The title insurance industry remained strong in the first quarter, as after-tax profits declined less than 10% from their level in the first quarter of 2004, a record year, according to the American Land Title Association.ALTA reported that revenue totaled $3.70 billion in the first quarter, up slightly from $3.69 billion a year earlier, while losses and loss-adjustment expenses rose 35.4%, from $148.8 million to $201.5 million. "After the rise in business during 2002, 2003, and 2004, claims were expected to eventually catch up," the association said. The industry loss ratio rose from 4.03% to 5.45%. Pretax profits (before investment income) totaled $71.2 million in the first quarter, down 50% from $142.3 million a year earlier, but after-tax profits (after investment income) fell far less, from $123.0 million to $111.6 million, according to ALTA. The association can be found online at http://www.alta.org.

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