1. What is Title Insurance?
Title Insurance is an insurance policy to protect you from financial loss in the event that there is a problem regarding your rights of ownership in your property. There could be hidden title defects that even the most thorough title search will not reveal. In addition to protection from financial loss, title insurance pays the cost of defending the title of your property if it ever challenged. With title insurance, a claim is made against the title, the underwriter must pay any and all costs associated with defending the claim, and if unsuccessful in that defense, reimburse the landowner for any reduction in the value of the land.
2. What does an owner’s policy cover?
An owner’s policy protects your interests in the property against hidden hazards such as:
- Mistakes in recording legal documents
- Forged deeds, releases, or wills
- Undisclosed or missing heirs, including spouses
- Deeds by persons of unsound mind
- Deeds by minors
- Deeds executed under an invalid or expired power of attorney
- Liens for unpaid taxes
3. What is a title search?
A detailed examination of all available public records on a property to verify the seller’s right to transfer ownership and to uncover any potential challenges we might see.
4. How long does title insurance coverage last?
A lender’s policy, (which is required) protects the lender and lasts until the mortgage is paid in full. An owner’s policy remains in force as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property. If challenges to title arise after the property has passed to your heirs, the title insurance company would defend the title for them just as it would for you.
5. How much does title insurance cost?
Title insurance is a one time premium that you pay at closing and is typically less expensive than your annual auto insurance premium. The coverage continues for as long as you own the property without any additional premium costs.
6. 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 use it can change over the years.
7. Is title insurance as important as homeowner’s insurance?
Homeowner’s insurance typically provides protection against theft or damage. If a fire destroys your home, you can rebuild and buy new possessions. If the title to the land fails, you could lose the right to inhabit your home as well as the land it occupies.
8. Where can I get the title insurance?
You can obtain title insurance from any licensed title insurance agent, such as TitlePoint.