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First American Financial Corp  (FAF)
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    Sector  Financial    Industry Insurance Brokerage
 
 


First American Financial Corp Segments

 
 

Business Segments III. Quarter
Revenues
(in millions $)
(Sep 30 2017)
%
(of total Revenues)
III. Quarter
Income
(in millions $)
(Sep 30 2017)
%
(Profit Margin)
Total
1,519.57 100 % 21.19 1.39 %

• View Income Statement • View Competition by Segment • View Annual Report

Growth rates by Segment III. Quarter
Y/Y Revenue
%
(Sep 30 2017)
Q/Q Revenue
%
III. Quarter
Y/Y Income
%
(Sep 30 2017)
Q/Q Income
%
Total
11.61 % 4.48 % -79.32 % -82.62 %

• View Growth rates • View Competitors Segment Growth • View Market Share

To get more information on First American Financial's Total segment. Select each division with the arrow.

  First American Financial's

Business Segments Description



Title Insurance and Services Segment
Our title insurance and services segment issues title insurance policies on residential and commercial property in the United States and offers similar or related products and services internationally. This segment also provides closing and/or escrow services; accommodates tax-deferred exchanges of real estate; provides products, services and solutions involving the use of real property related data designed to mitigate risk or otherwise facilitate real estate transactions; maintains, manages and provides access to title plant records and images; and provides banking, trust and investment advisory services.

Our Title Insurance Operations
Overview. We conduct our title insurance and closing business through a network of direct operations and agents. Through this network, we issue policies in the 49 states that permit the issuance of title insurance policies and the District of Columbia. We also offer title insurance, closing services and similar or related products and services, either directly or through third parties in other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and various other established and emerging markets.


Customers, Sales and Marketing. The mortgage markets in the United States and Canada are concentrated. We believe that five institutions, Wells Fargo & Company, JPMorgan Chase & Co., U.S. Bancorp, Quicken Loans Inc. and Bank of America Corporation, together with their affiliates, originate or are involved in approximately 34% of the mortgages in the United States. Each of these institutions purchases title insurance policies and other products and services from us. These institutions also benefit from products and services which are purchased for their benefit by others, such as title insurance policies purchased by borrowers as a condition to the making of a loan. The refusal of one or more of these or other significant lending institutions to purchase products and services from us or to accept our products and services that are to be purchased for their benefit could have a material adverse effect on the title insurance and services segment.


We distribute our title insurance policies and related products and services through our direct and agent channels. In our direct channel, the distribution of our policies and related products and services occurs through sales representatives located at numerous offices throughout the United States where real estate transactions are handled. Title insurance policies issued and other products and services delivered through this channel are primarily delivered in connection with sales and refinances of residential and commercial real property.


Within the direct channel, our sales and marketing efforts are focused on the primary sources of business referrals. For residential business referred by local or decentralized customers, we market to real estate agents and brokers, mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, mortgage originators, homebuilders and escrow service providers. For refinance and default related business referred by customers with centrally managed platforms, we market to mortgage originators, servicers, and governmental sponsored enterprises. For the commercial business we market primarily to commercial real estate investors, including real estate investment trusts, insurance companies and asset managers, as well as to law firms, commercial banks, investment banks, mortgage brokers and the owners of commercial real estate. We also market directly to national homebuilders focused on newly constructed residential property. In some instances we may supplement the efforts of our sales force with general marketing. Our marketing efforts emphasize the quality and timeliness of our services, our financial strength, process innovation and our national presence. We also provide educational information on our website and through other means to help consumers better understand our services and the homebuying/settlement process in general.


Underwriting. Before a title insurance policy is issued, a number of underwriting decisions are made. For example, matters of record revealed during the title search may require a determination as to whether an exception should be taken in the policy. We believe that it is important for the underwriting function to operate efficiently and effectively at all decision-making levels so that transactions may proceed in a timely manner. To perform this function, we have underwriters at the regional, divisional and corporate levels with varying levels of underwriting authority.


Agency Operations. As described above, we also issue title insurance policies through a network of agents. Our agreements with our agents typically state the conditions under which the agent is authorized to issue title insurance policies on our behalf. The agency agreement also typically prescribes the circumstances under which the agent may be liable to us if a policy loss occurs. Such agency agreements typically are terminable without cause after a specified notice period has been met and are terminable immediately for cause. As is standard in our industry, our agents typically operate with a substantial degree of independence from us and frequently act as agents for other title insurers. We evaluate the profitability of our agency relationships on an ongoing basis, including a review of premium splits, deductibles and claims. As a result, from time to time we may terminate or renegotiate the terms of some of our agency relationships.


