Posts Tagged ‘underwriting’

Graphic welcoming Brianna Dowling, Underwriting Counsel serving Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Arizona

Alliant National Welcomes Brianna Dowling as Underwriting Counsel

Dowling will provide underwriting support to the company’s agents throughout the Central West region.

Longmont, CO — (April 11, 2024) — Alliant National Title Insurance Company, the title insurer that is uniquely responsive to the needs of independent agents, is excited to welcome Brianna Dowling as Underwriting Counsel serving Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Arizona.

Dowling comes to Alliant National after a long career in title insurance. Previously, she served as General Counsel for a large, privately held title insurance agency. She managed a team of six in this position. She was also responsible for continuing education, consulting on regulatory matters and offering comprehensive transactional support both pre- and post-closing. Dowling simultaneously worked as General Counsel for a small underwriter that insured properties exclusively within Colorado. Additionally, she developed extensive policy claims experience earlier in her career by working in two large title insurers, where she handled claims throughout the western U.S.

At Alliant National, Dowling will provide reliable and responsive underwriting support for Colorado and Utah agents. She will be responsible for addressing agent concerns, streamlining closings and making strategic, data-driven decisions on whether titles can be insured.

“I am excited that Brianna is joining our underwriting team. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that gives her unique insight into the perspective of the independent agents we serve,” said Jeff Stein, Chief Underwriting Counsel and Senior Vice President for Alliant National Title Insurance Company. “Her background and skills will be invaluable for our agents who rely on fast and dependable underwriting responses so they can close transactions and insure titles with Alliant National.”

When asked about her hiring, Dowling noted, “Alliant National has a great reputation in the industry, and my experience confirms that the team here is top notch. I am really looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and helping Alliant National’s agents close more deals and grow their businesses.”

Dowling is a passionate and active member of the title insurance community. As a director of the Land Title Association of Colorado (LTAC) and a member of its legislative committee, she contributes her time, energy and expertise to advancing the industry’s interests and making sure it operates at the highest possible quality standards. She is also a member of the Real Estate Section of the Colorado Bar Association and serves on the Bar’s Title Standards Committee and Affordable Housing Task Force.

Dowling received her Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree from the University of Delaware and her Juris Doctor from New England Law. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

Alliant National supports its independent agents by combining expert residential and commercial underwriting with a passionate heart for service. The company delivers uncommon help that promotes the well-being of agents and the communities they serve.

Media Inquiries

Adam Mohrbacher
Clockwork Public Relations
e: amohrbacher@clockworkpr.net
p: 651.587.4792

About Alliant National Title Insurance Company

Alliant National is on a mission to empower independent agents while protecting property owners with secure title insurance. The company partners with its agents and never competes against them with direct or affiliate operations. Alliant National serves thousands of title professionals as a licensed underwriter in 32 states and the District of Columbia. Visit alliantnational.com for additional information and follow Alliant National on LinkedIn and Facebook for the latest company updates.

Graphic welcoming Rebecca Wood and Theresa Kane-Mackenzie

New Hires Rebecca Wood And Theresa Kane-Mckenzie Represent Our Commitment To You

Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are known as the “Sunshine,” “Keystone” and the “Garden” states respectively. They are each aptly named due to Florida’s perpetual rays, Pennsylvania’s colonial history and New Jersey’s lush orchards and farms. Within Alliant National, however, these states are known for something else: Each region offers incredible opportunities to empower the independent agent. Read how the underwriter is investing resources in both areas through two strategic hires, which will enhance its operations overall up and down America’s east coast.

Florida – A Rich Past and a Strong Future

Florida is one of those states that everyone knows even if you’ve never been there. Sprawling beaches. Delicious oranges. Disneyworld. The Everglades. At Alliant National, Florida is also well known, as it is one of the organization’s largest and oldest markets.

Alliant National started operating in Florida in 2009 and has seen stunning success over the last 15 years. Headed by SVP, Florida Regional Manager, Debra Coffie, and featuring underwriting leadership from Jeff Stein and Brenda Cannon, the company’s presence in the state has grown from a small shop to a sprawling network encompassing hundreds of agents. Despite these achievements, Alliant National is not resting on its laurels. “While we have experienced significant year-over-year growth,” said Coffie, “there is still ample potential to further impact in the market.”

