The insurance commissioner for Washington state has issued a report maintaining that title insurers "routinely" break state law by allegedly using illegal incentives and inducements to attract business.The real shocker, said Mike Kreider, "was the scope and the extent of the abuse." Washington state law limits incentives and inducements to $25 per person per year. Even companies that received praise for being in substantial compliance had a number of violations over the 18-month period studied, the report said. The department said it will issue no fines, but will focus on prevention and compliance. Mr. Kreider also announced the formation of a work group to study issues such as whether Washington state should adopt a system similar to one used in Iowa, under which there is no title insurance but the state government provides title protection services. A statement from LandAmerica, one of the companies cited, said: "All too often, these laws and regulations are unclear at the state and federal level. There are many ambiguities in the current regulations regarding inducements, producing disagreement between the title insurance industry and the Washington DOI concerning what's proper and improper." Other national companies cited in the report are Fidelity, First American, Old Republic, and Stewart.

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