Title Agents Report Growing Sales Pressure

According to a survey by October Research Corp. here, a majority of title insurance agents claim they have been asked or pressured by customers to insure items they would not normally insure.

According to the "Independent Title Agent Survey 2004" sponsored by The Title Report, a newsletter that covers the industry, 57% of independent title agents claimed they have been pressured, with 12% saying it occurs very often and 23% saying it occurs sometimes. More than 400 independent title agents responded to the survey.

Steve Massien, project manager for the study, said, "While the number is not staggering, it is still a little disappointing to see that more than half of the agencies surveyed have felt or are feeling pressure to insure over items they usually would not."

James Maher, the executive vice president of the American Land Title Association, said the group had not heard any specific complaints by agents in this regard, not to say it does not happen.

However the group, whose membership contains both agents and underwriters, has heard agents complain about the commoditization of title insurance products and the devaluation of the role of the agents and the value they bring to the table.

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