Alliant National has seized this potential by continuing to invest in Florida, an important move given the state’s ever-increasing population and bustling real estate market. According to experts, Florida is one of the nation’s top relocation destinations. In late 2023, 4 of the top 10 cities for incoming residents were in Florida – including Orlando, Sarasota, Cape Coral and Tampa.[i]

Alliant National recently hired Rebecca Wood as Assistant Regional Counsel and VP to keep up with this demand and ensure that agents have adequate support. A long-time Floridian, legal professional and title insurance expert, few people are better equipped to take on this newly created role. Armed with three decades of experience, Wood is an industry authority and consummate professional. She is comfortable managing everything from analyzing legal details and risk assessments to interfacing directly with agents and claims professionals.

Alliant National Florida-based agents are undoubtedly in good hands with Wood joining the team.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey – High Growth and a New Frontier  

From one perspective, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are the opposite of Florida. One area is often cool, while the other is hot. One is in Canada’s orbit, and the other borders the Gulf of Mexico. Yet at Alliant National, these seemingly unrelated regions share a common characteristic: thriving title communities with which to build partnerships and drive shared success.  

Overseen by SVP, Central-West Regional Manager, Manoj Purohit, Alliant National has been active in Pennsylvania since 2022 and is aiming to expand due to encouraging market signs. While housing inventory and affordability remain low in much of the state, significant urban areas near its western border offer competitive price points that have attracted sizable numbers of aspiring home buyers. Pittsburgh and Erie in particular reported median listing prices in late 2023 far lower than the national average of $412,000 from that same period[ii] – making both metros major domestic migration destinations.

New Jersey is an entirely new market for Alliant National, although its decision to establish operations is fueled by a similarly optimistic market picture. The Federal Reserve announced in recent months, for example, that further interest rate increases are unlikely in the year ahead, causing mortgage costs to trend downward. On top of this, aspiring home buyers are flooding into the state from neighboring big cities like New York, increasing the potential for robust real estate demand.

Alliant National’s New Jersey operations will also be overseen by Purohit, who commented that both states area great opportunity waiting to be realized. “As it has across the country, Alliant National’s ‘agent only’ business model resonates deeply with independent agents in this region,” he said.

Alliant National’s hiring of Theresa Kane-Mackenzie is the most significant step it has taken in the region so far. With Kane-Mackenzie at the helm, the underwriter will develop its agency network and offer the type of uncommonly valuable help on which it has forged its reputation. “We expect to see strong growth and greater market share by bringing a proven industry veteran like Theresa on-board to head up our expansion efforts,” said Purohit.

Kane-Mackenzie’s vast expertise will be incredibly helpful in bringing this goal to fruition. Having built a respected, multi-decade career, Kane-Mackenzie has done it all. She has worked everywhere from national underwriters to title insurance technology providers. Her resume also includes experience in everything from underwriting and title production to marketing and continuing education. She is a one-stop shop that both current and future regional agents can leverage to improve processes and better serve customers.

Wherever you are, Alliant National is committed to you!

Alliant National has long invested in its greatest resource: its people. Recent steps in Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey reveal the depth of that commitment. The story of these two areas shows that Alliant National’s founding principles are alive and well in the present day. If you’re an independent agent, it doesn’t matter where you are or how long you’ve been with us, Alliant National is dedicated to ensuring that you always come first.


[i] Florida Housing Market Predictions: Forecast for the Next 5 Years (themortgagereports.com)

[ii] Median Home Price By State 2024 – Forbes Advisor

Graphic welcoming Sheila Theile to Alliant National

Welcome Sheila Thiele to the Alliant National Underwriting Team

Longmont, Colo. – (July 19, 2023) – Alliant National Title Insurance Company, the title insurer that is uniquely responsive to the needs of independent agents, is pleased to announce the hiring of Sheila Thiele as Underwriting Counsel for the Central West and Great Lakes Regions. 

Thiele comes to Alliant National after building a long and accomplished career, having worked in the title insurance field since 2009 in a variety of roles. Before that, Thiele was in private practice, where she focused her efforts on commercial real estate transactions. 

“I am looking forward to joining the team at Alliant National,” said Thiele. “Not only is this one of the best groups of professionals in the business, but we also support some of the hardest-working agents out there. I can’t wait to help them with whatever they need to close more business and grow their profitability.” 

In her new position at Alliant National, Thiele will be primarily responsible for supporting agent needs throughout Central West and Great Lakes states, includingrisk analysis and insurability determinations. She will also develop continuing education materials and underwriting resources, helping Alliant National’s policy-issuing agents achieve more on behalf of aspiring property owners.  

“We are all very excited to have Sheila join our underwriting team,” said Jeff Stein, Chief Underwriting Counsel and Senior Vice President for Alliant National. “Her background as a practicing attorney, agency counsel, claims counsel and most recently underwriting counsel for another national underwriter will be invaluable in helping our agents with any issues they may have.”