In determining whether to engage an independent agent, we often obtain information about the agent, including the agent’s experience and background. We maintain loss experience records for each agent and also maintain agent representatives and agent auditors. Our agents typically are subject to audit or examination. In addition to routine examinations, other examinations may be triggered if certain “warning signs” are evident. Adverse findings in an agency audit may result in various actions, including, if warranted, termination of the agency relationship.

International Operations. We provide products and services in a number of countries outside of the United States, and our international operations accounted for approximately 6.4% of our title insurance and services segment revenues in 2015. Today we have direct operations and a physical presence in several countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.


Our range of international products and services is designed to lower our clients’ risk profiles and reduce their operating costs through enhanced operational efficiencies. In established markets, primarily British Commonwealth countries, we have combined title insurance with customized processing offerings to enhance the speed and efficiency of the mortgage and conveyancing processes. In these markets we also offer products designed to mitigate risk and otherwise facilitate real estate transactions.
Our international operations present risks that may not exist to the same extent in our domestic operations, including those associated with differences in the nature of the products provided, the scope of coverage provided by those products and the manner in which risk is underwritten. Limited claims experience in certain foreign jurisdictions makes it more difficult to set prices and reserve rates. There may also be risks associated with differences in legal systems and/or unforeseen regulatory changes.


Title Plants. Our collection of title plants constitutes one of our principal assets. A title search is typically conducted by searching the abstracted information from public records or utilizing a title plant holding information abstracted from public records. While public title records generally are indexed by reference to the names of the parties to a given recorded document, our title plants primarily arrange their records on a geographic basis. Because of this difference, title plant records generally may be searched more efficiently, which we believe reduces the risk of errors associated with the search. Many of our title plants also index prior policies, adding to searching efficiency. Certain locations utilize jointly owned plants or utilize a plant under a joint user agreement with other title companies. In addition to these ownership interests, we are in the business of maintaining, managing and providing access to title plant records and images that may be owned by us or other parties. We believe that our title plants, whether wholly or partially owned or utilized under a joint user agreement, are among the most comprehensive in the industry.


Reserves for Claims and Losses. We provide for losses associated with title insurance policies, closing protection letters and other risk based products based upon our historical experience and other factors by a charge to expense when the related premium revenue is recognized. The resulting reserve for incurred but not reported claims, together with the reserve for known claims, reflects management’s best estimate of the total costs required to settle all claims reported to us and claims incurred but not reported, and are considered to be adequate for such purpose. Each period the reasonableness of the estimated reserves is assessed; if the estimate requires adjustment, such an adjustment is recorded.


Reinsurance and Coinsurance. We plan to continue our practice of assuming and ceding large title insurance risks through reinsurance. In reinsurance arrangements, the primary insurer retains a certain amount of risk under a policy and cedes the remainder of the risk under the policy to the reinsurer. The primary insurer pays the reinsurer a premium in exchange for accepting this risk of loss. The primary insurer generally remains liable to its insured for the total risk, but is reinsured under the terms of the reinsurance agreement. Prior to 2010, our title reinsurance arrangements primarily involved other industry participants. Beginning in January of 2010, we established a global reinsurance program involving treaty reinsurance provided by a global syndicate of highly rated non-industry reinsurers. Subject to the treaty limits and certain other limitations, the program generally covers claims made while the program is in effect.


We also serve as a coinsurer in connection with certain commercial transactions. In a coinsurance scenario, two or more insurers are selected by the insured and each coinsurer is liable for its specified percentage share of the total liability.

Specialty Insurance Segment

Property and Casualty Insurance. Our property and casualty insurance business provides insurance coverage to residential homeowners and renters for liability losses and typical hazards such as fire, theft, vandalism and other types of property damage. We are licensed to issue policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and actively issue policies in 46 states. The majority of policy liability is in the western United States, including approximately 63% in California. In certain markets we also offer preferred risk auto insurance to better compete with other carriers offering bundled home and auto insurance. We market our property and casualty insurance business using both direct distribution channels, including cross-selling through our existing closing-service activities, and through a network of independent brokers. We purchase reinsurance to limit risk associated with large losses from single events.


Home Warranties. Our home warranty business provides residential service contracts that cover residential systems, such as heating and air conditioning systems, and certain appliances against failures that occur as the result of normal usage during the coverage period. Coverage is typically for one year and is renewable annually at the option of the contract holder and upon our approval. Coverage and pricing typically vary by geographic region. Fees for the warranties generally are paid at the closing of the home purchase or directly by the consumer. Renewal premiums may be paid by a number of different options. In addition, under the contract, the holder is responsible for a service fee for each trade call. First year warranties primarily are marketed through real estate brokers and agents, and we also increasingly market directly to consumers. We generally sell renewals directly to consumers. Our home warranty business currently operates in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

   

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