First American And Experian Automotive Partner To Form Vehicle Title LLC

—Vehicle Title LLC to be the Exclusive Provider of TitleGuard, the Only Insurance Against Used Vehicles’ Hidden Title Defects—


August 1, 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, an industry-leading automotive information provider, today announced the finalization of a joint venture, creating Vehicle Title LLC, the exclusive provider of TitleGuard Vehicle Title Insurance. 

"The First American Corporation and Experian Automotive are both leaders in their respective industries," said Tom Rubadue, president of the newly created Vehicle Title LLC. "First American is one of the nation’s largest and most respected providers of title insurance, and Experian Automotive is the industry’s premier automotive data and vehicle history information supplier. By combining our strengths and expertise in this joint venture, Vehicle Title LLC will maximize efficiencies to deliver TitleGuard, a truly revolutionary product, to our customers at a very compelling price." 

TitleGuard, officially launched in January 2002, at the National Automobile Dealers Association’s annual convention in New Orleans, is the first and only product that insures used car buyers, sellers and lenders against the actual losses that can result from unreported DMV title defects. TitleGuard protects buyers from vehicle title fraud, which can include undisclosed lemon and salvaged titles, prior theft and evidence of odometer rollback, for up to 100 percent of the vehicle’s fair-market retail value.

Much like title insurance on a home, TitleGuard protects policyholders from the financial losses that can result from hidden automobile title defects. Each policy is essentially a two-part product. The first part, powered by Experian Automotive, gives the policyholder a detailed vehicle history summary. The second part, underwritten by First American, insures the accuracy of this vehicle information and provides a legal defense against any third-party title claims or "hidden" liens that may arise in the future. When purchased by a used car buyer, TitleGuard delivers unsurpassed peace of mind. When purchased by a used car seller and transferred to the buyer, TitleGuard functions as a "third-party seal of approval" on the vehicle, fostering trust, adding value and resulting in a quicker sale. As such, TitleGuard represents a dramatic advance over existing industry products.

"This joint venture and the TitleGuard product could not have come at a better time," said Scott Waldron, president of Experian Automotive. "As the glut of late-model, low-mileage, off-lease vehicles continues to drive the prices of used cars and trucks down, TitleGuard offers used car sellers-both private party and dealers-a quick and easy way to maintain profits while creating a competitive advantage for themselves."

Ron Fornaca, general manager of Frank Hyundai, the number one Hyundai dealer in California agrees. "TitleGuard is one of our most effective sales tools. Unlike a vehicle history report, TitleGuard allows us to say to a customer, ‘Here is your car’s title history. If there is any information missing, you are 100 percent insured against the resulting financial loss.’ TitleGuard’s insurance element is an extremely attractive value-add for our customers. We’ve found that TitleGuard eliminates buyer fear and uncertainty, increases our customer satisfaction and, most importantly, improves our gross profitability."

"TitleGuard gives people everything they need to know about a used car’s past and insurance against what they don’t know," added Rubadue. "Every year, more than 40 million used cars change hands in this country. If a TitleGuard policy is used in only one percent of these transactions, revenues will reach nearly $20 million. Clearly, the TitleGuard product demonstrates significant earning potential."

The venture, which is equally owned and managed by First American and Experian, represents an important addition to both companies’ menu of automotive services and strategies. First American is already a leader in providing merged credit reports, loan origination services, and in facilitating electronic dealer-to-lender finance transactions. Experian Automotive maintains the industry’s largest vehicle database and is a leading provider of automotive and marketing information to both dealers and manufacturers. 

TitleGuard’s one-time premium is only $49.95. With TitleGuard, there is no deductible, no hidden fees and no fine print. For more information or to purchase a TitleGuard Vehicle Title Insurance policy, please call 1-866-819-3100 or visit www.AutoTitleGuard.com.

 

About The First American Corporation

The First American Corporation is a Fortune 500 company that traces its history to 1889. As the nation’s leading, diversified provider of business information, the company supplies businesses and consumers with the information resources that affect the major economic events of people’s lives, such as getting a job; renting an apartment; buying a car, house, boat or airplane; securing a mortgage; opening or buying a business; and planning for retirement. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within seven primary business segments including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Trust and Other Services, Mortgage Information, Property Information, Credit Information and Screening Information. With revenues of $3.75 billion in 2001, First American has more than 22,500 employees in approximately 1,300 offices throughout the United States and abroad. More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at www.firstam.com.

 

About Experian

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

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