Our reinsurers hold more than 5x the policyholder surplus of the Top 4 underwriters combined.
All of our reinsurance partners have a substantially better ratings than any title insurance underwriter, with each having an AM Best rating of A- (Excellent) or better. Our conservative approach to protecting our policy holders is accomplished through reinsurance agreements with Lloyd’s of London.
Water title insurance requires unique expertise, including an in-depth understanding of water interests, land titles, and underwriting practices.
We can support you on your commercial deals as well as residential ones.
As long as we’re is in your corner, you’ll never go through a title claim alone. Our team of experienced professionals will help you along every step of the way.
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Must-See Educational Sessions at ALTA ONE 2019
ALTA ONE is next week, October 22-25th at the Fairmont Hotel in Austin, Texas. It’s an important event bringing together leaders in the title industry to swap new ideas and business practices in educational sessions that really work.
As always, there’s a lot of content! ALTA ONE will cover a range of hot topics, so which sessions are a must-attend?
We enlisted the help of Nathan Marinchick, Director of Research and Educational Programming at Alliant National, to help identify the top 10 education sessions you may want to place on your ALTA ONE dance card next week.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
9:00 am – 10:00 am OMNI SESSION: THE POWER OF PURPOSE
ALTA’s CEO, Diane Tomb, will share her vision for the coming year and what she sees as the industry’s greatness opportunities and weaknesses. And Entrepreneur, author and “ad man” Roy Spence will help ignite your “epiphany of purpose” during this keynote — Have you found your purpose? What motivates you? What truly drives your company? Discover and fulfill your purpose.
10:30 am – 11:30 am NOTABLE: TEXAS TITLE AGENTS ARE ROCKING WITH RON
In 2018, Texas became the 3rd state to permit remote online notarization. This session will provide a first-hand perspective on implementing RON in your operation. As RON becomes legal in your state you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from early adopters.
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm ENGAGEMENT LAB: COMMERCIAL BUSINESS: GETTING YOUR FEET WET WITHOUT SINKING THE BOAT
This lab is designed to demonstrate how your title and closing skills and experience have given you a solid foundation to explore the world of commercial real estate transactions with confidence.
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm NOTABLE: RESPA 411
This session will review the latest cases and enforcement actions on RESPA, affiliated businesses, and marketing services agreements. Come with your questions and discuss the latest trends in RESPA compliance. Experts will address the future of the CFPB and enforcement actions.
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm ENGAGEMENT LAB: BUILDING A FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE
Our industry is facing significant changes from a staffing standpoint. How do you face the challenges of finding new people when you have a retirement or just the everyday turnover? What does flexibility in your workforce look like and how can you successfully adapt your business to recruit and retain new staff through these changes? Join this lab to discuss these challenges and brainstorm solutions.
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm ENGAGEMENT LAB: CULTURE AUDIT WITH ALLIANT NATIONAL’S BOB GRUBB
Culture is central to the health of an organization. However, it is often invisible to those in it, making it difficult to understand what our culture is, and more importantly, what areas require improvement. This is why a culture audit is a good idea. Join this lab to learn how this process works and what to do with the results.
Thursday, October 24, 2019
8:45 am – 10:00 am OMNI SESSION: FROM THE DARK WEB TO WALLSTREET (SPONSORED BY INCENTER TECHNOLOGY)
Wire Fraud keeps us up at night. Listen to two local law enforcement detectives involved in a headline-making case in which money was stolen, then recovered, through a wire fraud incident. Additionally, an Austin based Realtor will discuss how unsuspecting clients can fall victim to wire fraud schemes. And Cybersecurity is top-of-mind for all of us, whether we’re thinking about our professional or personal lives. The director of cybersecurity for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Investment Technology, Rachel Wilson, knows exactly the dangers you face. Wilson will share her expertise on how best to protect your business and avoid falling prey to scams and attacks.
