Entitle Direct Group Inc., parent of EnTitle Insurance Co., received the investment from Bermuda-based Partner Reinsurance Co., or
EnTitle Insurance Co. was founded almost 35 years ago, but Entitle Direct is relatively new, starting in 2008 as a direct-to-customer distribution rather than selling coverage through an agent. EnTitle says it is able to offer lower rates because it does not have to pay agents' commissions,. Similarly, other lines of insurance, like shopping online for car coverage, have shifted away from the agent-driven sales model.
Title insurance is generally wrapped into a real-estate transaction with two types of coverage: one for the lender, one for the property buyer. It covers risk of defects in the title to a property. For example, if the title wasn't properly researched, usually by lawyers, insurance covers losses to a mortgage lender, or a property buyer, if the title is invalid or if there are outstanding liens on the property.
This is the first time PartnerRe has invested in a title insurance company, EnTitle said. EnTitle says it is expecting 75 percent growth in the volume of orders this year over 2011, and six times this year the volume it had in 2009.
The company is hoping to grow its national market share in a title-insurance industry dominated by four parent companies that, combined, account for 88 percent of the market, according to the American Land Title Association, a trade group. Those four companies —