Beaches; Beach Rights

Beaches: Underwriting Guidelines

Any commitment or title policy insuring land abutting an ocean, gulf, or any beach front property or other  areas that attract public use must contain the following exception:


“The right, title or interest, if any, of the public to use any part of the land which lies between the abutting body of water and any or all of the following: a) the natural line of vegetation; b) the most extreme high water line; c) the bulkhead line; d) any other line which has been or which hereafter may be legally established as relating to such public use.”


If a specific use of the land is disclosed, the following exception should be made:


“Any rights, interests or claims which may exist or arise by reason of the following facts disclosed by an inspection of said land:


a.   The fact that a [road, path, etc.] extends over a portion of said land, and is used by the public for access to and from the adjoining body of water known as [name body of water];




b.   The fact that portions of said land are used by the public for beach and recreational purposes.”


Because laws are so different from state to state, contact your local underwriter for guidance specific to your state. An agent must not rely entirely on prior title policies to determine exceptions for waterfront interests. An independent determination of the appropriate exceptions should be made in each instance. 


See also:


Waterfront Property and Wetlands

Riparian/Littoral Rights