Industry News

LandAmerica pays $1.5 million fine to settle California rate charges

Consumers could get up to $2 million in refunds

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LandAmerica Financial Group Inc. has agreed to pay up to $3.5 million in penalties and refunds to consumers to settle allegations by California regulators that three title insurers under the company umbrella overcharged -- or in some cases, undercharged -- consumers. The settlement was the result of an examination conducted nearly three years ago of LandAmerica subsidiaries Lawyers Title Insurance Corp., Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co., and Transnation Title Insurance Co. In February 2006, the California Department of Insurance reached a separate, $4.5 million settlement with LandAmerica to resolve allegations that the same companies employed captive reinsurance schemes to funnel kickbacks to builders, lenders and real estate agents who referred business to them from 1997 to 2004. The latest settlement was the result of a market conduct examination the department launched in April 2005. According to accusations filed by insurance department lawyers in November, the t...