title insurance in Florida is negotiable and should always be decided in the agreement of sale.
If you have any questions about Florida Title Insurance or are in need of a Florida attorney or Florida Title Company feel free to contact us for more guidance.