Guideline: ALTA Homeowners Policy of Title Insurance for a One-to-Four Family Residence 2003

Organizational Guidelines

Guideline: ALTA Homeowners Policy of Title Insurance for a One-to-Four Family Residence 2003

Guideline Document
V 1


The ALTA has modified Covered Risk 12, in order to clarify that the policy does not insure against violations of covenants, conditions or restrictions relating to maintenance or repair on the land or environmental protection.  This modification is consistent with the police power exclusion and the general principle that our policies do not insure the physical condition of the land.

Underwriting Requirements:

Our requirements for issuance of the ALTA Homeowner's Policy: 
  1. Issue only on single family residence or residential condominium.

  2. Issue only if improved. Verify by review of tax/assessment search. If search does not reflect improvements, inspect the property.

  3. Issue only on bona fide sale, not existing ownership by insured.

  4. The subdivision should be a platted subdivision, that (a) is established or (b) is being developed by a known reputable developer or builder.

  5. Issue only on (a) a platted lot or (b) condominium unit. Do not issue on metes and bounds or other property without underwriter approval or unless you can determine that the metes and bounds description does not violate subdivision map requirements.

  6. If builder sale or new construction, verify either that (a) builder is known in community as residential builder or contractor, or (b) certificate of occupancy or local equivalent has been issued, or (c) utilities are now available to the land.

  7. Verify by tax/assessment search that the land includes the single family residence with address to be shown in Schedule A. If tax/assessment search does not reflect an existing residence, inspect or otherwise verify. Compare address in tax/assessment search to address shown in contract, if available. Do not show zip code on Schedule A.

  8. Verify with homeowners association that assessments are paid current, that there are no known restriction violations (if the association has this information), and that any right of first refusal will not be exercised in current transaction (if there is a right of first refusal).

  9. Verify no pending or current construction ongoing.

  10. Verify that all bills paid on any prior construction within lien period.

  11. If map of land attached (not required on policy and not relevant unless Covered Risk 29 on Policy), verify that description is same as Schedule A description.

  12. Require seller to execute Homeowner's Policy affidavit and your customary affidavit of debts and liens, provided that it is not customary in your community to waive this affidavit.

  13. Verify by review of restrictions/covenants that the land may be used as a residence.

  14. Except as provided above, no survey or inspection is required.

  15. Policy may be dated and issued on date of settlement if your requirements have been met, funds disbursed, and you are in position to promptly record. You may show date of settlement as date of policy and you do not need to show recording information in Schedule A.

  16. Do your normal search.
  17. Use our Schedule A with its preprinted Deductibles and Caps, or add those numbers to the Schedule A if you print your own Schedule A.
  18. The ALTA does not establish deductible amounts and maximum dollar limits of liability.  Stewart Title Guaranty Company's deductible amounts and maximum dollar limits of liability are as follows:

    Schedule A

    Policy No:                                                         Premium: $

    Policy Amount: $                                               Policy Date:

    Deductible Amounts and Maximum Dollar Limits of Liability For Covered Risk 14, 15, 16, and 18:

    Your Deductible Amount                                    Our Maximum Dollar Limit of Liability

    Covered Risk 14:         1% of Policy Amount or $2,500.00 (whichever is less)                   $10,000.00

    Covered Risk 15:          1% of Policy Amount or $5,000.00 (whichever is less)                  $25,000.00

    Covered Risk 16:          1% of Policy Amount or $5,000.00 (whichever is less)                  $25,000.00

    Covered Risk 18:          1% of Policy Amount or $2,500.00 (whichever is less)                   $5,000.00

    Street Address of the Land:

    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:



Any revision to this form requires approval of a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter. The underwriting guidelines contained herein have been provided for general reference. The facts, circumstances, and location of the subject property should be considered when determining the issuance of the requested form or endorsement. Please note that all of the forms and endorsements included in this system may not be available in all states. Accordingly, please contact the appropriate Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriting personnel in order to determine availability.

Compliance with the underwriting guidelines contained herein in no way obligates Stewart Title Guaranty Company to issue any form or endorsement.