A Preliminary Title 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 expectations may point to potential problems with an intended purchase, it is important for all parties to review the report once 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 concurrently, covering a particular state or interest in land. It is designed to provide a 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 principles to a real property transaction.
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. 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 title product.
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.