Title Insurance = Peace of Mind
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The biggest investment you will make in your life will probably be purchasing a home. Before you close, you'll want to know that no other individual or entity has a lien or claim to the property.
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 insurance 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. 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 with the title to 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 — 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 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. Defects are rare, but they can be very difficult, making the property inaccessible, unbuildable, or unsaleable. Any number of other complicated problems define "Defective title." The title company will discover these problems, or if they miss them, insure your loss up to the amount of the policy.