Title Insurance Performance is Slow and Steady
Columbus, Ohio – September 12, 2011: For an industry battered by the recent past and besieged with questions regarding its viability, no surprises is a good thing. The trends of slow recovery are continuing at an even pace from the last quarter. While paid losses are up, the amount of unpaid losses continues to drop. Written premiums continue to climb and income is on the rise. These trends signal that while the Title markets are still strained, the tension is lessening and companies with strategic vision can begin to capitalize on the opportunities at hand.
There is still little margin for error, however while surplus levels remain low. Underwriters with reduced capital reserves are at higher risk for catastrophic losses. Losses from defalcations are also more likely when the economy is down. This combination and evidence of its devastating effects will hopefully lead the industry to unilaterally strengthen efforts at fraud protection, detection and mitigation.
Unaffiliated underwriters reported a YTD operating gain of $13.2 million against grouped companies YTD operating loss of $16.6 million. Policyholder Surplus is basically unchanged from the first quarter. Income is up nearly 200 percent from the same period in 2010.
Direct Losses Unpaid declined; dropping $45 million from the first quarter and down 6.5 percent from last year. The industry paid $275.6 million in losses during the second quarter of 2011 and wrote $2.2 billion in premium, which is an additional $30 million from the first quarter.
Known Claim Reserves make up a smaller portion of total reserves, 18.1 percent, than they have since the second quarter 2009, when they stood at 18.0 percent. Prior to 2007, Known Claims Reserves typically accounted for 14 to 15 percent of total reserves.
Title Industry Information and Analysis
Demotech Performance of Title Insurance Companies is the most complete and thorough industry analysis available. The 2011 Edition of Demotech Performance of Title Insurance Companies presents year-end 2010 Title industry results with over 400 pages of supporting detail and reports. The 2011 Edition can be ordered now by contacting Demotech at (800) 354-7207 or visiting www.demotech.com/PTIC.
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Paul Osborne, Senior Consultant