Southwest Title Insurance Company (SWTIC) is benefitting from the overall increase in the national real estate activity, and I hope you are too. The recent market share reports from the American Land Title Association (ALTA) showed a 56 percent increase in title premiums through the first six months of 2021. Those are incredible numbers for any industry, and we are proud to be a part of this national surge. But I am also concerned when I see the results of the Big Four. One of the BIGS reported its title segment produced $3 billion in revenue in just the second quarter, a 63 percent increase year-over-year. And its adjusted pre-tax earnings rose to a record $688 million, an 82 percent year-over-year increase. I guess congratulations are in order, because that revenue and increased market share are due to strong direct operations in most markets and increased agency revenue from their independent agent network. Those significant increases give these companies an ever-increasing influence on the future of the independent agent—and I don’t see that influence in a positive light. I see a domination in our industry that leaves the independent agents with fewer options for their future. However, I am still encouraged by the entrepreneurial spirit of our independent agents, which is one of the reasons we continue to grow our national footprint. We want to give the independent agents a choice when they decide where to send their underwriting dollars. They can add to the BIGS billions or support like-minded entrepreneurial companies like SWTIC that want the independent agents to succeed and grow their businesses.
Our new regions and the professional teams we are staffing them with have the tools, resources, and relationships to meet the needs of the independent agents. They know the markets and what the agents require to be successful. You will see additional press releases this week announcing more additions to our staff. These new team members include both agency managers and underwriting counsels with years of national sales and national underwriting experience. They support our overall growth strategy to give more options to the independent agents all over the United States. We look forward to introducing you to Southwest Title Insurance Company—where you will feel the difference an entrepreneurial company can make.
As more states and counties report an increase in the COVID-19 Delta virus strain, we encourage you to follow the CDC guidelines and continue to keep your employees and clients safe from this new threat.