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ALTA/NSPS question

from NSPS

Yes, it is ALTA/NSPS! When the 2016 version of the standards become effective in February, the name will officially be "ALTA/NSPS."

During the recent meeting of the joint ALTA/NSPS Committee, the question (which has been asked before) came up about Table A, Item 21 regarding the length of time a surveyor needs to maintain professional liability coverage related to a specific survey conducted using the ALTA/NSPS standards. The question was posed to the Victor O. Schinnerer Company with whom NSPS regularly conducts discussions about such matters. Schinnerer helped us with the wording of this when we introduced it in 2011, so the wording is – from a professional liability standpoint – exactly as it should be.

The response:

Item 21 deals only with the length of time that the professional liability coverage needs to be maintained by the surveyor. It has nothing whatsoever to do with liability. Item 21 states that the policy needs to “be in effect throughout the contract term.” It is well-understood in the insurance industry that reference to the “contract term” in this context is – in our case – a reference to the contract between the surveyor and his or her client. Thus, if selected, Item 21 requires that the surveyor maintain professional liability coverage during the time that the contract between the surveyor and client is in effect. This is normally just a few weeks – from the date the contract is signed (or agreed upon, in the case of an unwritten contract), to delivery of the survey and subsequent payment.

This is entirely independent of how long the surveyor is liable for his or her work. That is a function of state law and depends on the state’s statutes of limitation and repose. Where surveyors have the benefit of a statute of repose, there is a set time period after which a claimant is prohibited from making a claim. In states where surveyors do not have a statute of repose, the statute of limitations (and length of time of discovery) controls the length of time of the surveyor’s liability. more

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