Why use an ALTA

ALTA Title Policies

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

Port your Florida Homestead Exemption

Portability of the “Save Our Homes” benefit

Portability of the “Save Our Homes” (SOH) benefit is available for homeowners who had homestead exemptions on their old home after 2006, and who purchase a new homestead. Homeowners can transfer their SOH benefit to a new home if they had the homestead exemption on the old home in either of the previous two years.

The maximum benefit a homeowner can transfer is $500,000. A person who moves to a more expensive home will transfer the dollar amount. A person moving to a less expensive home transfers the percentage value.

Each applicant for the transfer must complete Form DR-501T “Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference” and submit it to the office of the property appraiser in the county where the new homestead is located. For more information, refer to the following chart.