First American Launches Blockchain System for Prior Policies

December 4, 2018

First American Financial Corp. announced it has created a shared blockchain system intended to facilitate the exchange of prior title insurance policies between underwriters that contribute to the system.

Old Republic Title Insurance Group has committed to be the first underwriter to participate.

According to First American, the system will increase efficiency, reduce risk and improve the title production process. Each policy included in the blockchain system will be coded with a unique identifier by property. First American said this process will streamline the search process and increase the accuracy of searches for prior title insurance policies. Blockchain is essentially a database that multiple people can manage without a central authority.

“First American has a long history of innovation and our development of this system demonstrates our ongoing commitment to applying state-of-the-art technologies that reduce risk and improve the real estate transaction process,” said Dennis Gilmore, chief executive officer of First American Financial. “The potential exists to create a robust exchange of title insurance policy information that delivers greater transparency, efficiency and accountability to the industry and enhances the closing experience for consumers.”

According to a press release, First American reported that the common practice of sharing policy information among title insurance underwriters can be beneficial to underwriters and consumers, as it both increases efficiency and reduces risk. This blockchain system melds that established practice with emerging technology to further increase efficiency and lower risk in the title production process.

Earlier this year, ALTA created a blockchain workgroup to help members understand blockchain, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts as technology solutions. The group wants to develop tools professionals can use to evaluate news and information, ask practical questions and further study reliable source material.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or