FIRST AMERICAN AND EXPERIAN AUTOMOTIVE LAUNCH FIRST EVER VEHICLE TITLE INSURANCE
– TitleGuard Protects Against Undisclosed DMV Brands, Title Defects and Odometer Rollbacks –
January 22, 2002, SANTA ANA, Calif. and SCHAUMBURG, Ill.
The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information and related products and services, and Experian Automotive, the Winter Award winning provider of automotive information solutions, will launch TitleGuard Vehicle Title Insurance, the automotive industry’s first comprehensive vehicle title insurance policy, at the 2002 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention and Exposition in New Orleans Jan. 26-29.
TitleGuard delivers complete dealer-liability protection against the financial risks and customer dissatisfaction that can result from undisclosed Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) brands, title defects and evidence of odometer rollback. Each TitleGuard policy insures dealers against the actual losses that result from these hazards for up to 100 percent of the vehicle’s fair-market retail value, not to exceed $50,000. As such, TitleGuard represents a dramatic advance over existing industry products.
“TitleGuard is the first used vehicle title insurance policy that insures dealers against all unreported DMV titling events,” said Tom Rubadue, president of the Vehicle Title Insurance division of The First American Corporation. “By offering an independent third-party seal of approval on a used vehicle’s title history, TitleGuard promotes buyers’ trust and builds dealer credibility.”
All TitleGuard policies issued on vehicles built in or after 1981 come with a comprehensive Vehicle History Summary powered by Experian Automotive’s National Vehicle Database. With access to over 16 billion records on more than 384 million vehicles, Experian Automotive’s National Vehicle Database is the world’s tenth largest relational database.
The Vehicle History Summary portion of the TitleGuard policy identifies all registered DMV brands, such as lemon and flood-damaged vehicles. However, unlike existing products, TitleGuard is an insurance policy that covers policyholders’ actual monetary losses due to previously undisclosed DMV brands. TitleGuard also protects policyholders against losses resulting from title defects such as fraud, forgery, prior theft and evidence of odometer rollback. In addition, each policy includes, at no extra charge, a 120-day policy transfer option, as well as a legal defense against any third-party title claims that may arise.
“Both Experian Automotive and The First American Corporation are leaders in their respective industries,” said Ken Kauppila, executive vice president of Experian Automotive. “Experian is the premier automotive data supplier and First American is one of the nation’s leading title insurance providers. We are combining our strengths and expertise to introduce this revolutionary vehicle title insurance product.”
Rubadue added: “With more than 41 million used vehicles changing hands in the United States each year, TitleGuard vehicle title insurance is an important addition to our menu of automobile-related services. Through TitleGuard, we are leveraging our expertise as an insurance underwriter to deliver this unique product to the automotive marketplace, where First American is already a leader in providing merged credit reports, insurance tracking and loan origination services, and in facilitating dealer-to-lender transactions.”
TitleGuard was developed to help dealers hold the price of used vehicles, measurably increase their Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI), enhance their competitive advantage and offer an inexpensive, value-added product to their customers. This product has no deductible or hidden fees and is available to dealers, consumers and lenders.
According to a 2001 study by The Wall Street Journal, used car inventories increased approximately 20 percent since August, and prices are about 10 percent lower. After automakers’ 0-percent financing programs end, analysts predict a surge in used car sales, making TitleGuard even more important.
“TitleGuard gives dealers and consumers complete peace of mind,” said Rubadue. “With predictions that used car sales will rise, this product couldn’t have been introduced at a better time.”
TitleGuard will become available online for $49.95 during the first quarter of 2002. For more information on this product, please call 1-866-819-3100.
About The First American Corporation
Tracing its history to 1889, The First American Corporation is the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information and related products and services. The corporation’s three primary business segments include: title information and services; real estate information and services, which includes mortgage information services and database information and services; and consumer information and services, which provides automotive, subprime and direct-to-consumer credit reporting; direct-to-consumer public records reporting; resident screening; pre-employment screening; automobile title administration; property and automotive insurance tracking services; property and casualty insurance; home warranties; investment advisory; and trust and banking services. Information about First American and an archive of press releases can be found at www.firstam.com.
About Experian Automotive
Experian enables organizations to find the best prospects and make fast, informed decisions to improve and personalize relationships with their customers. It does this by combining sophisticated and intelligent decision-making software and systems with some of the world’s most comprehensive databases of information on consumers, businesses, motor vehicles and property. Through multichannel delivery of its Web-based products and services, Experian enables its clients to conduct secure and profitable e-business and develop state-of-the-art Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for communicating and building one-to-one relationships with customers. Experian is a subsidiary of GUS plc and has headquarters in Nottingham, UK, and Orange, Calif. Its 12,000 people support clients in more than 50 countries. Annual sales are approximately $1.5 billion.
Experian Automotive offers a complete range of automotive information solutions to manufacturers, dealers, finance and insurance companies and marketing agencies. Experian’s state-of-the-art technology, consulting services, direct marketing and database tools assist companies serving the automotive industry to better understand existing customers, effectively target new prospects, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and ultimately reach their business objectives. The company’s National Vehicle Database is an expansive database housing information on more than 384 million motor vehicles nationwide, serving as the basic building block from which all of Experian’s automotive solutions originate. For more information on Experian Automotive, visit the company’s Web site at www.automotive.experian.com.
Certain statements made in this press release, including those relating to future used car sales, are forward-looking. Risks and uncertainties exist which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the anticipated results to differ from those described in the forward-looking statements include: interest rate fluctuations; changes in the performance of the real estate markets; general volatility in the capital markets; changes in applicable government regulations; consolidation among the company’s significant customers and competitors; legal proceedings commenced by the California attorney general and related litigation; the company’s continued ability to identify businesses to be acquired; changes in the company’s ability to integrate businesses which it acquires; and other factors described in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2000, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made.