Insurance commissioner monitoring Mercury Cos. deal

The Colorado Division of Insurance is monitoring the sale of Mercury Cos.’ Colorado businesses to ensure that consumers are protected, state officials said Friday.

On Aug. 5, Denver-based Mercury Cos. announced that it had sold four local title insurance agencies — Security Title Guaranty Co., United Title Co., First American Heritage Title and Title America Inc. — to Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. of Jacksonville, Fla., a major nationwide underwriter.

The sale occurred just days after Mercury closed operations in California, Arizona and Texas.

“Our goal is to work with the new owners and the title agencies to ensure consumers’ rights are protected,” Marcy Morrison, the state insurance commissioner, said in a statement. “Purchasing a home, and securing the title to that home, is an important step for anyone, and the Division of Insurance is committed to making sure that the consumers’ interests remain intact during the transition. In the best-case scenario — a smooth transfer of files and accounts — consumers may not realize any effects of the sale behind the scenes.”

There have been issues involving Mercury companies in other states. California’s labor commissioner is suing Mercury over money that the state alleges is owed to former workers of Alliance Title Co., a Mercury subsidiary that shut down at the end of 2007.


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