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    Buying a Home? Why Title Insurance is a Necessity

    Protect your home investment. You’re probably familiar with the benefits of automobile insurance and homeowners insurance, but title insurance is likely something you’ve never thought about until you started the process of purchasing a house. But title insurance is actually one of the most valuable types of insurance you can have because it protects you and the lender from any unknown claims of ownership to your home.

    How does it work? When purchasing a home, you’re not actually buying the building or piece of land, you’re purchasing the title to the property, which gives you the right to occupy the space.  But there’s the possibility that the seller or previous sellers didn’t have free and clear ownership of the property so they cannot rightfully transfer full ownership to you. For example:

    • The seller may knowingly try to sell a home he or she doesn’t own
    • The seller could have a former spouse who didn’t sign off on the sale as required and wants his or her stake in the property
    • The signature on the deed is forged
    • There are liens filed on against the home to settle the owner’s debt to them, such as for unpaid taxes, child support, or contractor’s fees

    Without the benefit of title insurance, these situations could result in significant financial loss for you, the buyer, including the possibility of losing your home.

    Isn’t the title search sufficient protection? The title insurance company or your attorney will perform a title search before issuing the policy. This involves extensive research of public records concerning the house such as past deeds, wills, divorce decrees, tax records, etc. This preliminary title report provides an opportunity to eliminate issues before proceeding with the sale. But even the best title search can’t foresee when a long-lost heir will show up to lay claim to the property or other similar scenarios.  And that’s where title insurance steps in to protect you.

    What’s the difference between the lender’s policy and the owner’s policy? Your lender will require that you buy a lender’s policy to cover its investment.  But the lender’s policy only covers the outstanding amount of the loan at the time a claim is made. You also need to ensure you purchase an owner’s policy to protect your financial interests in the home. When purchased together, the owner’s policy is a relatively inexpensive addition.

    The best investment you can make. Title insurers rarely have to pay out on claims but that doesn’t mean you’re wasting your money on them.  Unlike other types of insurance, title insurance companies incur most of their expenses upfront to help prevent any kind of title shock down the road. Also unlike most insurance policies, you just pay a one-time fee for title insurance and your property is covered for as long as you or your heirs own it. The cost is relatively low but the value title insurance provides is tremendous.

    Certified Title is a Title Insurance, Search and Settlement Services provider that uses the latest technology to make managing documents, communicating and closing transactions a breeze. To learn more, visit Certified Title today or call (888) 486-5511.

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