Exactly which defects are covered under the insurance depends on the type of insurance policy. A standard coverage policy normally insures the title as it is known from the public records. It also insures against such hidden defects as forged documents, conveyance by incompetent grantors, incorrect marital statements, and improperly delivered deeds. An extended coverage policy, such as an American Land Title Association (ALTA) policy, gives more coverage. For instance, it will protect against defects that may be discovered by a property inspection, rights of parties in possession, examination of a survey, and certain unrecorded liens. Most lenders require a lender’s ALTA policy.
ALTA’s expanded coverage policies cost about 10 percent more, but offer significantly more benefits. For example, the policies will pay up to 125 percent of the original insurance amount in case of claims to help account for inflation. Other expanded coverages include:
- encroachments on the land made by neighbors after the date of the policy,
- inability to access the property by vehicle or a pedestrian, and
- zoning violations made by previous owners that must be corrected by the insured owner.
Complete list of the expanded coverage benefits: www.alta.org/forms