This form 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.
"GOLD" COMPREHENSIVE PROTECTION OWNER'S POLICY OF TITLE INSURANCE
ONE-TO-FOUR FAMILY RESIDENCE
STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY
OWNER'S COVERAGE STATEMENT
This policy insures your title to the land described in Schedule A - if that land is a one-to-four family residential lot or condominium unit.
Your insurance, as described in this Coverage Statement, is effective on the Policy Date shown in Schedule A.
Your insurance is limited by the following:
Exclusions on page 2
Exceptions in Schedule B
Conditions on pages 3 and 4
We insure you against actual loss resulting from:
Any title risks covered by this Policy - up to the Policy Amount
any costs, attorneys' fees and expenses we have to pay under this Policy
COVERED TITLE RISKS
This policy covers the following title risks if they affect your title on the Policy Date or, to the extent expressly stated below, if they affect your title after the Policy Date. Some of these Covered Title Risks will be subject to a separate deductible amount and to maximum dollar limits which are less than the Policy Amount when expressly stated below. These Covered Title Risks are:
1. Someone else owns an interest in your title.
2. A document is not properly signed, sealed, acknowledged, or delivered.
3. (a) Forgery, fraud, duress, incompetency, incapacity or impersonation;
(b) Forgery after the Policy Date of an instrument by which someone else claims to own an interest in or have a lien on your title.
4. Defective recording of any document.
5. You do not have any legal right of pedestrian and vehicular access to and from the land.
6. There are restrictive covenants limiting your use of the land.
7. There is a lien on your title because of:
a. a mortgage or deed of trust;
b. a judgment, tax, or special assessment; or
c. a charge by a homeowner's or condominium association.
8. There are liens on your title, arising now or later, for labor and material furnished before the Policy Date - unless you agreed to pay for the labor and material.
9. Others have rights arising out of leases, contracts, or options.
10. Someone else had an easement on your land.
11. Your title is unmarketable, which allows another person to refuse to perform a contract to purchase, to lease or to make a mortgage loan.
12. You are forced to remove your existing structure - other than a boundary wall or fence - because:
a. it extends on to adjoining land or on to any easement;
b. it violates a restriction shown in Schedule B;
c. it violates an existing zoning law; or
d. any portion of it was built without obtaining a building permit from the proper government office or agency. Your insurance under this item 12d is limited to your actual loss in excess of a deductible amount equal to one percent (1%) of the Policy Amount and to our maximum dollar limit of liability of $25,000.00.
13. You cannot use the land because use as a single-family residence violates a restriction shown in Schedule B or an existing zoning law.
14. Someone else seeks to take away your title because of a violation of a restriction shown in Schedule B which happened before you became the owner of your land.
15. Someone else seeks to enforce a restriction shown in Schedule B because of a violation on your land, other than a violation already covered by Items 12b, 13 or 14, which happened before you became the owner of your land. Your insurance under this Item 15 is limited to your actual loss in excess of a deductible amount equal to one percent (1%) of the Policy Amount, but not to exceed the Policy Amount.
16. Someone else refuses to perform a contract to purchase, to lease or to make a mortgage loan because of any violations on your land of any restrictions shown in Schedule B which happened before you became the owner of your land.
17. Someone else, after the Policy Date, builds a structure - other than a boundary wall or fence- which encroaches on to your land.
18. You cannot obtain a building permit for your land, or someone else refuses to perform a contract or purchase, to lease or to make a mortgage loan on your land, because at Policy Date, it violates an existing subdivision law. Your insurance under this Item 18 is limited to your actual loss in excess of a deductible amount equal to one percent (1%) of the Policy Amount and to our maximum dollar limit of liability of $10,000.00.
19. Your existing structure, or any part of it, or a structure you may build after the Policy Date as a replacement or modification to the existing structure, or any part of it is damaged because another person uses the surface of your land for the extraction or development of minerals owned by them.
