November 20, 2020 Articles

Title Insurance Case Law Survey, Part 1

Insured v. insurer, policy terms, who and what is insured, exclusions and exceptions

By Jerel J. Hill


This article is the first in a multi-part series on my review of judicial decisions issued in title insurance litigation, throughout the country, in the last few years. My review included 95 cases. On a big-picture level, for insurers, they did well on Exclusion 3 and “public records” cases, and not so well on subrogation. Agents learned it is important to comply with court orders on disbursing funds, but the “I did not read the closing documents” defense is not a favorite of the courts. Finally, one court could not decide how to characterize the interest an American Indian tribe held regarding harvesting shellfish but found coverage in the owner policy anyway.

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