Industry News

Title insurers lash out at California competition report

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A California title insurance organization lashed out Thursday at a report on competition in the state issued by California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, calling the report "bogus." The California report, "An Analysis of Competition in the California Title Insurance and Escrow Industry," released by the commissioner's office, concludes that three insurers control 75 percent of the state's insurance market. "The bogus report issued by (California Insurance Commissioner) John Garamendi ... is not worth the paper it is written on," charged Lawrence Green, executive vice president and counsel for the California Land Title Association, in a statement last week. In response, Garamendi said, "This is the fifth report on this industry since 1977, and they all come to the same conclusion: the title industry does not compete on price." The commissioner said Thursday that he is taking steps to make title insurers cut the rates paid by California homeowners based on the 111-page report. B...