Protecting Your Home with Title Insurance
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Purchasing a home is likely the largest investment you will make in your lifetime. So before you sign on the dotted line, you want to be certain that the property's title is free of any other claims.
A title insurance company ensures that your new property won't surprise you with 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 insurance company performs an extensive search on the title history of the property. 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.
Real Estate law is extraordinarily complex. Title companies make sure that all the T's are crossed and all the I's are dotted so you don't end up with a clouded title and legal problems. Your title insurance owner's policy will describe the property and outline any recorded limitations on your ownership. It will also set forth the title insurance 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 — This usually happens when someone who owned or even lived in the home before you claims to still hold an interest. If this happens, the title insurance company will defend your title at no expense to you.
- Defective title — This is a general term for a legal problem with the title that cannot be corrected and includes "contested title" above. 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 complicated problems define "Defective title" or "Clouded Title." The title company will find these title problems, or should they miss them, insure your loss up to the amount of the policy.