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Title Insurers See Lower Losses

The American Land Title Association announced gross revenue for the tsle industry for the first six months of this year was $7.49 billion, a 36.5% jump from the same timeframe in 2002, amid indications of strong performance for title insurance policies.

In addition, the industry's loss ratio declined.

The loss ratio (losses and loss adjustment expenses as a percentage of total operating income) fell to 3.64% from 4.24% for the first half of 2002.

The level of pretax profit for the period was $454 million, compared with $156.1 million last year, which ALTA said reflects the strength of the market, coupled with costs increasing less than revenue.

Rich McCarthy, ALTA's director of research, said, "The effect of near-record-low mortgage rates continues to be felt in the real estate industry. New sales, existing sales and refinancings are all at, or near, record levels."

On an after-tax basis, including investment income, title insurers earned $436.2 million, compared with $227.7 million.

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