Protecting Your Home with Title Insurance
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The biggest investment you will make in your life will likely be purchasing a home. So before you commit to the transaction, you must be sure that the property's title is free of any other claims.
Determining that your rights and interests to the property are clear is the business of a title insurance company.
You pay the title insurance 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 property's title history. The title insurance company can almost always find any title problems that may arise and have these problems cleared-up prior to closing.
Real Estate law is extraordinarily complicated. Title companies make sure that all the T's are crossed and all the I's are dotted so you don't end up with a clouded title and legal problems. Your title insurance owner's policy will describe the property and outline the limitations on your ownership. It will also set forth the title company's responsibilities should any claim covered by the policy terms arise. 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. If this happens, the title insurance company will defend the 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, unbuildable, or unsaleable. Many other complicated problems define "Defective title" or "Clouded Title." The title insurance policy will protect you from these errors if the title company doesn't discover them.