Title insurance prices in Texas are too high, with Texans paying almost $2 billion on average in title insurance premiums per year. To make matters worse, consumers do not have a voice in the rate-setting process. Texas sets a single rate for title insurance in a hearing held by the Texas Department of Insurance. The hearing is held every five years, unless set more frequently by the Insurance Commissioner or requested by the title insurance industry.
Why Is Consumer Standing Important?
Consumers have no way to effectively participate in this title insurance rate-setting process. The current law excludes individual members of the public and offers them no standing to appear as a party and offer evidence at a hearing. Currently, only title insurance companies, agents, associations, and government regulators have input in the rate-setting hearings. Title insurance is the only line of insurance where the state sets a single rate and citizens do not have the option to fully participate in the regulatory process where that rate is set. Since the state government sets the rate for title insurance, which also prohibits competition, Texans deserve to have a say in the rate-setting process.
Supporting Consumer Participation
This bill would give consumers the right to participate in the rate hearing process by providing standing to the public to appear, offer evidence at rate hearings, and to request a rate hearing be held to consider a rate change more frequently than five years.