20. Other defects, liens or encumbrances.
COMPANY'S DUTY TO DEFEND AGAINST COURT CASES
We will defend your title in any court case as to that part of the case that is based on a Covered Title Risk insured against by this Policy. We will pay the costs, attorneys' fees, and expenses we incur in that defense.
We can end this duty to defend your title by exercising any of our options listed in Item 4 of the Conditions.
This Policy is not complete without Schedules A and B
Signed under seal for the Company, but this Policy is only valid when it bears an authorized countersignature.
In addition to the Exceptions in Schedule B, you are not insured against loss, attorneys' fees, and expenses resulting from:
1. Governmental police power, and the existence or violation of any law or government regulation. This includes building and zoning ordinances and also laws and regulations concerning:
improvements on the land;
land division; or
This exclusion does not apply to violations or the enforcement of these matters which appear in the public records at Policy Date.
This exclusion does not limit the coverage described in Items 12c and d, 13 and 18 of Covered Title Risks.
2. The right to take the land by condemning it, unless:
a notice of exercising the right appears in the public records on the Policy Date; or
the taking happened prior to the Policy Date and is binding on you if you bought the land without knowing of the taking.
3. Title Risks:
that are created, allowed, or agreed to by you;that result in no loss to you; or
that are known to you, but not to us, on the Policy Date - unless they appeared in the public records;
that first affect your title after the Policy Date - this does not limit the coverage described in Items 3b, 8, 17 and 19 of Covered Title Risks.
4. Failure to pay value for your title.
5. Lack of a right:
to any land outside the area specifically described and referred to in Item 3 of Schedule A;
in streets, alleys, or waterways that touch your land.
This exclusion does not limit the coverage described in Items 5 and 12a of Covered Title Risks.
a. Easement - the right of someone else to use your land for a special purpose.
b. Land - the land or condominium unit described in Schedule A and any improvements on the land which are real property.
c. Mortgage - a mortgage, deed of trust, trust deed or other security instrument.
d. Public Records - title records that give constructive notice of matters affecting your title - according to the state statutes where your land is located.
e. Title - the ownership of your interest in the land, as shown in Schedule A.
2. CONTINUATION OF COVERAGE
This Policy protects you as long as you:
own your title;
own a mortgage from anyone who buys your land;
are liable for any title warranties you make.
This Policy protects:
anyone who receives your title because of your death;
trustee or successor trustee of a trust in which you are the trustor/settlor to whom you transfer your title after the Policy Date.
3. HOW TO MAKE A CLAIM
a. You Must Give The Company Notice Of Your Claim
If anyone claims a right against your insured title, you must notify us promptly in writing. Send the notice to the Company, Claims Department at P.O. Box 2029, Houston, TX 77252-2029. Please include the Policy number shown in Schedule A, and the county and state where land is located.
Our obligation to you could be reduced if:
you fail to give prompt notice;
your failure affects our ability to dispose of or to defend you against the claim.
b. Proof Of Your Loss Must Be Given To The Company
You must give us a written statement to prove your claim of loss. This statement must be given to us not later than 90 days after you know the facts which will let you establish the amount of your loss.
The statement must have the following facts:
the Covered Title Risks which resulted in your loss;
the dollar amount of your loss; and
the method you used to compute the amount of your loss.
You may want to provide us with an appraisal of your loss by a professional appraiser as a part of your statement of loss.
We may require you to show us your records, checks, letters, contracts, and other papers which relate to your claim of loss. We may make copies of these papers.
We may require you to answer questions under oath.
Our obligation to you could be reduced if you fail or refuse to:
provide a statement of loss;
answer our questions under oath;
show us the papers we request;
your failure or refusal affects our ability to dispose of or to defend you against the claim.
4. OUR CHOICES WHEN YOU NOTIFY US OF A CLAIM
After we receive your claim notice or in any other way learn of a matter for which we are liable, we can do one or more of the following:
a. Pay the claim against your title.b. Negotiate a settlement.
c. Prosecute or defend a court case related to the claim.
d. Pay you the amount required by this Policy.
e. Take other action which will protect you.
f. Cancel the coverage described in Items 12d or 18 of Covered Title Risks by paying the amount of insurance specified in the given Item as the limit for the particular covered risk, and only those costs, attorneys' fees and expenses incurred up to that time which we are obligated to pay.
g. Cancel this Policy by paying the Policy Amount, then in force, and only those costs, attorneys' fees and expenses incurred up to that time which we are obligated to pay.
