ALTA Board Approves Revisions to Closing Protection Letters

November 13, 2018

The ALTA Board of Governors approved a recommendation to revise the ALTA Closing Protection Letters (CPLs) and adopt four new endorsements during a meeting on Oct. 10. The subject forms are currently posted for industry comment and are subject to change before final. The deadline for comment is Nov. 30.

Forms may be downloaded at alta.org/policy-forms. Upon review of comments and final publication on or about Dec. 1, the prior versions of the CPLs will be moved to the archives.

As always, the forms have been developed by the ALTA Forms Committee and approved by the ALTA Board. An opportunity to review and comment before final publication is extended to ALTA members, Policy Forms licensees and industry customers. The forms, in general, are made available for customer convenience. The parties are free in each case to agree to different terms and the use of these forms is voluntary unless required by law. The forms are copyrighted and use is restricted to ALTA members and ALTA Policy Forms licensees in good standing as of the date of use. 

Permission to reprint may be requested by contacting service@alta.org.  

ALTA Closing Protection Letters - Revisions

The Board approved a recommendation from the Forms Committee to revise the Closing Protection Letters:

  • ALTA Closing Protection Letter – Single Transaction (12-01-2015)
  • ALTA Closing Protection Letter – Multiple Transactions (12-01-2015)

The committee recognized the need to address the epidemic of wire fraud incidents and attempts, including a clarification of coverage extended to customers in the CPLs. The following changes were approved by the ALTA Board:

  • Clarification of the optional header details to add the issuing office and ALTA Registry ID.
  • Clarification of Conditions and Exclusions to address wire fraud and related incidents.
  • Clarification of Conditions and Exclusions to emphasize the prohibition of class actions should an insurer choose to exclude the optional Arbitration Clause.

The revised CPLs provide more complete information and clearer coverage details for insureds as the industry faces the challenges of wire fraud. The revisions also more clearly emphasize the prohibition of class actions.

Zoning Endorsements in the 3-Series – New Endorsements

The Board approved a recommendation from the Forms Committee to adopt two new endorsements in the 3-Series: 

  • ALTA Endorsement 3.3[-06] (Zoning – Completed Improvement – Non-Conforming Use)
  • ALTA  Endorsement 3.4[-06] (Zoning – No Zoning Classification)

The committee recognized the need for industry standard coverage for situations in which an insurer chooses to provide coverage for a known non-conforming use that applies to an existing building or in cases where there is no existing zoning classification. The other standard ALTA Endorsements in the 3-Series do not provide the specific coverages required in these situations. They are:

  • ALTA Endorsement 3-06 (Zoning)
  • ALTA Endorsement 3.1-06 (Zoning – Completed Structure)
  • ALTA Endorsement 3.2-06 (Zoning – Land Under Development)

These coverages are extended by insurers on a regular basis and standardization benefits both insurers and insureds.

ALTA Endorsement 18.3 (Single Tax Parcel and ID) – New Endorsement

The Board approved a recommendation from the Forms Committee to adopt a new ALTA Endorsement 18.3 (Single Tax Parcel and ID).

The committee determined that title insurance consumers are ordering the ALTA 18.1-06 endorsement (which is designed for multiple parcels) when the policy insures only one parcel because the more appropriate ALTA 18-06 does not identify the tax parcel number as the ALTA 18.1-06 and ALTA 18.2-06 do.  There is a need for industry standard coverage for situations in which the insured wants the tax parcel number identified for a single parcel of Land.

The other standard ALTA Endorsements in the 18-Series are:

  • ALTA Endorsement 18-06 (Single Tax Parcel)
  • ALTA Endorsement 18.1-06 (Multiple Tax Parcel – Easements)
  • ALTA Endorsement 18.2-06 (Multiple Tax Parcel)

These coverages are extended by insurers on a regular basis and standardization benefits both insurers and insureds.

ALTA Endorsement 34.1 (Identified Exception & Identified Risk Coverage) – New Endorsement

The Board approved a recommendation from the Forms Committee to adopt a new ALTA Endorsement 34.1 (Identified Exception & Identified Risk Coverage).

Industry experience shows that many users of the ALTA 34-06 have confused the matter excepted to in Schedule B with a risk posed by that matter and may simply refer to the matter itself as the Identified Risk. That results in insuring over the matter itself which is often not the desired result. The ALTA 34.1 provides ALTA members with a form that differentiates the matter identified in an exception from the consequences of an Identified Risk posed by the exception.

The other standard ALTA Endorsement is:

  • ALTA Endorsement 34-06 (Identified Risk Coverage)

The committee recognized the need for an appropriate place for coverages that have been inappropriately placed in Schedule B.

Questions or Comments?

You may download and review the subject forms in the "Forms Approved - For Comment by November 30, 2018" section in the Policy Forms Online. If you have comments or concerns, forward them to Kelly Romeo, staff liaison for the Forms Committee.


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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