Title insurance exception fraud Era Soldatova asked 12 months ago
Title insurance exception fraud

Hi

I was issued a standard GA title insurance on Alta form by an agent. The policy has exceptions listed in Schedule B. One of the exceptions has somewhat ambiguous language related to easement and encumbrances. The insurance company is taking a very broad interpretation of the exception saying that any and all claims related to easements are excluded, whether we purchased those easements or not.

Such interpretation contradicts the exception language detailed in the Title Commitment form issued by the Insurance Company. I understand the Title Commitment form is in essence what dictates these exceptions, and only excludes from coverage easement obligations that come with the property (deeds or surveys purchased). But if someone wanted to get an easement on our property that we did not purchase that would be covered.

The title insurance company keeps denying our claim for coverage of legal expenses for someone claiming an easement on our property that was not in any of our deeds, surveys nor in our chain of titles. They keep denying our claim, ignore substantive questions and send us on wild goose chases. They are unable to explain how the exceptions in the policy could possibly be more expansive then those committed to in the Title Commitment form.

It feels like they are looking to see if we file a lawsuit before proceeding to settle as their responses simply do not make sense. Doesn’t matter what we say the answer is “No, we are closing the file.”

I am 100% sure GA law and standard GA policy affords us coverage and can’t believe the hubris that it is taking this shop to deny. This was also confirmed by our insurance agent. We really don’t want to start another lawsuit, and are trying to find ways to entice the company to do the right thing.

Not sure the DOI complaint will help. I am afraid once we escalate we close all doors to communicate with the company directly.

Is there some leverage point within the title insurance to escalate? What avenue would you suggest we try?

I can’t believe the path we have to travel to get the coverage we paid for.

1 Answers
Answer for Title insurance exception fraud United Policyholders Staff answered 10 months ago

Hi Era,

You may have moved on by now, but we did want to respond to your question. We’ve had trouble finding an expert in this area who can give a response without looking at your documents. However, we did find one expert who had this to say, “Without seeing the documents, I’m not in a position to determine if the insured has a legitimate case. One, a title commitment is not a title insurance policy and is not contract between the insured and insurer. Having said that, if there are major differences, that might be grounds for a suit for unfair and deceptive practices. Second, this seems like the type of thing that might get a response if the insured made a complaint to the Department of Insurance since the DOI will get an explanation where the insured cannot. Third, check the policy to find out if there is a pre-dispute mandatory arbitration provision as this will give much greater leverage to the insurer.”

We recommend you consult with a Georgia-based attorney knowledgeable in title insurance law to take a look at your policy and determine if your insurance company is at fault. Sorry not to have a better answer for this one.