Most people who have a car, home, and health insurance have probably made claims and wouldn’t consider being without it. However, it might be difficult to find a homeowner who has made a claim on their title insurance which could lead a person to think that it may not be necessary.
Title insurance covers the largest investment most people have and if there was a loss, it could be devastating. Title insurance indemnifies the policyholder from financial loss sustained from defects in the title to the property. The policyholder is determined by their interest in the property.
An owner’s title policy protects the owner of the property from title issues that may arise other than the mortgages that are being placed on the property at the time of purchase. The title of the property goes back in time to check that clear title (no unsatisfied liens or levies and poses no question to legal ownership) was passed from owner to owner up to the current seller.
A mortgagee’s or lender’s policy protects the lender by guaranteeing they have an enforceable lien on the property and legal claims from parties asserting they have a claim against the property. Lenders generally require the borrower to provide this coverage.
The title search is an examination to determine and confirm legal ownership and if there are clouds on the title so the seller can pass a clear title. A cloud is defined as any document, claim, unreleased lien or encumbrance that might invalidate or impair the title to real property.
If a person passes title to a buyer that has unsatisfied liens on the property, the new buyer could become responsible for the money owed and it could affect their ability to sell the property in the future.
Unlike most insurance that has a specific term and periodic premiums, the title insurance covers the insured for a single premium. An owner’s policy lasts for as long as they or their heirs have an interest in the property. It guarantees the title up to the date and time that the property was deeded to you and recorded in the public records.