10:30 am – 11:30 am NOTABLE: PROPOSED ALTA POLICY FORMS – WHAT’S COVERED, WHAT’S NOT?Title insurance is what we sell, so it’s imperative to know when coverages change. Hear from two ALTA Forms Committee experts about the proposed updates to the 2006 policies. You will be introduced to the new versions, know why changes were made, and what they mean for your business.
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm NOTABLE: THE UNEXPECTED BENEFITS OF DIGITAL CLOSINGS
Often when we talk about digital closings, we talk about what’s in it for the consumer or lender. But you should also focus on the benefits that digital closing can bring to your operation. In this session, learn how digital closing technology can change your workflow and improve efficiency – while also providing the more convenient and prompt closing your consumers and lenders want.
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm NOTABLE: 8 LEGIT WAYS TO MARKET YOUR CULTURE TO HUMANS UNDER 40
If you’re job searching and under the age of 40, you’re probably not going to get excited about a job that offers “competitive benefits” and a “standard work week” with “two weeks of paid vacation.” Sorry, title pros! The new wave of employees has different expectations and you do have to adapt and market your values differently. Take home 8 great ideas to attract talented employees for your business.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ever-evolving beast that can be difficult to navigate.
The rules are always changing and understanding where to begin can present a challenging maze for those unfamiliar with the most current trends.
Google, of course, is the giant of the search engine ladder, and if your business URL ranks at the top of a Google search, it has a 33 percent chance of getting clicked, while the second position gets close to 15 percent of the share, and the third position, 9 percent.
Moreover, a whopping 75 percent of people who use search engines to browse topics never leave the first page of search results. In other words, a high rank leads to more clicks, and more clicks equate to more leads.
To achieve optimal results, businesses can implement several strategies to increase their visibility on Google. Here are a few tips to get started.
Improve the speed of your landing page.
The time it takes for your home page to load is front and center in the minds of the public—and Google. If your load page is too slow, Google recognizes the lull and will promptly demote your ranking.
As well, a slow website affects the ways in which visitors to your site engage with your pages. Research shows that 40 percent of visitors will leave a website if the page takes more than three seconds to load. Even worse, 80 percent of those visitors won’t bother to come back.
To test the speed of your website, consult a free online service like Pingdom.
Regularly update your website with new content.
If you allow the content on your website to become outdated, or worse, let it fade into oblivion, your SEO ranking plummets. To generate traffic and increase your website’s visibility, posting fresh content is imperative.
If your site is littered with irrelevant or outdated content, get rid of it. Update your site on a regular basis with newsworthy, consumable, relevant and value-driven content (including graphics, videos, how-to guides, webinars and live chats) and visitors will likely return.
Something else to keep in mind: Google increases your website’s search engine rank when visitors spend more than a nanosecond on your site. If you keep your target searchers engaged with great content that makes them care, they’ll stick around—a factor that Google takes into account when it ranks websites.
Use the correct key words and phrases.
Keywords play a huge role in Google’s ranking algorithm. When creating content for your website, include keywords and long-tail keywords (three-or-four-word phrases) that speak to—and define—your brand.
Keywords can be used in the body of a blog post, header tag or as part of photo captions.
Google isn’t particularly keen on saturating sites with keywords, however, so use them strategically and sparingly, otherwise you risk diminishing your search ranking. Tip: Take advantage of software sites like Moz and Ahrefs, both of which offer keyword suggestions and monthly search volume.
Retail kingpin Amazon and the nation’s largest residential brokerage firm, Realogy, whose brands include Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Sotheby’s, have joined forces to attract home buyers in fourteen different cities.
To entice buyers to take advantage of the newly launched partnership—called Turnkey—Amazon is offering up to $5,000 in home services and products upon the closing of a home.
Culture is the lifeblood of every organization.
It is created through a language and customs, arts and practices that are shared by a particular work group. Culture is an identity, and it can attract or repel engagement with your organization.
All companies have a culture, whether it is one that develops on its own or is deliberately nurtured. The questions is do you have the culture you want?