Thiele graduated from Missouri Western State University before attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor. She also obtained her Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from Bellevue University in 2014. Thiele is a member of the Missouri Land Title Association and lives in Jackson, Mo.

Alliant National supports its independent agents by combining expert residential and commercial underwriting with a passionate heart for service. The company delivers uncommon help that promotes the well-being of agents and the communities they serve.

Visit alliantnational.com for additional information.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Cathie Beck
Capital City Public Relations
e: cathie@capitalcitypr.com 
p: 303-241-0805

ABOUT ALLIANT NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

Alliant National is on a mission to empower independent agents while protecting property owners with secure title insurance. The company partners with its agents and never competes against them with direct or affiliate operations. Alliant National serves thousands of title professionals as a licensed underwriter in 32 states and the District of Columbia.

Alliant National welcomes Julie George as Underwriting Counsel graphic

Alliant National Welcomes Julie George as Underwriting Counsel

George will help support Alliant National’s underwriting operations throughout the Midwest.

Longmont, Colo. – (May 16, 2023) – Alliant National Title Insurance Company, the title insurer that is uniquely responsive to the needs of independent agents, is pleased to announce the hiring of Julie George as Underwriting Counsel.

A seasoned title insurance veteran, George has been a fixture of the industry since 2005. She is highly experienced working within large title insurance companies. She is skilled at navigating complex organizations and building productive, cross-departmental collaborations between production and escrow teams to ensure sound underwriting decisions and seamless closings. During her career, she has also taught classes for real estate agents, lenders and title insurance professionals.

As Underwriting Counsel for Alliant National, George will have ample opportunities to apply her skills and expertise. Her responsibilities will include working directly with the underwriter’s policy-issuing agents in the Midwest to provide support, risk analysis and management, claim resolution and making insurability determinations. She will also play a role in developing underwriting resources and continuing education materials.

“Alliant National’s strong, nation-wide operations were a huge draw for me,” said George, talking about her new position. “However, Alliant National’s laser-like focus on meeting the needs of the independent agent is what truly sets it apart. I can’t wait to dig in and work with this team of incredible title professionals to deliver more value for our agents.”

“Julie is one of the best in the business,” said Jeff Stein, Chief Underwriting Counsel for Alliant National. “Given her years of experience, keen legal mind and clear passion for the industry, our agents, employees, lenders and communities all stand to gain from her being part of the Alliant National team.”

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, George graduated Cum Laude from St. Louis University with a degree in American Studies in 1999. She obtained her Juris Doctor from St. Louis University School of Law four years later. She is a winner of the Dowd Award for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy.

Today, George lives in St. Louis with her family.

Alliant National supports its independent agents by combining expert residential and commercial underwriting with a passionate heart for service. The company delivers uncommon help that promotes the wellbeing of agents and the communities they serve.

Visit alliantnational.com for additional information.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Cathie Beck
Capital City Public Relations
e: cathie@capitalcitypr.com
p: 303-241-0805

ABOUT ALLIANT NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

Alliant National is on a mission to empower independent agents while protecting property owners with secure title insurance. The company partners with its agents and never competes against them with direct or affiliate operations. Alliant National serves thousands of title professionals as a licensed underwriter in 32 states and the District of Columbia.

Composition of a young businessman sitting on top of a modern conference building. The businessman is larger than the building.

Title Underwriters: Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Ever have a client who was sure their transaction had to be written on a large underwriter? Hey, I get it. Clients are sometimes drawn to the big title insurers, assuming that there are benefits to partnering with a large organization. They may feel a smaller underwriter won’t be able to meet their needs, and the deal is just too large or important to leave anything to chance.

As an independent title agent, you know the importance of selecting a trustworthy, reliable, and responsive partner to provide title insurance for your clients. In this blog, we’ll dive into the features that matter most when selecting an underwriter, debunk some common myths, and show why bigger isn’t necessarily better when selecting a title insurer. First, let’s consider some of the reasons a client might ask you to ensure a transaction with one of the big guys to see if that request aligns with their interests or if they are simply following a common myth.

If I go with a big underwriter, won’t I get better coverage?

There’s a common misconception that the product of the title insurer – the title policy and endorsements – often varies meaningfully in the terms and coverage between underwriters. It’s just not so.

The truth is that generally the product is the same regardless of who underwrites the policy. In states where the forms are promulgated by law, the insurance regulator determines for the entire industry what language is acceptable, and what terms and conditions will be incorporated into their contracts. In states where the forms are not promulgated, most insurers use either the American Land Title Association forms, or the California Land Title Association forms, with little variation.

Basically, the policy will be the same or similar regardless of the underwriter.

