The article, “Now or Then? The Time of Loss in Title Insurance” (Dec. 2011), provided an analysis of policy provisions for determining loss. The article indicates that there is a lack of definition regarding what date should be used when determining the value of the real property if a title insurer is to pay diminution in value under the terms of the policy.
The conclusion may be correct as it relates to the 1992 version of the policy forms; however, since March 1, 2011, title insurers have been issuing the 2006 version of the ALTA policy. This policy provides that if a title insurer elects to defend or prosecute litigation to cure a covered title matter, and is unsuccessful, the insured shall have the right to have the loss determined either as of the date of the claim or the date it is settled and paid. Additionally, current policies provide that the amount of insurance is increased by 10 percent if a title insurer elects to pursue litigation to cure a covered title matter and is unsuccessful.
The enhanced coverages on currently issued policies are offered to insureds without an increase in the premium associated with title insurance policies. The policy changes will not change the coverages of policies issued on earlier policy forms.
The article correctly observes that title insurance policy coverages have evolved over the years to be responsive to the needs of the public in protecting their greatest investment and to lenders in reducing the risks in lending on real estate. In Florida, the participation of real estate attorneys as title insurance agents has acted to assure that their clients have enjoyed the greatest protections possible.
W. Theodore Conner, Orlando
It seems the consumers’ bar is currently not in favor of arbitration. That led me to review “Re-examining the Presumption in Favor of Arbitration in Complex Commercial Cases” (March 2010).
While my practice is primarily in the area of maritime law litigation, I have had significant experience in arbitrations. In the maritime field, arbitrations still seem to be a favored means of resolving disputes. I find that arbitration of complex commercial cases where millions of dollars are at stake is significantly less expensive than complex litigation either in state or federal court. I found arbitration over relatively small amounts in salvage cases and in credit card disputes to be quick, efficient, and generally with results that are satisfactory to the parties involved.
One of the real benefits of arbitration is being able to have an arbitrator who has an understanding and experience in the field where arbitration is being conducted. I found that lawyer arbitrators and nonlawyer arbitrators are very helpful to the litigants in resolving their disputes. I am concerned that reaction by our legislature-perceived problems with consumer arbitrations may adversely affect arbitration in other areas.
Robert D. McIntosh, Ft. Lauderdale