Insurance superintendent orders lower rates
|July 23, 2007|
The Associated Press
SANTA FE -- State Insurance Superintendent Morris J. Chavez on Friday ordered a 6.3 percent drop in title insurance rates in New Mexico, but the head of an industry association said that's too much on top of previous reductions.
Ed Roibal, executive director of the Albuquerque-based New Mexico Land Title Association, said his group would ask Chavez to reconsider his final order on a 2006 title insurance rate hearing.
The staff of the Public Regulation Commission's Insurance Division had recommended a 1.7 percent reduction in rates, while the title association asked for a 1.4 percent rate reduction. The hearing examiner, Deputy Insurance Superintendent Thomas Rushton, recommended the larger reduction.
''The title industry may not be happy with my decision to lower title rates this much, but the bottom line is that consumers should be paying less,'' Chavez said. ''Testimony provided in the rate hearings justifies the decision to lower rates.''
Roibal said the ordered reduction was excessive.
"Itwould not allow a profit that is taking into consideration the work involved in issuing title insurance or the commensurate risk," said Roibal, who said the order comes on top of four straight years of rate decreases, including a 5 percent rate drop in July 2006.
The new rates are to go into effect Sept. 1, although the order could be appealed to the PRC.
Coyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.