In the realm of title insurance, each state has its own statutes, regulations, and rules that we must work with when issuing title insurance policies. In this article, we will discuss some of the unique factors we have to be cognizant of when writing title insurance in North and South Dakota.
North Dakota is an extremely interesting state when you are looking at underwriting title insurance. We write directly in North Dakota and there are several factors that make it a unique state when it comes to title:
- Mineral Rights. Out in Western North Dakota there's an oil and gas boom so we must address mineral rights issues when writing title insurance there. We don't typically encounter mineral rights issues within the Twin Cities.
- Construction Mortgages. In North Dakota we don't have to worry much about construction mortgages because if your mortgage is a construction mortgage, typically we're going to have priority over potential mechanics liens, even if work starts before we get the mortgage recorded. This really is very different from a construction mortgage transaction in Minnesota.
One from the other states in which we write title insurance directly is South Dakota. One from the significant things we have to deal with in South Dakota may be the counter-signature fee.
The law in South Dakota requires that the local abstractor within the county in which the property is located sign off on any title policy that's issued in South Dakota. In order to do that, they obtain a counter signature fee that is set by statute but can sometimes be as much as 50% from the title insurance premium. So along with paying the title insurance premium, you're paying another 50% along with that to the local abstractor for the counter-signature fee. That can be hard for individuals to know, but it's a rule that's set by state statute and not one more fee that the title insurance company is charging.