Protecting Your Home with Title Insurance
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Buying a home may be the biggest investment you make in your life. So before you close, you need to know that nobody else has a claim to the property.
A title insurance company ensures that your new property won't surprise you with expensive encumbrances and other legal obstacles.
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 searches the title history of the property. The title insurance company can usually identify any title problems that may arise and clear up these problems before you close on the property.
Real Estate law is extraordinarily complicated. 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 owner's policy will describe the property and outline the 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 — 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 your 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 complicated 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.