Private Mortgage Insurance Firms Pick Up Share

The private mortgage insurance industry continues to gain strength in new policies written with reporting firms saying they wrote $11.3 billion of coverage in August, a 12% gain from the month prior.

The firms, members of the Mortgage Insurance Cos. of America, wrote $5.7 billion of new policies in August 2011. (July 2012 was the industry’s best month in nearly four years.)

MICA includes Home Affordable Refinance Program activity in its numbers. However, when individual MI firms release their results they typically exclude HARP coverage. The government program is considered a modification of existing coverage—not new business.

Only three of the five active insurance underwriters—MGIC, Radian and Genworth—are members of MICA. The results do not include activity at United Guaranty, which is the nation’s No. 1 MI, according to figures compiled by National Mortgage News and the Quarterly Data Report.

Meanwhile, three other MI companies are in run-off mode: RMIC, PMI and Triad. None of these supply numbers to MICA, which impacts the trade group’s insurance-in-force and cure/default ratio calculations.

MICA’s members reported application volume of 46,891 units for August, compared to 42,229 in July and 30,702 in August 2011.

For the third consecutive month, MICA’s members increased their primary insurance-in-force: $397.5 billion in August from $396.4 billion the month prior.

The cure/default ratio narrowed between July and August. There were 20,612 loan cures and 24,731 new notices of default reported in August for a ratio of 83.2%. July’s ratio was 73.2%, with 18,430 cures and 25,166 defaults.