Virginia Insurance Regulator Issues Guidance on Rebating Prohibition

October 12, 2021

The Virginia Bureau of Insurance issued a letter to licensed title and settlement agents regarding Virginia’s prohibition on rebating as an inducement to purchase an insurance policy.

The bureau said it had received inquiries regarding whether a settlement services fee could be reduced or eliminated in order to obtain or retain business from a consumer. While Virginia allows the title insurance rate to be negotiated, there is no provision regarding settlement fees.

However, according to the bureau, offering a discounted or eliminated settlement fee is a “thing of value” and violates Virginia law. A rebating or anti-kickback violation can result from both direct or indirect inducements or referrals of business, according to the bureau.

The bureau encourages title and settlement agencies to maintain appropriate records necessary to respond or address concerns regarding potential impermissible rebating if a fee reduction or elimination is offered to consumer(s). Such records may include, but are not limited to, promotional advertisements, communications concerning a fee reduction and/or documentation of fee reduction(s).

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or [email protected].