A.M. Best Company assigns first title insurer rating to First American Title Insurance Company


July 1, 1996, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

A.M. Best Company's first-ever rating of a title insurer was assigned to First American Title Insurance Company, principal subsidiary of The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF). First American Financial announced today that First American Title Insurance Company and its subsidiaries have received a rating of "A" from the nation's foremost insurance rating agency.

As stated in A.M. Best's rating report, the "A" (Excellent) rating "reflects the consolidated operating performance and financial condition of the ten title insurance companies that form First American's group. The rating reflects the group's strong financial performance, operating strategy and strong capitalization."

According to A.M. Best, "the company has demonstrated a pattern of growth and profitability even during periods of economic downturns with a remarkable history of growth in market share which has grown from 12.2% in 1985 to 19.2% in 1995. This fact is underscored by the last 10 years of operation wherein the company's revenues have grown by an average of 18.4% per year. This significantly exceeds the industry 11% average annual revenue growth.

"The key elements of the company's steady increase in revenue are: management philosophy, mix of business, products and services, and market share gains," the article continues. "In addition, the mix of related real estate products and services (through the holding company) allows for the diversification of revenue to offset fluctuations in the core business and provides a revenue stream to support holding company operations and contribute to insurance operations."

"We are delighted that A.M. Best has recognized the title insurance industry, and we are honored to be given the rating of ‘A' (Excellent) by this highly respected rating organization" said President Parker S. Kennedy. "We are privileged to be the first title insurer selected for a rating assignment. We believe it reflects our standing as the industry leader."

Ratings by third parties have become increasingly important to many title insurance customers, particularly commercial/industrial lenders and developers. This "Excellent" rating from A.M. Best, because of its superior reputation and international presence, provides objective support for customers' confidence in First American.

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, California, is the nation's leading provider of real estate-related financial and informational services. The corporation's subsidiaries include First American Title Insurance Company, a national and international title insurer, First American Real Estate Information Services, Inc., which offers tax monitoring, credit reporting, flood certification, mortgage loan servicing systems and property information services nationally, and First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation, a home warranty company. The corporation also operates First American Trust Company and First Security Thrift Company in Southern California. First American Financial has over 10,000 employees in over 400 branch offices in the United States and abroad.

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