2021 CHANGES & ADDITIONS TO THE COMMERCIAL ALTA POLICIES & ENDORSEMENTS1
Written by Marion A. Aaron* and Dena M. Cruz**
In July 2021, ALTA’s 2021 Owner’s and Loan policies, ALTA’s 2021 Commitment for Title Insurance, new endorsement series, and a multitude of amendments to existing endorsements became effective in California.2 While the vast majority of the changes to ALTA’s 2021 Owner’s and Loan policies are technical changes to ALTA’s 2006 policies, notable changes include: (1) the addition of an introductory paragraph validating the policy even if it is issued electronically (removing the need for the electronic issuance endorsement); (2) the addition of coverage for defects arising due to remote online notarization or repudiation of an online signature to a recorded document, including mortgages; (3) the enforcement of super-priority PACA-PSA3 liens; (4) a new definition of "State"; and (5) the right of the insured to choose the date of loss for the calculation of the amount of loss under the policies.
The new forms are intended to improve customer experience, speed up delivery of preliminary reports, proformas and policies, improve accuracy in the title exam and escrow process, and address recent legal rulings that have impacted the industry. This article summarizes many of the changes to the ALTA policies and provides a summary of key endorsements that commercial practitioners should be aware of.4