Value of Title Insurance Revealed

January 20, 2001

Washington, DC– A new study by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) reveals the value of owner’s title insurance. In the 2000 ALTA Abstracter and Title Agent Operations Survey, title agents were asked how often they fixed title problems before issuing title insurance. The answer was a surprising 25% of the time.

Homebuyers and regulators alike have asked about the value of title insurance, and how many claims were paid out in a given year. Fixing title problems prior to closing, and preventing claims in 25% of all residential transactions translates into a potential 1.5 million curative actions taken each year by title agents -- actions allowing homeowners to move in with the assurance that their title is clear. Unlike other forms of insurance that focus on possible future events and charge an annual premium, title insurance is purchased for a one-time payment and is a safeguard against loss arising from hazards and defects already existing in the title.

ALTA received responses from 420 member companies (about 25% of all members) describing business activities such as revenue, number of employees, orders received, geographic scope, curative actions and common defects, as well as statistics on employee benefits. The information in the study helps in tracking changes in the industry.

ALTA members who participated in the survey have received a complimentary copy. Other members can purchase a copy for $125, (nonmembers, $250) by going to the Publications page of the ALTAWeb site.( www.alta.org )