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August
27

Real estate title insurance helps to protect the most valuable piece of property most people ever own: their home. Just like with other types of insurance, the policyholder receives protection from potential financial loss.

Title Insurance photo courtesy of titlehub.com

What is a Title?

When an individual purchases a home, what they are purchasing is the title to the property. The title is what provides them with the right to occupy the property. If they do not own the title, they do not own the property. There are various hazards that can affect an individual's right to title and thus their investment.

Title Hazards

These include:

  • Forged deeds or mortgages.
  • Deeds signed by people who were not of legal age.
  • Deeds signed by mentally incompetent people.
  • Deeds procured fraudulently or under duress.
  • Deeds that contain the wrong wording or wrong names.
  • Pending legal actions against the property.
  • An heir to the property who was presumed dead.

If a homebuyer's right to title is challenged, they could spend a lot of money defending their ownership of the home; they also run the risk of losing the home itself.

How Title Insurance Provides Protection

Real estate title insurance will pay the attorneys' fees and court costs a homeowner will incur as they attempt to defend their ownership; it will also cover their losses should they lose the home. Lenders will make the purchase of title insurance a condition of the home loan, but that will only cover their interest in the property so homeowners should ensure that they have their own policy as well. Title insurance is essential because even with the most thorough examination of public records there still remains the potential for hidden risks. Additionally, there are some problems that cannot be uncovered in a search and which may only emerge after closing.

How is Title Insurance Purchased?

The homeowner will pay a premium once at closing. The policy they purchase will provide protection for the duration of their ownership of the property. Prior to insuring the property, the records will be examined by a professional examiner, verifying that the title is clean; after this step will the insurance company provide protection to the homeowner against challenges to title.

Real estate title insurance exists to provide peace of mind for the homeowner; with it, they can rest assured that their investment in their home is safe. If you have questions about title insurance contact an Old Dominion Realty expert today.

 

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