Title insurance agents have apparently not softened on the idea of controlled business arrangements. A recent joint study by a trade publication and a regional title insurance underwriter suggests that a large majority of title insurance agents surveyed do not think AfBAs are a positive for the title industry.

October Research, which specializes in business news and analysis for the settlement services industry, and North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC), a regional title insurance underwriter whose corporate parent company is Lennar Corporation, recently partnered to survey approximately 400 title insurance agents from across the United States. The study, known as the Voice of Title Agent Survey, asked respondent title agents to give answers to questions ranging from whether their business improved from year-to-year to what type of deals each respondent handled.

A free downloadable PDF copy of the survey results can be found here.

The results of the survey included:

  • 52% of respondents said that ALTA has done enough to raise industry standards, but could still do more.
  • A majority of respondents are having difficulty procuring affordable errors and omissions insurance.
  • A majority believe business will improve in 2013 over 2012.
  • And more…

What caught our eye from the survey was a back page section of the summary in which six questions were combined into an illustrative bar graph. The section was reserved for questions that receive the most “divergence” of opinion within the industry. One of the questions contained in that epilogue section asked respondents to comment on whether AfBAs, overall, were a positive for the industry.

58.8% of the respondents said no, they were not a positive.

Among the questions asked in this section, no other question engendered as negative a response from respondents as the AfBA question. In other words, title agents in a national study clearly do not prefer controlled business arrangements and are adamant about it.

While it is interesting that the industry still conjures the questionable narrative that there is, in fact, a great “divergence” on the issue of controlled business arrangements, the results of the Voice of the Title Agent Survey 2013 suggest otherwise. Only 19% of those title agents surveyed think AfBAs are a positive for the title industry.

Soon, the nation will have another survey on controlled business arrangements that will uncover whether consumers think AfBAs are a positive for their real estate experience. That survey, known as the NAILTA Settlement Preference Survey is currently underway across the United States and will be concluded in the Fall of 2013.

To find out more information about the NAILTA SPS, please contact us at info@nailta.org.