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What is title insurance?

Title insurance is your policy of protection against loss if any problems result in a claim against the ownership of the property.

How much could I lose if a claim is filed against my property?

Your loses would depend on the claim.  In an extreme case, you could lose your entire home and property – and still be liable to pay off the balance of your mortgage.  Most claims aren’t that dramatic, but even the smallest claim can cost you time, money and aggravation, and you may have to pay costs for legal defense.

How does title insurance protect my investment if a claim should arise?

If a claim is made against your property, title insurance will, in accordance with the terms of your policy, assure you of a legal defense – and pay all your court costs and legal fees.  Also, if the claim proves valid, you will be reimbursed for your loss up to the face amount of the policy.

If the builder of my home already has title insurance on the property, why do I need it again when I purchase the land from him?

A policy insuring the builder does not protect you.  Also, a great many things could have happened since the builder’s policy was issued.  Liens, judgements and unpaid taxes for which prior owners were responsible may be disclosed after you purchase the property – causing you aggravation and costing you money.

Are there different types of title insurance policies?

There are basically two different types of policies – a loan policy and an owner’s policy.  The loan policy protects the lender’s interest in the property as security for an outstanding balance under the buyer’s mortgage.  The owner’s policy safeguards the buyer’s investment or equity in the property up to the face amount of the policy.  (Title insurers in many states offer increased policy coverage through inflation endorsements to cover increases due to inflation.)

How long does my coverage last?

Your coverage lasts as long as you or your heirs retain an interest in the property and, in some cases, even beyond.