Underwriting Manual: Public Utility Corporations

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Standard Exceptions


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Table of Contents

Underwriting Manual Subtopic

In General

V 3

Public utility corporations are those corporations whose operation either serve the needs of the general public or conduce to the comfort and convenience of an entire community, such as railroads, gas, water, and electric light companies. The business of such companies is said to be "affected with a public interest", and for that reason they are subject to legislative regulation and control to a greater extent than corporations not of this character.

Public utility corporations are usually subject to different types of statutory regulations. Typically, such statutes will confer general authorization for the utility corporations to acquire and hold real estate but will impose restrictions and limitations to the rule, lease or mortgage of real estate interests held by said corporations. In this respect, state law must be fully researched.

A right commonly extended to public utility corporations is the power to condemn interests in land for a variety of public purposes.

In certain cases, public utility corporations are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Power Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, or any other federal agency.

Any title commitment or policy relative to a transaction involving a public utility corporation must contain appropriate requirements and exceptions.