Industry News

California committed to title insurance rate cap

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California's new insurance commissioner says he agrees with his predecessor that there's a lack of competition among the state's title insurance and escrow services providers, and that he stands behind a proposal for a cost-based rate cap. Steve Poizner, who succeeded John Garamendi as the state's top insurance regulator Jan. 8, today issued his first public statement on Garamendi's proposed rate rollback. Poizner said that after meeting representatives of the title insurance industry, he has decided to support and "aggressively enforce" Garamendi's proposed rate reductions. "Numerous governmental and academic reports, including two by this Department, have found that title insurance markets do not function competitively to keep prices reasonable," Poizner said in the statement. "Instead of lowering prices to attract consumer business, title insurers take advantage of the fact that homeowners, who pay for title and escrow services, do not typically shop for those services." Real estat...