December 7, 2000, NEW ORLEANS

First American Transportation Title Insurance Company, a member of The First American Corporation (NYSE:FAF) family of companies, today announced the introduction of its EAGLE Protection® Vessel Title Insurance Policies. The policies serve to greatly enhance vessel purchase transactions by insuring owners and lenders against vessel title defects, deficiencies and problems.

In the past, the best third party title protection available to a vessel owner or lender was a legal opinion. First American, through its new EAGLE Protection Vessel Title Policies, now offers insurance that provides coverage for: ownership disputes; certain unrecorded liens, including tax liens; document forgery; defective filing of documents; clerical errors; errors in closing; gap coverage; and cost of defense and prosecution.

The new policies provide substantial benefits for all the constituents of a vessel transaction. The owner can feel secure with his investment knowing the title to the vessel is insured through a substantial third-party insurer. The lender enhances and protects its secured position and has assurance that it will not be adversely affected by title disputes or certain lien claims. The attorney handling the transaction can better serve his clients who can now rely on the substantive coverages of a comprehensive insurance policy instead of the very narrow and limited ongoing protection his clients receive from a legal opinion.

"This is a brand new and exciting product for the marine industry," said Victor Koock, vice president and general counsel. "It is an important innovation. For the first time, vessel owners and lenders are able to get the protection they need in transactions involving vessel purchases and loans. Owners and lenders can feel confident knowing their insurance coverage is backed by a company in the title insurance business for over 100 years."

"This is yet another example of the innovation of First American. We have taken our extensive knowledge and expertise in land title insurance and applied it to the marine industry," said John Casbon, chairman, president and chief executive officer of First American Transportation Title Insurance Company. "Title insurance is as fundamental to vessel transactions as it is to real estate transactions. This coverage makes good business sense to everyone in the marine industry."

First American Transportation Title Insurance Company, a subsidiary of First American Title Insurance Company, is the industry's leading provider of title insurance for the aviation and maritime industries. The company has provided aircraft title insurance to owners and lenders for over 30 years. The Vessel Title Division, headquartered in New Orleans, offers the EAGLE Protection policies for vessel owners and lenders. The company also offers 1031 tax-deferred exchange services. First American Transportation Title Insurance Company can be found on the Internet at


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