Best’s Market Segment Report: Robust Housing Market Drives Historic Title Insurance Performance

OLDWICK, N.J.--()--The U.S. title insurance industry saw direct premium growth of 16% in 2020, the largest year-over-year increase since 2012, reflecting positive momentum in the housing market and economy in the second half of the year, according to a new AM Best report.

The Best’s Market Segment Report, titled, “Robust Housing Market Drives Historic Title Performance,” notes that the growth in direct premiums written more than doubled the 6.6% growth seen in 2019. This highlights the title industry’s surging performance as it entered 2021 and reflects how economic and market conditions have helped title insurers thrive despite the upheaval caused by the pandemic. At the same time, net underwriting income for the segment has improved in each of the last four years, including a substantial 39.6% year-over-year increase in 2020 to $1.7 billion, owing to the premium growth. Additionally, the segment’s combined ratio of 90.6 in 2020 represented the ninth consecutive year the ratio has been below 100, in addition to being the lowest calendar year combined ratio during that time. Overall, the title segment’s net income rose by 18% in 2020 to $1.5 billion. According to the report, title insurance was the most profitable segment of the overall property/casualty insurance market in 2020.

The housing market has been remarkably resilient despite the ongoing COVID-19 challenges. After experiencing a brief downturn in the second quarter of 2020, the real estate market came roaring back in the third quarter of 2020 and continues to enjoy strong growth. AM Best revised its market segment outlook for the title insurance industry to stable from negative in early 2021 because of the resilience shown by the industry in the wake of the economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically low interest rates, shifting demographics and consumer demand for homes remain the main drivers underpinning the strong housing market in 2021. AM Best expects title insurers’ results in 2021 to benefit from the economy being buoyed by extraordinary U.S. monetary policy, which continues to support the housing market.

To access the full copy of this market segment report, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=313288.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2021 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

Kourtnie Beckwith
Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5124
kourtnie.beckwith@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

David Blades, CPCU
Associate Director, Industry
Research and Analytics
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5422
david.blades@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Communications
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

Ann Modica
Associate Director, Credit Rating Criteria

Research and Analytics
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5209
ann.modica@ambest.com

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Contacts

Kourtnie Beckwith
Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5124
kourtnie.beckwith@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

David Blades, CPCU
Associate Director, Industry
Research and Analytics
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5422
david.blades@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Communications
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

Ann Modica
Associate Director, Credit Rating Criteria

Research and Analytics
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5209
ann.modica@ambest.com