Industry News

Garamendi kicks off campaign for new title insurance regs

Plan would cut rates by 23% next year

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California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi launched a media campaign Thursday to publicize proposed regulations on the title insurance industry he said would cut rates by 23 percent and save consumers $1 billion a year. Garamendi claimed there is little to no competition in the state's $4.5 billion title insurance industry, and that it is rife with illegal kickbacks and gratuities that are passed on to consumers Title insurance and escrow companies dispute those assertions, some of which are based on a study released in December, and vow to fight the state's proposed rate-setting regulations. The regulations, which could go into effect in March, are the subject of an Aug. 30 hearing in San Francisco, Inman News reported last week. Garamendi held a noon press conference in Los Angeles today and planned to make himself available to reporters in Sacramento this afternoon. By basing the price of title insurance on the cost of homes, the industry has created "a dysfunctional pricin...