Protecting Your Home with Title Insurance
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Purchasing a home is probably the single largest investment you will ever make. So before you commit to the transaction, you must be sure that the "title" of the property is free of other claims.
A title insurance company ensures that your new property doesn't carry expensive encumbrances and other legal obstacles.
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 company performs an extensive search on the property's title history. Through its research, the title company can usually find any title problems that may arise and have these problems cleared-up before you close on the property.
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 with the title to your property. Your owner's policy will describe the property and outline the limitations on your ownership. It will also set forth the title company's responsibilities should any claim covered by the policy terms arise. Typically your title insurance will protect you in the following cases:
- Contested title — Someone, usually a previous owner or occupant, claims they still own the property or have not given up their claim. If this happens, the title insurance company will defend the title at no expense to you.
- 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. Many other complex problems define "Defective title" or "Clouded Title." The title insurance policy will protect you from these errors if the title company doesn't discover them.