The Full Wiki

More info on Real Estate Title Insurance Company of Philadelphia

Real Estate Title Insurance Company of Philadelphia: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

The Real Estate Title Insurance Company of Philadelphia was the world's first title insurance company.


Prior to the invention of title insurance buyers in real estate transactions bore sole responsibility for ensuring the validity of the land title held by the seller. If the title were later deemed invalid or found to be fraudulent, the buyer lost their investment.

In 1868, the case of Watson v. Muirhead was heard by the Pennsylvania Supreme Courtmarker. Plaintiff Muirhead had lost his investment in a real estate transaction as the result of a prior lien on the property. Defendant Watson, the conveyancer, had discovered the lien prior to the sale but told Muirhead the title was clear after his lawyer had (erroneously) determined that the lien was not valid.

The courts ruled that Watson (and others in similar situations) was not liable for mistakes based on professional opinions.

As a result of the case the Pennsylvania legislature passed an act in 1874 allowing for the incorporation of title insurance companies.


Joshua Morris, a conveyancer in Philadelphiamarker, and several colleagues met on 28 March 1876 to incorporate the first title insurance company to address the issue. The new firm, they stated, would "insure the purchasers of real estate and mortgages against losses from defective titles, liens and encumbrances," and that "through these facilities, transfer of real estate and real estate securities can be made more speedily and with greater security than heretofore."

Morris' aunt purchased the first policy, valued at $1,500, to cover a home on North 43rd Street in Philadelphia.

Later, the company changed its name to the Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company. In 1964, Commonwealth purchased Louisville Title Insurance Company of Kentucky. In 1990, Commonwealth merged with Transamerica Title which later became Transnation Title Company.


  1. Craig, Mark R. Lawyer and Banker and Central Law Journal, 1932 25: 134, " What Is Title Insurance". Accessed 5 November 2008.
  2. Bintinger, Paul. Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, 1990 4: 687, " Conflict Of Interest: Attorney As Title Insurance Agent". Accessed 5 November 2008.
  3. New York Times, 6 October 1888. HISTORY OF TITLE INSURANCE IN THE UNITED STATES". Accessed 5 November 2008.
  4. National Title-Duluth, Inc. TITLE INSURANCE: AN AMERICAN TRADITION". Accessed 5 November 2008.

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address