First American Unveils New Vessel-Under-Construction title Insurance Policy


November 1, 2004, NEW ORLEANS

First American Transportation Title Insurance Company, a member of The First American Corporation family of companies, today announced the introduction of its innovative new marine title insurance product, the Vessel-Under-Construction Title Insurance Policy. This policy insures a vessel purchaser, and their lender, who contract with a shipyard to build a new vessel.  Based on First American Title’s EAGLE 9 UCC Insurance Policy, the new coverage insures the attachment, perfection and priority of the vessel purchaser and lender’s interest in the vessel under construction. The policy features a commitment to issue a Vessel Title Insurance Policy upon completion of construction and delivery of the vessel to the buyer. 

John N. Casbon, president and chief executive officer of First American Transportation Title Insurance Company, said: “This product has been specifically designed based on feedback we have received from lenders and vessel purchasers.  We have received very strong interest in this type of product, and the level of anticipation for its introduction has been incredibly high.  This insurance policy will help all constituencies involved in the vessel construction and financing process by delivering a much higher degree of security.”

First introduced in 2000, First American’s EAGLE Protection Vessel Title Policies offers insurance that provides coverage for: ownership disputes; certain unrecorded liens, including  liens for necessaries; document forgery; defective filing of documents; clerical errors; errors in closing; gap coverage; and cost of defense and prosecution. 

“The Vessel-Under-Construction Policy is a welcome complement to our Vessel Owner and Lender Title Insurance Policies,” added Casbon. “These policies continue to gain ever wider acceptance and use in vessel acquisitions and vessel lending transactions.  The Vessel-Under-Construction Policy allows us to insure purchasers, sellers and lenders in virtually all transactions in which marine equipment is built, purchased, sold or used as financial security.”

The policies serve to greatly enhance vessel purchase transactions by insuring owners and lenders against vessel title defects, deficiencies and problems. The Vessel-Under-Construction Policy is awaiting routine regulatory approval.

First American Transportation Title Insurance Company, a subsidiary of First American Title Insurance Company, is the industry's leading provider of title insurance for the aviation and maritime industries. The Vessel Title Division, headquartered in New Orleans, offers the EAGLE Protection policies for vessel owners and lenders. The company also offers 1031 tax-deferred exchange services. First American Transportation Title Insurance Company can be found on the Internet at www.firstam.com/transportation.

First American Title Insurance Company, the largest subsidiary of The First American Corporation, traces its history to 1889. One of the largest title insurers in the nation, the company offers title services through nearly 1,500 offices and an extensive network of agents throughout the United States and abroad. The company has its headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif. Information about The First American Corporation’s subsidiaries and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at www.firstam.com.  

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