Bulletin: VA2013003

Date:
May 13, 2013
To:
All Virginia Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Mineral Exception - REVISED

Dear Associates:

Please Note: This bulletin supersedes Multi-State Bulletin MU2013002 as to Virginia only.

Stewart Title Guaranty Company has experienced significant claims because of outstanding rights to mineral and other substances that were not excepted in the title insurance policy.

These losses often have occurred because the search of title was not long enough to discover the severance of rights in mineral and other substances, or because the title insurance agent relied on a starter, such as a prior title insurance policy.

Company Policy:

For all Virginia Counties and Independent Cities lying west of the Blue Ridge mountains*, add the following exception in Schedule B of each Commitment, Binder, or Policy, other than a Short Form Loan Policy, unless you secure Underwriter approval to remove or modify the exception. Deletion or modification of the exception generally will be based upon an extended search and examination required by the Underwriter and/or consideration of any state law reserving mineral or similar rights apart from patent reservations.

"Minerals of whatsoever kind, subsurface and surface substances, including but not limited to coal, lignite, oil, gas, uranium, clay, rock, sand and gravel in, on, under and that may be produced from the Land, together with all rights, privileges, and immunities relating thereto, whether or not appearing in the Public Records or listed in Schedule B. The Company makes no representation as to the present ownership of any such interests. There may be leases, grants, exceptions or reservations of interests that are not listed."

Always include in Schedule B any specific grant, reservation, or lease of minerals or other substances (such as caliche, gravel, rock, coal, lignite) that your search reflects. You should also add the following at the end of the specific exception (although the policy does not insure the title to any interest that is excepted):  "The Company makes no representation as to the present ownership of any such interests. There may be leases, grants, exceptions or reservations of interests that are not listed."

The foregoing policy does not affect the potential availability of endorsements that provide coverage for damage to buildings or improvements on the land resulting from the future exercise of any right to use the surface of the land for the extraction or development of minerals or any other subsurface substances, such as the ALTA 9-06 series and the ALTA 35-06 series, pursuant to applicable Guidelines.

*Applicable to the following Virginia Counties and Independent Cities Only:

Counties:

Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Bland, Botetourt, Buchanan, Carrol, Clarke, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Frederick, Giles, Grayson, Highland, Lee, Montgomery, Page, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Russell, Scott, Shenandoah, Smyth, Tazewell, Warren, Washington, Wise, and Wythe.

Independent Cities:

Bristol, Buena Vista, Clifton Forge, Covington, Galax, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Norton, Radford, Roanoke, Salem, Staunton, and Winchester 

This bulletin does not supersede the requirements set forth in SLS2013009: FDIC Owned Real Estate Mineral Reservation.

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
MU2013002 UNDERWRITING - Mineral Exception
 
SLS2013009 UNDERWRITING - FDIC Owned Real Estate Mineral Reservation
Underwriting Manual:
12.16 Mineral Rights
Exceptions Manual:
Minerals
Forms:
None