Title insurance is the only line of insurance where the state of Texas sets a single rate and prohibits citizens from fully participating in the regulatory process where the rate is set.
Between 2011 and 2016, title insurance premiums increased 74 percent from $1.164 billion to $2.023 billion. In the same period, paid losses decreased from $30.5 million to $20.5 million. The findings from a study conducted by the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas Austin showed Texans pay among the highest rates for title insurance of any state. The industry has not shared conflicting research that is independently verifiable.
Even as title insurance premiums continue to climb, consumers are not allowed to fully participate in the rate setting process as they do not have 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.
What We Can Do
Citizens of Texas deserve a full voice in the rate-setting process. The state should provide consumers with standing at rate hearings, as in other lines of insurance, and allow them the right to request a hearing be held to consider a rate change more frequently than five years. To help lower prices of title insurance, Texas must also provide greater flexibility and competition to the rate regulatory system.