Title insurance policies specifically exclude zoning matters from coverage. Occasionally, however, a prospective lender or owner will request that we provide a Zoning Endorsement to the policy. Typically, this entails the use of an ALTA 3.0 or an ALTA 3.1 Endorsement. If the land to be insured is vacant, the ALTA 3.0 is used, while the ALTA 3.1 is used for improved land.

In order to issue a Zoning Endorsement, we require that a full attorney’s zoning opinion be submitted to the company for review. Based upon our examination of this opinion, we will make a determination as to whether or not we can provide zoning insurance. All zoning insurance must be approved by the local office before issuance.

Assuming that we are able to provide zoning coverage, an additional premium must be charged. This additional amount represents a high-risk insurance premium remitted entirely to the underwriter with the agent retaining no share of the premium. At the time we are asked to provide zoning coverage, we will be able to quote the additional zoning insurance premium.

In the event that reinsurance is involved, zoning opinions and coverage may be drastically impacted. In addition to the lead company, the reinsuring companies may also wish to examine the zoning opinion to ascertain as to whether they agree with the coverage being provided. There is usually an additional zoning reinsurance premium which is charged as well.

All zoning opinions must be reviewed by the local office before any coverage can be offered. Zoning is a most fertile area for real estate related litigation. It is an extremely high risk type of insurance and requires close examination by our office.