Industry News

Title insurance giants to refund $22.7M to consumers

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Two of the nation's largest title insurers agreed to pay a total of $22.7 million to consumers in final settlement agreements over alleged rebate activities with California's insurance commissioner, the Insurance Commission said late Wednesday. Fidelity National Financial and First American Title Insurance Co. were accused of setting up captive reinsurance companies to funnel illegal rebates to banks, builders and real estate agents who in turn would allegedly steer business back to the title companies. Earlier this year, the companies, along with LandAmerica Financial Corp., reached agreements in principle to resolve accusations from the Department. None has admitted wrongdoing. The LandAmerica agreement has not been finalized, the Commission said Wednesday. "The illegal actions of these companies revealed not only that title insurance rates are bloated, but they damaged the trust that is an essential part of our insurance system," said California Insurance Commissioner John Gara...