Protecting Your Home with Title Insurance

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Buying a home may be the largest investment you make in your life. So before you sign on the dotted line, you want to be sure that the "title" of the property is clear of any other claims.

A title insurance company does all the research to insure that a property has clear title. Making sure that a property is clear of all legal encumbrances is the job of a title company.

You pay the title company a single premium which includes the cost of verifying clear title and covers you in case some fault is later discovered in the title.

The title insurance company performs an extensive search on the property's title history. The title insurance company can usually identify any title problems that may arise and clear up these problems prior to closing.

Because Real Estate Law is so complicated, you need an expert to make sure that all previous transactions have been correct, so you don't end up with legal problems or a problem selling your property. Your owner's policy will describe the property and outline the limitations on your ownership. It will also cover what the title insurance company is responsible for. Title insurance usually covers:

  • Contested title — Someone, usually a previous owner or occupant, claims they still own the property or have not given up their claim. In this case, the title company will defend the title and will cost you nothing.
  • Defective title — "Defective title" covers any number of problems with the title to your home. It can even include a "contested title". Other examples of title defects include problems with legal access to the property, easements that make the property less usable, unusable, or unsaleable. Any number of other complex problems define "Defective title." The title insurance policy will protect you from these errors if the title company doesn't discover them.
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