If I go with a big underwriter, won’t I get a better rate?

At first glance, this seems like a very reasonable question. In some industries, larger companies have a natural pricing advantage. But in title insurance, it’s hard for an underwriter, no matter how large, to distinguish itself on rates. In states where the rates are promulgated, the insurance regulator decides what to charge and all insurers must follow the regulator’s set rates. Even in those states where regulators do not mandate rates, there may be a ratings bureau that files rates on behalf of its member insurers – which means that most, if not all insurers, will be offering the same rates. And, in those states where insurers file their own rates, they are typically competitive and therefore very similar.

So, the rates will be the same or similar, regardless of the underwriter.

If I have a claim, won’t a big underwriter be in a better position to pay?

Again, this question seems reasonable. Title claims can run into the millions of dollars on commercial properties, so a client might think a big underwriter naturally has more resources to pay claims compared to a smaller underwriter. However, two broad factors level the playing field when it comes to paying claims: state regulation and reinsurance.  

State regulators take great pains to protect the public by ensuring that title underwriters of all sizes have the resources to pay claims. Statutorily required reserves must be set aside to pay claims. Regulators carefully monitor the financial soundness of the insurers authorized to do business in their states, and title insurers submit both annual and quarterly financial statements. Title insurers have annual independent CPA audits and are subject to financial examination by the regulator, typically at least once every five years. This means that no matter the size of the insurer, there is a financial threshold that each insurer must meet to ensure its financial stability and continued operation. Moreover, many states have single risk limit formulas that cap the amount a title insurer may insure for a particular transaction risk without having to provide reinsurance.

When reinsurance is provided, there are essentially two insurers – the primary title insurer, and the reinsurer who stands behind the reinsured policy amount. So, while it’s true that a large title insurer may retain a larger dollar amount by itself as a single risk, a smaller title insurer utilizing reinsurance for that single risk is giving the insured two layers of financial security at no additional expense to the insured. A title insurer should be happy to provide you with information regarding its reinsurance, and as a customer or agent, you are entitled to ask for it.

At Alliant National, we reinsure high liability transactions up to $20 million with the Lloyd’s of London markets, and that’s one of the reasons we can confidently say: No title insurance underwriter can offer you better protection for your title risk than Alliant National.

So, if the policy and the price are similar, and the capability to pay claims is sound, what are the real differences between those big underwriters and a smaller underwriter like Alliant National? Moreover, what are the reasons a client might want to select Alliant National over a larger underwriter?

We Don’t Compete Against You For Customers

Alliant National does not compete against you for the customers in your market. Our sole focus is to support the independent title agent. Alliant National will never take a transaction or a customer from you. We strive to help you build better relationships with your customers, and to help you succeed.

Fast And Innovative Answers To Underwriting Questions

Underwriting delays put deals at risk. That’s bad for you and your clients. Sometimes big underwriters back-burner underwriting requests to service their company-owned title offices, and they sometimes provide “canned” or “by-the-book” responses when an underwriting challenge arises. Alliant National does not compete with its independent agents, so it’s able to put all of its underwriting resources to work for independent title agents and their clients. As a smaller underwriter, Alliant National also has the flexibility to find innovative solutions for you and your clients when underwriting challenges arise.

Less Friction

At larger underwriters, the agency and underwriting units can often be at odds with each other. There can also be communications breakdowns between corporate, regional, and state-based teams. At Alliant National, however, the absence of a multi-tier management structure gives our agency, underwriting and other teams the ability to work together closely and seamlessly. Everyone pulls in the same direction to deliver the best outcomes for our agents and their clients.

Real Service When Claims Emerge

We already discussed why the big underwriters generally are not “better” when it comes to the ability to pay claims. However, some big underwriters fall short when it comes to the claims process by making it seem like their goal is to pay no claims at all. At Alliant National, we have flipped the script when it comes to claims. We recognize that the claims department is where our title insurance product goes to work. We strive for timely and clear communication with insureds and agents, seeking first to understand the situation from all points of view. It’s a unique and collaborative approach to claims that agents and insureds value.

The Courage To Care When it comes to choosing an underwriter, it’s important to consider what really matters: finding a partner who prioritizes your needs and the needs of your clients. Unfortunately, larger underwriters may lack the flexibility and personal touch that independent agents and their clients require. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great people working at large underwriters, but size can lead to conflicts, friction, and a lack of flexibility. At Alliant National, we pride ourselves on being able to deliver customized solutions that meet the goals of the real people behind each transaction. Whether it’s a multi-million-dollar commercial deal or a starter home for a young family, partnering with Alliant National means choosing a team that truly cares about you and your clients.

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