Landmark California Cases on Title Insurance Policy

Regarding the law on the matter, "a title insurance policy is a contract of indemnity, not one of guarantee. The insurer does not represent that title is in any particular condition, but only agrees to indemnify to the extent the insured suffers a loss caused by defects in the title or encumbrances on the title." (Karl v. Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co. (1993) 20 Cal.App.4th 972, 978; accord, Southland Title Corp. v. Super. Ct. (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 530, 537; Smith v. Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co. (1986) 177 Cal.App.3d 625, 631.) Furthermore, "the policy of title insurance . . . does not constitute a representation that the contingency insured against will not occur." (Lawrence v. Chicago Title Ins. Co. (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 70, 74-75.) Thus, "when such contingency occurs, no action for negligence or negligent misrepresentation will lie against the insurer based upon the policy of title insurance alone. . . . 'The insurer does not represent expressly or impliedly that the title is as set forth in the policy; it merely agrees that, and the insured only expects that, the insurer will pay for any losses resulting from, or he will cause the removal of, a cloud on the insured's title within the policy provisions.' " (Id. at p. 75.)