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First American exits property and casualty business

Expects deal to be complete by 2022

“Big Four” title insurer First American Financial Corp. announced Monday that it has reached an agreement to sell its property and casualty subsidiaries.

The sales – known as “book transfer agreements” in accounting parlance –  were made with Safeco Insurance, a Liberty Mutual company, and Heritage Insurance Holdings. First American said the decision will help it focus on its core title business.

The title insurer on Monday said that the agreements provide qualifying First American property and casualty insurance agents and customers an opportunity to efficiently transfer their policies to Safeco or, in certain circumstances, Heritage.

First American first announced its intent to exit its property and casualty business in October 2020. It expects the transfer to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2022.

“Safeco and Heritage are leaders in book transfer arrangements and have a strong commitment to serving independent agents,” First American CEO Dennis Gilmore said in a statement. “These agreements allow us to exit our property and casualty operations, while providing a valuable option for many of our agents and customers to move forward with established and well-respected carriers.”

Here’s what lenders should look for in a title provider

HousingWire recently spoke with Susan Falsetti, managing director of Origination Title and Close at ServiceLink, about the state of the title industry.

Presented by: ServiceLink

Merger & Acquisition Services served as the sole financial advisor to First American.

Even as the company is exiting this section of its business, it continues to double down on its digital closing tech. At the end of last year, First American Docutech announced a new integration with Encompass LOS by Ellie Mae.

According to First American Docutech, the integration would allow Encompass lenders to implement First American Docutech’s suite of digital mortgage and closing solutions, including updating key disclosure tracking fields and automatically delivering documents into Encompass.

And its title insurance continues to grow. Overall title insurance premium volume surged 17.6% for the entire market in the third quarter. And First American grew its market share by one basis point from the second to the third quarter.

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