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First-Quarter Market Share Report Complete

July 6, 2010

Complete Title Insurance Industry Market Share and Financial Statement compilations for the 1st Quarter of 2010 are now available on the ALTA website.

The first quarter of 2010 proved to be better than the first quarter of 2009. Operating Income increased $61 million (2.7%), Operating Expense decreased by $24 million (1.1%), Net Investment Gain increased by $75 million (331%) and Income Taxes decreased by $34 million. These positives were offset by an increase in Losses and Loss Adjustment Expenses of $76 million (53%), but still resulted in a small positive net income of $1.2 million, compared to a net loss in the 1st quarter of 2009 of $117 million.

Consequently, the industry remains in a strong financial position at March 31st, with Admitted Assets of almost $8.5 billion, including over $7.2 billion in Cash and Invested Assets. Also, Statutory Reserves were almost $5 billion and Statutory Surplus exceeded $2.4 billion.

After 13 consecutive quarters in which Title Premiums Written declined from the prior year’s equivalent quarter, the 3rd Quarter of 2009 ended this string with an increase of 1.4% over 3rd Quarter of 2008 and the 4th Quarter continued the trend with an increase of 17.2%. The 1st Quarter of 2010 now marks the 3rd consecutive quarter in which Title Premiums Written have increased over the prior year’s equivalent quarter, reporting a gain of 4.3% compared to the 1st Quarter of 2009.

Notable in the 1st Quarter are changes in title insurance underwriter family market share. The Fidelity Family leads the industry with 37% of the national market, but dropped 8% from their 45% in 2009. Meanwhile, First American increased .7% to 28.3%, Stewart increased 1% to 13.7% and Old Republic increased 4.2% to 10.5%. Regional Companies market share also increased significantly to 10.7%.

On a state-by-state basis, 30 states plus the District of Columbia showed 1st Quarter 2010 written premiums increasing over 1st Quarter 2009 and only 20 states recording decreases. Eight states were up over 30%, but only one state, Colorado (30.3%) is in the top 20. Of those reporting decreases, only one, Alaska (-31.4%) declined more than 30%. Of the twenty largest states, fifteen showed increases from 3.1% (Utah) to 30.3% (Colorado) and only five showed decreases, ranging from 4.2% (California) to 20% (Oregon). The top three states all declined - California down 4.2%, Texas down 7.4% and Florida down 7.9%.

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