Shopping around for title insurance makes good financial sense

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Tim Dwyer

If you closed on a new house in Illinois in 2009, the odds are good that you paid about $1,207 in closing costs and title fees. That's the average amount that Illinoisans paid for these fees according to the 2009 closing costs survey from financial Web site Bankrate.com.

And even though Illinois ranked near the bottom of these costs in 2009 -- Texas led the list with closing and title costs of $2,290 -- Tim Dwyer still thinks that home buyers here are paying too much for their title insurance.

Dwyer is president and chief executive officer of Stamford, Conn.-based Entitle Direct, a company that sells title insurance directly to consumers. Dwyer says that his company sells title insurance directly to consumers at a savings rate of 35 percent.

He also says that home buyers in Chicago and around the country can save a significant amount of money on their real estate transactions by shopping around for title insurance. The problem is that few home buyers do this. Most take whatever title insurance is offered to them, Dwyer said.

"We think that consumers can save thousands of dollars in closing costs by shopping around," Dwyer said. "It may take some time, but the savings are well worth it."

The large the home loan, the more important this shopping is, Dwyer said.

He points to the consumer taking out a $600,000 loan to buy a $750,000 house. That consumer in Illinois would pay about $2,400 for title insurance, Dwyer said.

There's no reason, though, why consumers should pay this much, he said.

"With some comparison shopping, the savings add up," Dwyer said.

Of course, Dwyer would prefer that home buyer start their comparison shopping at Entitle Direct. But any shopping, he says, can bring thousands of dollars in savings.

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