Protecting Your Home with Title Insurance
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The biggest investment you will make in your lifetime will likely be the purchase of a home. 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 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 title history of the property. The title insurance company can almost always identify any title problems that may arise and have these problems cleared-up before you close on the property.
Because Real Estate Law is so complex, 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 title insurance owner's policy will describe the property and outline any recorded limitations on your ownership. It will also cover what the title 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. In this case, the title insurance company will defend your title and will cost you nothing.
- 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, unable to be built, or unsaleable. Many other complicated problems define "Defective title." The title company will uncover these title problems, or should they miss them, insure your loss up to the amount of the policy.