Land Title Association (ALTA) reported title insurance premium
volume continued to improve as premiums increased nearly 28 percent
during the third quarter of 2012 compared to the same period a year ago.
According to ALTA's 2012
Third-Quarter Market Share Analysis, the title insurance industry
generated $3 billion in title insurance premiums during the third
quarter of 2012 compared to $2.4 billion during the third quarter of
2011. Through nine months, the title industry has generated $8.09
billion in premiums, up from $6.9 billion through nine months in 2011.
"Title insurance premium volume is highly dependent on real estate sales
and mortgage-refinancing activity," said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA's chief
executive officer. "The thrd quarter of 2012 continued to show
improvement in our industry as it was the third consecutive quarter with
an increase over the equivalent 2011 quarter."
Operating income was up 22 percent ($581 million) from the third quarter
of 2011, while loss expense was down 27 percent ($81 million) and
operating expenses increased 23 percent ($532 million).
"This resulted in an operating gain of $114 million which compares to a
loss of $16 million in the third quarter of 2011," Korsmo said. "The
industry remains in a strong financial position and has admitted assets
of $8.7 billion, including nearly $7.7 billion in cash and invested
assets. Additionally, statutory reserves were almost $4.7 billion and
statutory surplus stood over $3.1 billion."
The states generating the most title insurance premiums during the third
quarter of 2012 were California ($440.7 million, up 31.3 percent
compared to the second quarter of 2011), Texas ($382.1 million, up 26.1
percent), Florida ($241.9 million, up 30.6 percent), New York ($213.8
million, up 15.8 percent) and Pennsylvania ($130 million, up 44.6
Five states experienced a 45 percent or more increase in title insurance
premiums during the third quarter of 2012 compared to the same period a
year ago, led by North Dakota (94.2 percent), Louisiana (52.9 percent),
North Carolina (51.4 percent), Idaho (51 percent) and Nebraska (45.3
In terms of market share, the Fidelity Family of title insurance
underwriters captured 33.7 percent of the market during the third
quarter of 2012, while the First American Family garnered 26.1 percent,
the Old Republic Family recorded 13.7 percent and the Stewart Family had
13.6 percent. Meanwhile, regional underwriters held 13 percent of the
market during the third quarter of 2012, up from 11.9 percent market
share during the same period a year ago.
ALTA expects to release its fourth-quarter 2012 and year-end Market
Share Analysis around March 20.
The American Land Title Association, founded in 1907, is a national
trade association representing more than 4,000 title insurance
companies, title agents, independent abstracters, title searchers, and
attorneys. ALTA members conduct title searches, examinations, closings,
and issue title insurance that protects real property owners and
mortgage lenders against losses from defects in titles.
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