Bulletin: FL2017001

Date:
May 04, 2017
To:
All Florida Issuing Offices
RE:
RATES AND/OR FORMS UPDATE - New Form Approved in Florida

Dear Associates:

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has approved the following form for use in Florida:

ALTA Commitment for Title Insurance (8-1-16) with Florida Modification (STG Form FL-008UN) 

The commitment form referred to above was approved and adopted by the American Land Title Association as of August 1, 2016, and it was approved for use in Florida effective April 17, 2017.

The ALTA form referred to above has been designed to follow the same concepts as the 2006 ALTA Policies in that it was formulated and designed to be more logically organized and precise in wording. The form is largely designed to better coordinate with the 2006 ALTA Loan and Owner’s Policies already approved for use in the State.

The format of the new form should aid in its understanding and interpretation as it has been written to clarify terms and reorganize the content of the language for easier understanding by the consumer.

The ALTA Commitment contains the following notable changes and features:

A. adds a Notice at the top of the Commitment reiterating that the Commitment is an offer to issue a title insurance policy or policies, and is not an abstract or opinion of title, and limits the Company’s potential liability to the proposed insured;

B. clarifies the Company’s right to amend the Commitment at any time and the limitations on the Company’s liability relating to an amendment (Commitment Conditions 4 and 5);

C. improves readability by adding and revising headings and reordering certain Commitment Conditions;

D. adds certain definitions consistent with the ALTA Owner’s Policy 2006 and the ALTA Loan Policy 2006 (commitment Conditions 1);

E. clarifies that the deletion or modification of any Schedule B, Part II - Exception does not constitute an agreement or obligation to provide coverage for that item (commitment Conditions 6(d));

F. adds a new section reiterating that an issuing agent is the Company’s agent only for the limited purpose of issuing title insurance commitments and policies.  Also states that the issuing agent is not the Company’s agent for the purpose of providing closing or settlement services (Commitment Conditions 7);

G. adds a new section reiterating that, if a proforma policy is provided to a proposed insured, it does not reflect the current status of title and does not constitute a commitment to insure (commitment Conditions 8);

H. adds an optional section preceding Schedule A to insert Transaction Identification Data (Issuing Agent, Issuing Office, ALTA Universal ID, Loan ID Number, Commitment Number, Issuing Office File Number, Property Address, Revision Number), all for reference only. Liability for this data is also limited by Commitment Condition 5(e);

I. adds a notice to Schedule B, Part II - Exceptions stating that the Commitment does not republish any covenant, condition, restriction, or limitation contained in any document to the extent that the covenant, condition, restriction, or limitation violates state or federal law based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, handicap, familial status, or national origin; and

J. adds an introductory clause to Schedule B, Part II - Exceptions stating that the Policy will not insure against loss or damage resulting from the terms and provisions of any lease or easement identified in Schedule A.

As a reminder, other forms should not be used if a comparable ALTA version is available. If a comparable ALTA version is available, the most current version of the ALTA form available in each state should be used, unless approved by a Stewart underwriter.

All AIM+ users are reminded to contact PropertyInfo to have the new forms loaded into your system. Users of other production software should contact the software provider to get the new forms loaded into your system.  

 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:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
ALTA Commitment for Title Insurance with Florida Modifications and Schedule A