2021 promises to be a record year for the title insurance industry

Title insurers are having a record year as higher home sales and prices helped the industry set a new record for premiums written in the third quarter.

In the three months ending September 30, 2021, the title insurance industry generated $ 6.8 billion in title insurance premiums, according to a To analyse by the American Land Title Association.

This is a 32% increase from a year ago, helping title insurers break the previous record of $ 6.5 billion in premiums written in the second quarter.

For the first nine months of the year, premiums written increased 43.7% from a year ago, to $ 19 billion, while claims only increased by 1.3%, to $ 352.5 million.

The smallest of the Big Four title insurers posted the strongest growth in the third quarter, while industry leader Fidelity posted slower growth than the industry as a whole.

Growth in title insurance premiums written

Source: American Land Titles Association

The Stewart Information Services Corp. family of companies, which includes Stewart Title Guaranty and Stewart Title Limited, posted the highest annual growth rate in the third quarter, with premiums written increasing 52% to $ 641 million .

The Old Republic Title Insurance group of companies, including Old Republic National Title Insurance and American Guaranty Title Insurance, have also grown faster than the industry as a whole, with premiums written up 38% from a year ago. a year, to reach $ 1.028 billion.

The First American Financial Corp. family of companies, which includes First American Title Insurance and First American Title Guaranty, increased its written premiums by 34% to $ 1.586 billion.

The Fidelity National Financial family of companies, which includes Chicago Title, Fidelity National Title and Commonwealth Land Title, reported 29% annual growth in written premiums, with third-quarter production of $ 2.221 billion.

Collectively, independent title insurers also posted below-average growth, with premiums written in the third quarter rising 30% to $ 1.331 billion.

Market share of title insurers, according to written premiums

Source: American Land Titles Association

The Fidelity family of companies continued to hold the largest share of the bonus pie, capturing 32.6% of the market in the third quarter. That’s down from 33.1% in the second quarter and 33.4% a year ago.

The First American family’s 23.3% market share was up from 22.5% in the second quarter, but was little changed from 23.1% a year ago.

The Old Republic family of companies’ 15.1% market share in the third quarter was unchanged from the second quarter, but up from 14.5% a year ago.

At 9.4%, the market share of the Stewart family of companies in the third quarter was down slightly from 9.6% in the second quarter, but up from 9.1% a year ago .

Collectively, independent title insurers accounted for 19.6% of premiums written in the third quarter, up from 19.7% in the second quarter and 19.9% ​​a year ago.

The two largest independent companies – Westcor Land Title Insurance and WFG Title Insurance – accounted for 44% of the premiums written by the self-employed.

With $ 400.6 million in premiums written, Westcor’s third quarter market share fell to 5.9% from 6.2% in the second quarter and 6% a year ago.

WFG’s market share also fell to 2.7 percent with $ 182.3 million in premiums written in the third quarter. WFG had a 3% market share in the second quarter and 2.9% a year ago.

The big picture

The title insurance industry is increasingly moving beyond written premiums, with leading companies investing in technology that streamlines the delivery of end-to-end title insurance and real estate services.

Reporting an annual growth of 144% in third quarter net income, executives at First American detailed the investments the company is making in next-generation cloud technology that will help it grow and automate its business. . First American is investing heavily in its Endpoint subsidiary, a digital securities and settlement services provider launched in 2018 that uses artificial intelligence to streamline document submissions and speed up processes.

First American is also establishing strategic partnerships through holdings in more than a dozen venture-backed proptech companies that are now valued at nearly $ 700 million, including Lev, Offerpad, Orchard, Pacaso, Ribbon, Side Inc. and Sundae.

Last month, executives at Fidelity National Financial reported third quarter net income growth of 39% and said the company’s growing suite of end-to-end digital transaction tools – collectively known as of “inHere Experience Platform” – appealed to consumers.

Stewart Information Services Corp. acquires data and analytics provider Informative Research to advance CEO Fred Eppinger’s vision to create an end-to-end real estate technology and services platform.

“Not only are ALTA members handling record volume, securities industry professionals continue to help improve the customer experience to make the settlement process more efficient,” said ALTA CEO, Diane Tomb, in a declaration. “ALTA members are leading the way in helping make real estate transactions digital and more accessible. As technology automates and digitizes certain real estate transaction processes, ALTA members continue to provide a valuable insurance product and service. While faster turnaround times are desired, getting it right and performing the essential tasks in the process of settling and issuing title insurance to meet client needs will remain paramount.

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