Radnor, PA – July 29, 2009 – Essent Guaranty, Inc. (“Essent”), a new mortgage insurer founded to bring private capital to support America’s housing finance system, today announced that it has received approval from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to write mortgage insurance. Essent is the first private mortgage insurer established in the United States since the start of the current financial crisis.
Essent also announced that it has been approved by a working group of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) to participate in an expedited licensing pilot project, and is currently seeking approvals from other state insurance departments. Essent anticipates that it will become a licensed mortgage insurance company throughout the United States in the near future.
“Approvals by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department and NAIC are critical milestones in the development of Essent’s mortgage insurance business, and we thank both the Department and the NAIC for their careful review and timely approval,” said Mark A. Casale, president and chief executive officer of Essent, which is headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania. “Our entry into the market re-affirms the valuable role mortgage insurance can play in helping home buyers who cannot afford large down payments to achieve homeownership, while also providing significant support for the American housing finance system. We look forward to writing and servicing mortgage insurance policies once we receive the remaining necessary licensing and approvals.”
“Pennsylvania recognized the need for a new, well-capitalized mortgage insurance company to help our citizens achieve homeownership,” commented Joel Ario, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner. “We are pleased that we were able to complete our review of Essent and issue our approval in a time of real need in the mortgage market. In addition, as a member of the NAIC, we support Essent’s efforts to serve home buyers nationwide through the expedited licensing pilot.”
As part of its expedited licensing pilot, the NAIC seeks to streamline state-specific application requirements, including the need for hard copies of forms and supplemental information involved in Uniform Certificate of Authority Applications (“UCAA”). This is intended to facilitate the efficient regulatory review of new entrants in insurance industry sectors deemed of national importance.
“As part of its decision to accept Essent’s licensing as part of the streamlined pilot program, NAIC’s working group recognized the significant need for another mortgage insurance company with experienced management and the capability to provide support for more home buyers nationwide,” said Jill Jacobi, of the California Insurance Department, who also serves as co-chair of the NAIC’s National Treatment and Coordination Working Group. “We look forward to working with Essent and our insurance regulators to facilitate this process.”
Essent Guaranty, Inc. is a member of the Essent Group Ltd. family of companies, which, through its subsidiaries, is preparing to offer private mortgage insurance and reinsurance coverage with respect to United States risks. Essent Group has secured $500 million in equity funding from a group of experienced financial services investors, including Pine Brook Road Partners, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, PartnerRe, and Renaissance Re. Essent’s mission is to support homeownership for borrowers who can afford a home, but not a large down payment, by insuring mortgage lenders and investors from credit losses. The company will achieve this mission by providing private capital to take mortgage credit risk, and working as a risk management partner with lenders and other mortgage investors. The company’s headquarters are in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Additional information may be found at www.essent.us.
contact: Janice Walker
JD Walker Communications, LLC