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.
Although Georgia is outstanding only as a kaolin producing state, we have a number of deeds, which reserve mineral interest and leases that create problems in establishing unencumbered marketable title to the land. Therefore, Issuing Agents must include these as specific exceptions in Schedule B if your search and examination reveals any specific grant, reservation or lease of minerals or other substances (such as kaolin, caliche, gravel, rock, coal, lignite). Any specific exceptions should also include the following language at the end of the exception: "The Company makes no representation as to the present ownership of any such interest."
Where your search of title is not long enough to discover the severance of rights in mineral and other substances, Issuing Agents must include the following mineral exception in all policies of title insurance except a Short Form Loan and Owner’s Policy:
"Minerals of whatsoever kind, subsurface and surface substances, including but not limited to kaolin, 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 listed in Schedule B. The Company makes no representation as to the present ownership of any such interests."
This exception may be removed only upon a complete examination of record title, which would include a time period inclusive of mineral reservations commonly occurring in that county where the land is located. You may also contact your local underwriter for review and approval. Issuing Agents shall not rely upon a starter policy for the search and examination in order to remove this exception.
If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.
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