From the News Archives

Monthly Archives: October 2014

Not All The Same

In our most recent post on indianastitlecompany.com, we talked about the way title insurers are rated and how we choose only the highest-rated insurers to partner with in providing the right products to our customers. Ratings can help to measure an insurer’s financial stability, but what else is important when selecting a title insurance provider? It’s important to ask, because there is certainly more to the story than just ratings.

Aside from financial stability, there are other characteristics of title companies that will affect you as you work through the real estate sales process, regardless of your role as buyer or seller, agent or lender. Just because title companies use underwriters with the same high rating doesn’t mean those title companies will provide their customers with the same level of service.

An example of this difference is given by Dave Bolton, a Senior Account Executive at one of Metropolitan Title’s Fort Wayne offices. “What sets us apart from our competition is our sense of urgency.”, says Dave. “When a client contacts me with a request, I understand that it needs to be addressed immediately.  My personal goal is to have a request or answer back to the customer within minutes, even if it means pulling over to the side of the road or stopping whatever I am working on. I want them to know from the start that they have my attention.”

A title company should have a highly-responsive orientation when it comes to service. They should be knowledgeable about their industry and their community. And last but not least, they should be easy to work with. Unfortunately, there is not a universal ratings system that measures these qualities. You have to do the work yourself to see who the friendliest, most responsive, and most helpful company is.

Our advice is simple. Check the companies out before you select one. Start by checking out the financial ratings, but be sure to give the title companies a call or stop by one of their offices with a few questions. See for yourself who you will be working with. At Metropolitan Title our door is always open. We are happy to provide the names and ratings of the insurers we work with. Stop by for a cup of coffee and a chat. We think you’ll see why we are Indiana’s Title Company.

What’s In A Rating?

There are many different companies that rate title insurance providers. Some of them have been around for a long time. One of the oldest is A.M. Best, which was founded in 1899. Others like Demotech, which was formed in 1985, are not as old but are still very influential. Regardless of when they were founded, these companies and a handful of others like them make it their business to know the ins and outs of the insurance game. They look very closely at insurance companies and assess their ability to take care of their policyholders.

These ratings are important because they measure an insurer’s ability to honor the obligations of its policies. One of the most commonly used scales for this ratings system is a letter designation (“A”, “B”, “C” and so on) sometimes coupled with a symbol, such as “+” or “?”. These designations represent the grading given to that title insurance company. Examples of such grading are “Exceptional”, “Adequate”, “Strong”, and “Poor”. Any grading of A or higher indicates the insurer is financially stable and therefore able to fulfill claim obligations to its policyholders.

What many people don’t realize is that these ratings are for the insurers, and not the independent agents and title companies that you end up working with on the sale. At Metropolitan Title, we have used these ratings to vet and select as partners only insurers with the highest ratings. All of our policies are underwritten by either First American Title Insurance Company or General Title Insurance. Demotech has given First American Title Insurance Company its  A”(Unsurpassed) grading and General Title it’s A (Exceptional) grading.

Having multiple underwriters allows us to offer our clients the insurers and policies that best suit their needs. Selecting underwriters with exceptional ratings allows us to be there when our customers need us most.

When considering title companies, do some investigation. Make sure the insurers issuing the policy on your property are stable. Ask the title company for the ratings of their underwriters. Or, find out which insurers work with the different title companies and do the homework yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

For more information on financial ratings check out these sites:

http://www.demotech.com/

http://www.ambest.com/

http://www.duffandphelps.com/

https://www.moodys.com/

http://www.standardandpoors.com/