Q. What is title insurance?
Title insurance is an insurance policy that protects your legal right to own, possess, use, control, and dispose of land.
Q. Why is transferring the title to real estate different from transferring the title to other items such as a car?
Transferring a real estate title can be complicated because land is permanent and the usage of land and the rights to its use can change over the years.
Q. What is a title search?
A title search is a detailed examination of historical public records concerning a property. These records include deeds, court records, property and name indexes, and many other public documents.
Q. Why do I need title insurance?
There are two main types of title insurance policies: a lender’s policy and an owner’s policy. A lender’s policy is typically required for a mortgage, it financially covers the amount of the loan and provides protection to the lender. An owner’s policy protects the landowner against a title loss, which ensures the value of the property. With owner’s title insurance, if a claim is made against the title, the underwriter must pay any and all costs associated with defense against the challenge. If unsuccessful in that defense, the underwriter reimburses the landowner for any reduction in the value of the land.
Q. Is title insurance as important as homeowner’s insurance?
Homeowner’s insurance typically provides protection for the dwelling and its contents. For instance, if a fire destroys your home, you can rebuild and buy new possessions. However, if the title to the land fails, you could lose the right to inhabit your home as well as the land it occupies.
Q. How much does title insurance cost?
Title insurance charges vary in different parts of the country. However, you pay for an owner’s policy of title insurance only once; there are no monthly premiums.
Q. How long does title insurance coverage last?
The lender’s policy of title insurance lasts until the mortgage is paid in full. An owner’s policy of title insurance lasts for as long as you or your heirs retain an interest in the property.
Q. Where can I get title insurance?
You can obtain title insurance from any licensed title insurance company or their agents. Oh and by the way… we’re one!
21 Reasons For Title Insurance
- A fire destroys only the house and improvements. The ground is left. A defective title may take away not only the house, but also the land on which it stands.
- A deed or a mortgage in the chain of title may be a forgery.
- A deed or a mortgage may have been signed by a person underage.
- A deed or a mortgage may have been made by an insane person or one otherwise incompetent.
- A deed or a mortgage may have been made by a person other than the owner, but with the same name as the owner.
- A deed or a mortgage may have been made under a power of attorney after its termination and would, therefore, be void.
- The testator of a will might have had a child born after the execution of the will, a fact that must entitle the child to claim his or her share of the property.
- A deed or a mortgage may have been procured by fraud or duress.
- Title transferred by an heir may be subject to a federal estate tax lien.
- An heir or other person presumed dead may appear and recover property or an interest therein.
- A judgment or levy upon which the title is dependent may be void or voidable on account of some defect in the proceeding.
- Title insurance covers attorney’s fees and court costs.
- Title insurance helps speed negotiations when you’re ready to sell or obtain a loan.
- By insuring the title, you can eliminate delays and technicalities when passing your title on to someone else.
- Title insurance reimburses you for the amount of your covered losses.
- A deed or a mortgage may be voidable because it was signed while the grantor was in bankruptcy.
- Each title insurance policy we write is paid up, in full, by the first premium for as long as you or your heirs own the property.
- There may be a defect in the recording of a document upon which your title is dependent.
- Claims constantly arise due to marital status and validity of divorces. Only title insurance protects against claims made by non-existent or divorced “wives” or “husbands.”
- Many lawyers, in giving an opinion on a title, protect their clients as well as themselves, by procuring title insurance.
- Over the past 24 years, claims have risen dramatically.