Does your culture revolve around how your people respect each other and your customers? Does your culture foster the experience you want your customers to have? Is it time to be more deliberate or even make a bold change?
In a recent Gallup poll, 53% of workers reported they are “not engaged.” From Gallup’s employee engagement report: “They may be generally satisfied but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace; they will usually show up to work and do the minimum required but will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer.” That same poll reported that 34% of workers are “engaged,” and it’s the highest number since this Gallup poll was created in 2000. Only about one-third of our workforce feels engaged, and that’s an improvement.
Imagine the change possible if we could reverse these numbers? Gains in productivity, increases in job satisfaction – wins for everyone! And that’s just a start.
To improve employee engagement, it may be time to reexamine your company’s culture. Do you know what your people really want and what is important to them? Have you asked them or are you making assumptions?
Each employee brings his or her own unique personality, life experiences, skills, talents, work history and world view. We act, behave and influence others based on who we are – and what we have gone through in life.
How people work together can either happen by chance or by deliberate action. Culture allows us to find commonalities among our differences, to align the group’s focus on a single objective to achieve success.
I look forward to exploring company culture with you during the Engagement Lab: Culture Audit at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23 during the ALTA One conference in Austin, Texas.
the modern digital age is changing the way journalists rely on information gathering
While traditional press releases – distributing promotional news about your services, products, brand or business through mass communication channels – should still be part of your communications cannon, the modern digital age is changing the way journalists rely on information gathering.
Muck Rack and the Zeno Group, for example, published a survey last year that produced some surprising results: only 3 percent of journalists worldwide rely heavily on press releases distributed via newswires. Even more telling: 53 percent of U.S. based journalists don’t rely on press releases at all.
Consider these additional findings from the Muck Rack and Zeno Group survey:
- More than 41 percent of journalists consider the potential “shareability” of a story when deciding what to write about
- 63 percent of journalists in the U.S. and 68 percent of journalists worldwide track how many times their stories are shared on social media
- 27 percent of journalists choose Twitter as their primary news source
To be clear: Press releases are not dead. Even in today’s digital bonanza, they’re still a formidable medium for delivering your message, especially when that message is well written, informative and has a strong hook.
Still, these findings, if nothing else, should compel communications professionals to rethink how they communicate – and build relationships – with journalists that go beyond an email and a formulaic press release.
To bolster your message, consider implementing these three additional strategies.
Follow reporters that cover your beat on social media.
Make sure to follow reporters that cover your industry on social media platforms. A journalist’s tweet may spark a pitch for a story idea or the opportunity to become a source or an expert for a forthcoming article or column.
The more familiar you are with the journalists that write about your industry, whether it’s trends, news or thoughts, the more you’re likely to understand the kind of stories they’re looking for.
Share, share and share some more.
When your business is featured in a publication, video or blog post, share the story to your own social media followers.
And always tag the publications and reporter that wrote the story. Spreading good news extends the story’s reach for your business, and it also benefits the publication and the reporter.
It’s a win-win situation for generating visibility across the spectrum.
Make your pitch personal.
Distributing a mass pitch is easy, but it’s not advisable. If you’re going to do the research to craft a press release, ensure that you devote time to developing customized angles and narratives that are personalized for the specific reporter or outlet you’re pitching.
Journalists receive dozens of pitches every day; make yours stand out by personalizing your pitches and letting reporters know why, specifically, they’re the right person to cover your pitch.
Additionally, think beyond text: the inclusion of infographics and videos in your release is proven to generate more attention.
It may seem like “Title Insurance 101” – but small mistakes can be signs of fraud or misuse of funds or outright intentional undoing of a clear road to closing on a real estate deal.
It may seem like “Title Insurance 101” – but small mistakes can be signs of fraud or misuse of funds or outright intentional undoing of a clear road to closing on a real estate deal.
Not everyone knows everything all of the time; a thousand items have to fall into place and “add up” in order to make the process smooth and completely unencumbered.
A power of attorney showing up in the middle of a transaction (or at the end) should be scrutinized. So should cashier’s checks drawn from geographical areas that don’t coincide with the seller’s, buyer’s or property’s locale.
