The Preliminary Report
The Preliminary Report is an offer to issue a policy of title insurance covering a particular
estate or interest in land subject to stated exceptions.
Since these exceptions may point to potential problems with your intended purchase, it is
important for all parties to review the report once it is received.
A Preliminary Report provides a list of the matters which will be shown as exceptions to
coverage in a designated policy or policies of title insurance, if issued currently,
covering a particular estate or interest in land. It is designed to provide an interim,
or "preliminary" response to an application for title insurance and is intended to facilitate
the issuance of the designated policy or policies. It is normally prepared after application
(order) for such policy(ies) of title insurance on behalf of the principals to a real property
transaction, for the purpose of facilitating requirements relative to closing and policy
issuance in form and content approved by those parties.
If a title policy is not contemplated, a Preliminary Report should not be ordered. Instead,
consideration should be given to requesting a Condition of Title Report or other similar
The Preliminary Report states on its face that it is made solely to facilitate the subsequent
issuance of a title insurance policy and that the insurer assumes no liability for errors in
the report. Accordingly, any claim arising from a defect in title must be made under the
title policy and not the Preliminary Report.
After a title order has been placed, matters relative to the title policy coverage on the
subject property are assembled in a title search package and examined by skilled technicians.
This is when the Preliminary Report is prepared and sent to the customer. The report
contains relevant information so that the parties to the transaction will become aware
of matters which will not be insured against by the title company. This report is issued
before the title policy, hence the name Preliminary Report.
The matters shown in the report are as follows:
- The estate of interest covered.
- The owner of the estate or interest.
- The parcel of land involved.
- The exceptions, liens, encumbrances and other risks which will not be insured against if a title policy is issued.
- Other requirements and provisions which are reflected as "Notes" in the Preliminary Report which are removed if and when a title policy is issued.