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Title Insurance Premiums Rise 14% in Third Quarter

Title insurance premium volume rose 14 percent during the third quarter of 2013 when compared to the same period a year ago, according to the ""American Land Title Association"":http://www.alta.org (ALTA).

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Based on the national trade group's market share analysis for Q3, the title insurance industry generated $3.4 billion in premiums over the July-to-September period, compared to $3.0 billion in the third quarter of 2012.

Michelle Korsmo, ALTA's CEO, says the title industry's ""strength and stability ... continues to improve as the housing economy recovery maintains a steady pace.""

Forty-five states, plus the District of Columbia, saw written premiums increase during the 12-month period ending in October, Korsmo explained. The states generating the most title insurance premiums during the third-quarter period of 2013 were:
* Texas ($477.9 million, up 25.1 percent compared to the third quarter of 2012)

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* California ($413.3 million, down 6.2 percent)
* Florida ($314.2 million, up 29.9 percent)
* New York (257.7 million, up 20.5 percent)
* Pennsylvania (151.7 million, up 16.7 percent)

Nine states experienced a 25 percent or more annual increase in title insurance premiums during the third quarter:
* South Dakota (up 54.7 percent)
* Delaware (up 37.8 percent)
* Minnesota (up 31.2 percent)
* West Virginia (up 30.3 percent)
* Florida (up 29.9 percent)
* Montana (up 28.9 percent)
* Illinois (up 25.9 percent)
* Texas (up 25.1 percent)
* Utah (up 25.1 percent)

The breakdown of market share was led by the Fidelity family of title insurance underwriters with 32.2 percent of the market in Q3, while the First American family captured 26.6 percent, Old Republic companies recorded 15.2 percent, and Stewart garnered 12.8 percent.

Meanwhile, regional underwriters held 13.1 percent of the market during the third quarter, down from 13.3 percent market share during the same period of 2012.

ALTA, founded in 1907, represents nearly 4,800 title insurance companies, title agents, independent abstracters, title searchers, and attorneys. ALTA members conduct title searches, examinations, closings, and issue title insurance that protects real property owners and mortgage lenders against losses from defects in titles.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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