5. HANDLING A CLAIM OR COURT CASE
You must cooperate with us in handling any claim or court case and give us all relevant information.
We are required to repay you only for those settlement costs, attorneys' fees and expenses that we approve in advance.
When we defend your title, we have a right to choose the attorney. We can appeal any decision to the highest court. We do not have to pay your claim until your case is finally decided.
6. LIMITATION OF THE COMPANY'S LIABILITY
a. After subtracting any deductible amount that applies, we will pay up to (i) your actual loss, (ii) the amount of insurance specified in the given Item as the limit for the particular Covered Title Risk for claims based upon the coverage described in Items 12d, 15 and 18 of Covered Title Risks, or (iii) the Policy Amount in force when the claim is made?whichever is less.
b. If we remove the claim against your title within a reasonable time after receiving notice of it, we will have no further liability for it.
If you cannot use any of your land because of a claim against your title, and you rent reasonable substitute land or facilities, we will repay you for your actual rent until:
the cause of the claim is removed;
we settle your claim. In the event of a claim based upon the coverage described in items 12d and 18 of Covered Title Risks, we will be deemed to have "settled your claim" for purposes of this provision obligating us to pay you for your actual rent upon payment to you of the amount of insurance specified in the given Item as the limit for the particular Covered Title Risk.
c. The Policy Amount will be reduced by all payments made under this Policy?except for costs, attorneys' fees and expenses. All payments made under this Policy for claims based upon the coverage described in Items 12d and 18 of Covered Title Risk shall also reduce the amount of insurance specified in the given Item as the limit for the particular Covered Title Risk?except for costs, attorneys' fees and expenses.
d. The Policy Amount will be reduced by any amount we pay to our insured holder of any mortgage shown in this Policy or a later mortgage given by you.
e. If you do anything to affect any right of recovery you may have, we can subtract from our liability the amount by which you reduced the value of that right.
7. TRANSFER OF YOUR RIGHTS
When we settle a claim, we have all the rights you had against any person or property related to the claim. You must transfer these rights to us when we ask, and you must not do anything to affect these rights. You must let us use your name in enforcing these rights.
We will not be liable to you if we do not pursue these rights or if we do not recover any amount that might be recoverable.
With the money we recover from enforcing these rights, we will pay whatever part of your loss we have not paid. We have a right to keep what is left.
If it is permitted in your state, you or the Company may demand arbitration.
The arbitration shall be binding on both you and the Company. The arbitration shall decide any matter in dispute between you and the Company. The arbitration award may:
include attorneys' fees if allowed by state law; and
be entered as a judgment in the proper court.
The arbitration shall be under the Tittle Insurance Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association. You may choose current Rules or Rules in existence on Policy Date.
The law used in the arbitration is the law of the place where the property is located. You can get a copy of the rules from the Company.
9. OUR LIABILITY IS LIMITED TO THIS POLICY
This Policy, plus any endorsements, is the entire contract between you and the Company. Any claim you make against us must be made under this Policy and is subject to its terms.
10. GRADUATED LIABILITY COVERAGE
The Policy Amount stated in Schedule A will increase by five percent (5%), of the original Policy Amount, per year for the first five years immediately following the Policy Date to a maximum Policy Amount of one hundred twenty-five percent (125%) of the original Policy Amount. This increase will happen in each of these years on the anniversary of the Policy Date.
or date of recording of deed or other conveyance to the insured named in Schedule A, number 1
1. Name of insured:
2. Your interest in the land covered by this Policy is:
3. The land referred to in this Policy is described as follows:
In addition to the Exclusions, you are not insured against loss, costs, attorneys' fees, and expenses resulting from:
For issuing guidelines on this form, see Guidelines.