Rising home sales and prices helped title insurers post their best earnings in the second quarter of their history, thanks to a drop in claims and an increase in written premiums due to the rise in sales and prices of securities. houses.
Overall, the title insurance industry increased written premiums in the second quarter by 56% from a year ago, to $ 6.5 billion, according to a American Land Title Association analysis. Net income rose 84.6% to $ 559 million, ALTA reported, with title insurers paying $ 221.1 million in claims in the first six months of the year, from $ 232.9 million. dollars in the first half of 2020.
“The continued strength of the purchasing market and the strong rebound in the commercial market continue to drive historic title insurance premium volume,” ALTA CEO Diane Tomb said in a statement. declaration. “Despite the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the housing market remains robust as ALTA members across the country continue to meet the needs of their clients, protect property rights and strengthen communities . “
Title insurer market share, by premiums written Q2 2021
Source: American Land Title Association.
Among the Big Four title insurers, the Fidelity National Financial family of companies – which includes Chicago Title, Fidelity National Title and Commonwealth Land Title – gained market share from First American’s second place.
With $ 2.16 billion in premiums written, the Fidelity family of companies captured 33.1% market share in the second quarter, up from 32.7% a year ago.
The First American Financial Corp. family of companies – which includes First American Title Insurance and First American Title Guaranty – saw its market share drop from 23% to 22.5% over the same period.
The Old Republic Title Insurance Group family of companies, which includes Old Republic National Title Insurance and American Guaranty Title Insurance, remained in third place, with 15.1% market share, up from 14.8% a year ago .
The Stewart Information Services Corp family of companies, including Stewart Title Guaranty and Stewart Title Limited, saw its market share drop to 9.6% from 10.1% a year ago.
Independent companies wrote out $ 1.286 billion in premiums, capturing 19.7% market share, up from 19.5% a year ago.
Two independent companies – Westcor Land Title Insurance and WFG Title Insurance – accounted for 47% of premiums written by independents. With $ 406.4 million in premiums, Westcor increased its market share to 6.2%, from 5.9% a year ago. WFG retained its 3% market share with $ 197.5 million in premiums written in the second quarter.
Growth in title insurance premiums written
Source: American Land Title Association.
The Old Republic family of companies posted the strongest year-over-year growth with $ 990 million in premiums written in the second quarter, up 59.7% from a year ago.
The Fidelity family of companies recorded a 58.5% increase in written premiums to $ 2.165 billion.
Independent title insurance companies posted a 57.8% growth in written premiums to $ 1.286 billion.
The First American family of companies increased its written premiums 53.4% to $ 1.473 billion.
The Stewart family of companies saw their written premiums increase 48.5% from a year ago to $ 625 million.
Beyond title insurance
With the rise of title insurance, leading companies are investing in technology that can streamline the provision of title insurance and ancillary services such as appraisal management, research and appraisal services, and online notarization and closing solutions.
Since a planned merger with the failure of Fidelity National Financial, Stewart Information Services Corp. expanded its ancillary services business, acquiring several companies to create an end-to-end real estate technology and services platform. More recently, the company announced a deal to acquire data and analytics provider Informative Research for $ 192 million.
Loyalty this year launched in here, an end-to-end platform that provides transaction tracking, electronic notarization and electronic closing services for agents and consumers.
First American Financial Corp. To invested $ 70 million in escrow and title technology company Endpoint, recently created an automated title decision engine, Clear2Go, available to independent title agents, allowing them to offer same-day title decisions on qualifying mortgage refinances and home equity loans.
Among the independent innovators, let us quote Doma, which offers “instant subscription”Title insurance for mortgage refinancing, and streamlined remote and digital closing and escrow services for all types of mortgages.
Email Matt Carter