A Wisconsin State Journal article writes that the Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel has warned homebuyers in a bulletin that they need to be careful about “blanket exceptions” in title insurance policies.

He wrote that title insurance companies

“have begun to use broad ‘blanket exceptions’ in their title insurance policy form for owners and (consumers), which exclude from coverage the most common encumbrances … that could generally be discovered during a public records search.”

The majority of title insurance policies exclude coverage of the type of information that cannot be found in public records, but there have been some that exempt even public record search results, Nickel said, leaving “little to no coverage for the consumer and does not warn the consumer that the title they are purchasing may have defects.”

The commissioner’s office said title insurance policies typically exclude coverage of “encumbrances” that can’t be discovered via a public records search. But state law says that a policy can be rejected that is “misleading because its benefits are too restricted to achieve the purposes for which the policy is sold.”