Take a look at the potential red flags below; being aware is half the battle.
Preliminary Title Report/Title Search
Red flags” involving the preliminary title report and title search may include:
- Ordered by, prepared for, or mailed to a party other than the lender.
- Property seller is not in title (possible purchase disguised as a refinance or improper property flip).
- Seller owned property for a short time with a cash-out on the sale.
- Notice of default is recorded (possible cash-out purchase with a straw buyer or foreclosure rescue).
- Report indicates delinquent property taxes.
- Report indicates modification agreement on existing loan(s).
documents show the borrower or Seller on a purchase is not the owner of record.
- For a purchase transaction, the seller should be the owner of record.
“Red flags” involving escrow and closing instructions may include:
- “Fill in the blank” or generic escrow instructions.
- Change of sales prices to “fit” the appraisal.
- Odd amounts paid as a deposit/down payment.
- Significant or unusual buyer credits or fees.
- Unusual amendments to the original transaction.
- Seller on Closing Disclosure different than seller on preliminary title report.
- Evidence of “white-outs” or alterations without initials.
- Payoffs to third parties whose lien was not listed on the preliminary title report.
- Reference to another escrow.
- Down payment is paid into escrow upon opening.
- Cash is paid outside of escrow to property seller.
- Sale is “subject to” property seller acquiring title.
- Entity acting as the property seller is controlled by, affiliated with, or related to the applicant or another party to the transaction.
- Buyer is required to use a specific broker/lender.
- Sale of subject property is not subject to inspection.
- Power of attorney used with no explanation.
- Power of attorney is not properly documented/recorded.
“Red flags” involving funds to close may include:
- Remitter on cashier’s check or source of the wire is not the borrower.
- Cashier’s check issued from a bank that is inconsistent with the depository information on application.
- Cashier’s check issued from a bank branch that is out of the buyer’s geographic area.
- Dollar amount is incorrectly encoded on check.
- Sources of funds are questionable
Closing Disclosure/Settlement Statement
“Red flags” involving the closing disclosure or settlement statement may include:
- Names and addresses of property seller and buyer vary from other loan documentation.
- Seller’s mailing address is the same as another party to the transaction.
- Excessive real estate agent commissions paid.
- Real estate commission paid, but no realtors listed on the purchase contract.
- Sales price differs from sales contract.
- Reference is made to undisclosed secondary financing or double escrow.
- Rent prorated on owner-occupied transactions.
- Zero amount due to/from buyer.
- Closing Disclosure or escrow instructions contain unusual credits, disbursements, related parties, delinquent loans paid off, or multiple mortgages paid off.
- Payoffs for items not consistent with liens listed on title commitment.
- Excessive seller paid marketing, administrative, assignment or trust fees.
- Payouts to unknown parties.
- Terms of the closed mortgage differ from the terms approved by the underwriter.
- Date of settlement is delayed without explanation.
Grubb helped grow the company into the nation’s largest independent underwriter that does not compete with agents and will remain on the company’s Board of Directors LONGMONT, Colo. (Sept. 25, 2019) – Alliant National Title Insurance Co. announced today that Bob Grubb has been named the Vice-Chairman of Presidio ATC Holdco, LLC, and has passed […]
Congratulations to Tim Tillman, Kim Bergner and Heather Huff on their new positions. LONGMONT, CO. – Alliant National Title Insurance Company (Alliant National) recently announced the appointments of three employees. Tim Tillman, Alliant National’s new Florida Production Manager Six years ago this month, Tim Tillman joined Alliant National as vice president, Tallahassee and Northwest […]
Vesa Tubbs will oversee the financial and statutory reporting and management of the accounting and finance department of Alliant National’s Longmont headquarters. LONGMONT, CO. – The largest title insurance underwriter in the nation with no direct operations to compete against its agents, Alliant National, announced Vesa Tubbs has been appointed as the company’s controller. Tubbs […]
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