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Press Release

May 12, 2015

Contact: Matt Anderson, 212-709-1691


Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, announced today that the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has approved new title insurance industry rates for mortgage refinancing transactions, which will provide up to 65 percent savings for consumers. These savings are the product of reforms included in the 2014-15 State Budget and broader regulatory actions by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Superintendent Lawsky said: "These lower title insurance rates will provide real, significant savings to homeowners in New York. We are pleased the title insurance industry is doing the right thing here and appreciate their cooperation with us to cut these rates. Moving forward, it is critical that we continue our efforts to clean up the title insurance industry and protect consumers."

The specific savings from the new rates will depend upon the term, size, and duration of the loan. For a $200,000 loan, the percentage savings are expected to be:

Expected Title Insurance Savings < 10 years after Loan Origination > 10 years after Loan Origination

Refinancing with Same Lender



Refinancing with New Lender



Additional savings are expected as further title insurance reforms are fully implemented. The newly approved rate filing is one in a series of steps DFS is taking to reform and cut costs in the title insurance industry.

Last month, Governor Cuomo announced new NYDFS regulations to crack down on kickbacks and other improper expenditures (such as meal and entertainment expenses) in the title insurance industry. The regulation outlines categories of expenditures which, when provided as an inducement for title insurance business, are improper and violative of the New York Insurance Law. These expenditures include meals, entertainment, vacations and gifts that are provided to attorneys, real estate professionals, and others, who represent consumers and order title insurance on their behalf.

The 2014-15 Enacted Budget also provided the Department of Financial Services with the authority to issue licenses to title insurance agents for the first time, just as it licenses all other insurance agents and brokers. Licensing requires agents to meet qualification standards and undergo regular training. The Department of Financial Services will also have the authority to monitor abuses by agents and to revoke licenses accordingly, as well as help root out conflicts of interest that drive up costs for homeowners.


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