Industry News

California title companies roll out Web site for consumers

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With California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner on hand to lend support, the California Land Title Association rolled out a new Web site Tuesday that the industry group said would help consumers shop for the best deal on title insurance. At this time a year ago, groups representing title and escrow companies were doing battle with Poizner's predecessor, John Garamendi, and his proposal to roll back rates by $1 billion and impose rate caps based on the companies' expenses. Like Garamendi, Poizner has said title insurers have marketed their product not to consumers, but primarily those who can refer business to them -- Realtors, lenders and builders. But Poizner has pushed back any implementation of rate caps to 2011, saying he wants to give the industry a chance to reform itself. The Web site unveiled today, TitleWizard, is a centerpiece of the industry's efforts to increase competition by marketing to consumers, rather than real estate professionals. The site allows users to find...