Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Title Insurance in Florida is too high!

Florida plans to embark on a comprehensive study of title insurance rates after a preliminary report by the state Office of Insurance Regulation revealed that homeowners are paying premiums of up to 136 percent more than consumers in other states pay for comparable coverage.

A recent expansion in building and mortgage refinancing is partly responsible for the 310-percent increase in title insurance premiums from 1995, to a total of $1.8 billion in 2004, with $2,048 being the average cost of title insurance -- which now accounts for about 14 percent of settlement costs.

Fidelity National Financial, Attorneys Title, First American Title, Land America, Stewart Title and Old Republic wrote 99 percent of premiums in the state in 2004.

"We will combine the data from this study with an analysis of what consumers are presently paying to set fair and accurate rates for this industry," Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said in a statement.

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