(1) This chapter relates only to title insurers for real property.
(2) This code does not apply to persons engaged in the business of preparing and issuing abstracts of title to property and certifying to their correctness so long as the persons do not guarantee or insure the titles.
(3) For purposes of this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "Title policy" means any written instrument, contract, or guarantee by means of which title insurance liability is assumed.
(b) "Abstract of title" means a written representation, provided under contract, whether written or oral, intended to be relied upon by the person who has contracted for the receipt of this representation, listing all recorded conveyances, instruments, or documents that, under the laws of the state of Washington, impart constructive notice with respect to the chain of title to the real property described. An abstract of title is not a title policy as defined in this subsection.
(c) "Preliminary report," "commitment," or "binder" means reports furnished in connection with an application for title insurance and are offers to issue a title policy subject to the stated exceptions in the reports, the conditions and stipulations of the report and the issued policy, and other matters as may be incorporated by reference. The reports are not abstracts of title, nor are any of the rights, duties, or responsibilities applicable to the preparation and issuance of an abstract of title applicable to the issuance of any report. The report is not a representation as to the condition of the title to real property, but is a statement of terms and conditions upon which the issuer is willing to issue its title policy, if the offer is accepted.
(d) "Financial interest" means any interest, legal or beneficial, that entitles the holder directly or indirectly to any of the net profits or net worth of the entity in which the interest is held.
(e) "Producers of title insurance business" means real estate agents and brokers, lawyers, mortgagees, mortgage loan brokers, financial institutions, escrow agents, persons who lend money for the purchase of real estate or interests therein, building contractors, real estate developers and subdividers, and any other person who is or may be in a position to influence the selection of a title insurer or title insurance agent whether or not the consent or approval of any other person is sought or obtained with respect to the selection of the title insurer or title insurance agent.
(f) "Associates of producers" means any person who has one or more of the following relationships with a producer of title insurance business:
(i) A spouse, parent, or child of a producer;
(ii) A corporation or business entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with a producer;
(iii) An employer, employee, independent contractor, officer, director, partner, franchiser, or franchisee of a producer; or
(iv) Anyone who has an agreement, arrangement, or understanding with a producer, the purpose or substantial effect of which is to enable the person in a position to influence the selection of a title insurer or title insurance agent to benefit financially from the selection of the title insurer or title insurance agent.
[2008 c 110 § 1; 2005 c 223 § 14; 1997 c 14 § 1; 1947 c 79 § .29.01; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.29.01.]