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Title Insurance Heavyweights Have Strong Second Quarter

Old Republic International Corp. doubled its title insurance revenue during the second quarter, while First American Corp.'s commercial title business was a significant driver of growth.

Continued growth in the higher-margin commercial title business, a strong spring in home sales and increased residential mortgage refinancings all contributed to First American Corp.'s second quarter net income of $93 million. For the same period in 2014, it had net income of nearly $51 million.

Total revenue in the commercial property title policy business was $170 million for the quarter, up from $132 million last year. Average revenue per commercial title order was $8,200, up from $6,700 one year ago.

First American's average revenue per title order, which includes both commercial and residential policies, was $1,953, and that is up 7% from the second quarter of 2014.

At Old Republic International Corp., the pre-tax income from its title insurance business grew to $48 million in the quarter, up from $26 million one year prior. The operating results were helped by declining claim and operating costs compared with increased premiums and fees revenues.

Meanwhile, Old Republic's mortgage insurance business, which has not written any new policies since August 2011, saw its pretax operating income fall to $21 million from $37 million in the second quarter of 2014.

Republic Mortgage Insurance Co. is still paying claims on its legacy book of business and claim costs for the quarter grew to $31 million from $20 million one year prior.

Old Republic, which writes other lines of insurance, had net income of $102 million, up from $66 million in the 2014 second quarter.

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