§431:20-102  Definitions.  For the purposes of this article:

     "Controlled escrow company" means each person engaged in the business of handling escrows of real property transactions in connection with which title policies are issued by a title insurer, which person:

     (1)  If an artificial person, directly or indirectly, is controlled by or controls, or is under common control with, a title insurer or is controlled by or controls, or is under common control with, an underwritten title company; or

     (2)  If a natural person, is employed by or controlled by a title insurer or by an underwritten title company.

    "Title insurance business" or "business of title insurance" means:

     (1)  Issuing as insurer or offering to issue as insurer a title insurance policy; or

     (2)  Transacting or proposing to transact by a title insurer any of the following activities when conducted or performed in contemplation of the issuance of a title insurance policy:

          (A)  Soliciting or negotiating the issuance of a title insurance policy;

          (B)  Guaranteeing, warranting, or otherwise insuring the correctness of title searches;

          (C)  Handling of escrows, settlements, or closings;

          (D)  Execution of title insurance policies;

          (E)  Effecting contracts of reinsurance;

          (F)  Abstracting, searching, or examining titles; or

          (G)  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 article.

     "Title insurance policy" or "policy" means a contract issuing or indemnifying against loss or damage arising from any or all of the following existing on or before the policy date:

     (1)  Defects in, liens against, or encumbrances on the insured title;

     (2)  Unmarketability of the insured title; or

     (3)  Invalidity or unenforceability of liens or encumbrances on the stated property.  Title insurance policy does not include a preliminary report, binder, commitment, or abstract.

     "Title insurer" or "insurer" means a company organized under laws of this State for the purpose of transacting as insurer the business of title insurance, and any foreign or alien title insurer engaged in this State in the business of title insurance as insurer.

     "Underwritten title company" means each person engaged in the business of preparing lien or title searches, title examinations, certificates of searches of title, or abstracts of title upon the basis of which a title insurer regularly writes title policies. [L 1987, c 347, pt of §2; am L 2019, c 111, §24]