Florida is one of the states in which we write title insurance directly. As with all the other states we write title in, Florida has its own rules and regulations we need to be aware of when underwriting a policy.
Endorsements & Title Insurance Forms
The endorsements that we’re familiar with in Minnesota and the upper Midwest – we can’t necessarily issue those in Florida. Instead, Florida has their own version of some of those endorsements.
The common title insurance forms we use in Minnesota, the Dakotas and most states around the country are the American Land Title Association (ALTA) forms. We also have various title insurance policies (the loan policy, owner’s policy, the leasehold policy, and so forth). Speaking to endorsements there are roughly 44 ALTA endorsements currently certified for use in most of states that use the standard ALTA forms and endorsements.
Florida is not one of the standard ALTA states. Florida has created its own forms that look similar to the ALTA forms but have been specifically approved for use by the Florida Department of Insurance. The big distinction doesn’t arise in the policies themselves, but rather in the endorsements that are available. While we have 44 ALTA endorsements available in Minnesota, in Florida there are only about 8. Most of the coverages that parties are accustomed to obtaining on their policies via endorsements may not be available in Florida.
Endorsements Not Allowed in Florida
For example, the zoning endorsement that is commonly issued in most states is not going to be available in Florida. Likewise, the ALTA 17 Series Access Endorsements are unavailable in Florida, as well as the ALTA 18 Series Tax Parcel Endorsements. Often we’ll receive a list of requested endorsements from the buyer, and/or lender. When we receive that list, we can typically only issue two or three of those endorsements for a property in Florida. So that’s something to keep in mind. If you’re working in Florida and you’re advised that particular coverages are not available it’s because the regulators have specifically not approved those coverages for issuance in that jurisdiction.