George and Betty own a home in a subdivision in a rural county. A privately owned road traverses through the subdivision, and George and Betty, along with their neighbors, use it to get to Main Street, the nearest public roadway. The lot next door recently sold, and the neighbor installed a gate at both ends of the private road to minimize traffic through the subdivision. When confronted by George and Betty, the neighbor insisted he has the right to install the gates, as he owns the land under the roadway. In the midst of dealing with the gate and the new owner, George and Betty found a buyer for their property and were trying to close the sale.
Luckily for George and Betty, when they bought their home, they had purchased a title insurance policy from North American protecting their right to use the private roadway to access Main Street. George and Betty disclosed the situation with the gated roadway to their buyer, and at the same time, sought assistance from the title company.
It was determined that the neighbor had no right to gate the roadway; however, the neighbors initial refusal to cooperate required protracted negotiations and correspondence that ultimately resulted in the neighbor installing a card key to open the gate without the necessity of filing a lawsuit. In the interim, to enable George and Betty to close their sale, the title company stepped in to insure access to Main Street, to their new buyer, pending efforts to resolve the access issue with the neighbor.
In the end, everyone was happy. George and Betty were able to sell their home, their buyer obtained the required insurance, the neighbor kept his gate, and the owners of the subdivision were given a card key to open the gate as needed.