2019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 59A - Insurance Code
Article 30 - Title Insurance
Section 59A-30-6 - Premiums; agency agreements; duty to promulgate reasonable rates; exception.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 59A-30-6 (2019)

A. The superintendent shall promulgate the premium rates of title insurers and title insurance producers for title insurance policies and the percentage of premium to be retained by title insurers under agency agreements, except that premium rates for reinsurance as between title insurers shall not be promulgated by the superintendent. No premium that has not been promulgated or approved by the superintendent shall be charged for any title insurance policy. The superintendent shall not promulgate charges of title insurers and title insurance producers other than premium rates for title insurance policies and the percentage of premium to be retained by title insurers under agency agreements.

B. The superintendent shall promulgate additional premium rates for searches or examinations of title conducted or performed for the purpose of issuance of a title insurance policy when the search or examination involves more than one chain of title or other unusual complexity.

C. Premium rates promulgated by the superintendent shall not be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory and shall contain an allowance permitting a profit that is not unreasonable in relation to the risks incurred in the business of title insurance. Premium rates may include an allowance for recoupment of assessments made pursuant to the Title Insurance Guaranty Act [Chapter 59A, Article 30A NMSA 1978].

D. Title insurance producers shall retain not less than eighty percent of the gross premiums collected on commitments, policies and endorsements issued for one to four family residential property transactions with a liability amount of not more than two million dollars ($2,000,000); provided, however, that from July 1, 2009 until otherwise ordered by the superintendent, title insurance producers shall retain not less than eighty-one percent of the gross premiums collected on commitments, policies and endorsements issued for one to four family residential property transactions with a liability amount of not more than two million dollars ($2,000,000). The portion of the premium to be retained by the title insurance producers for policies with a liability amount greater than two million dollars ($2,000,000) shall be set by rule.

E. A title insurer may file with the superintendent proposed title insurance rates for a specific county or counties lower than the premium rate promulgated by the superintendent. The superintendent shall provide notice of the filed title insurance rates to all insurance producers and underwriters doing business in that county or counties and may conduct a hearing. In determining whether to approve filed title insurance rates, the superintendent shall consider the interests and protection of consumers and independent title insurance producers and the potential impact on competition within the title insurance industry. Upon approval of the filed title insurance rates, the title insurer and its insurance producers shall use the filed and approved title insurance rates.

F. The superintendent shall adopt rules to establish standards and procedures by which a title insurance rate lower than the promulgated rate shall be filed and may be approved.

History: 1978 Comp., § 59A-30-6, enacted by Laws 1985, ch. 28, § 6; 1999, ch. 60, § 19; 2009, ch. 80, § 7; 2016, ch. 89, § 62.

ANNOTATIONS

The 2016 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, replaced "agent" with "insurance producer" throughout the section.

Severability. — Laws 2016, ch. 89, § 71 provided that if any part or application of Laws 2016, ch. 89 is held invalid, the remainder or its application to other situations or persons shall not be affected.

The 2009 amendment, effective July 1, 2009, in Subsection A, in the second sentence, after "promulgated", added "or approved"; in Subsection C, after "in relation to the", changed "riskiness of" to "risks incurred in"; and added Subsections D, E and F.

The 1999 amendment, effective June 18, 1999, added the second sentence of Subsection C and made minor stylistic changes.

Filed rate doctrine. — The filed rate doctrine, which provides that any rate that is approved by the governing regulatory body is per se reasonable and unassailable in judicial proceedings brought by rate payers, is applicable to premium rates of title insurance. Coll v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., 642 F. 3d 876 (10th Cir. 2011).

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