Title Underwriters Benefit From Returning Market

Mortgage & Real Estate

There was $11.4 billion of premiums written last year by the nation’s title insurance underwriters, up from $9.5 billion one year prior according to the American Land Title Association. The big four national players did $9.9 billion of the total, up from $8.3 billion in 2011.

However, only Old Republic among the big four finished 2012 with increased market share when compared with 2011.

Fidelity National Financial did $3.9 billion of volume, an increase of $589 million over 2011, while First American did $3 billion, up $472 million. By market share percentage, Fidelity has 33.86% of the market, an 80 basis point decline, while First American has 26.34%, down 48 bps.

Old Republic passes Stewart in terms of premiums written and market share percentage. Old Republic wrote $1.5 billion, up $314 million and its market share is now 13.53%, up 51 bps. Stewart did $1.5 billion, up $184 million and its market share is 12.95%, down 74 bps.

The independents also benefitted from the shift in market share. Of the 31 companies which are still active underwriters, just five reported a loss of market share in 2012. As a group, their market share increased 152 bps to 13.32%.

In 4Q12, there was $3.3 billion of new title insurance written, compared with $3 billion in 3Q12, $2.8 billion in 2Q12, $2.3 billion in 1Q12 and $2.6 billion in 4Q11.

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