Buying a home may be the biggest investment you make in your lifetime. So before you commit to the transaction, you want to be sure that the “title” of the property is clear of other claims.
A title insurance company does all the research to insure that a property has clear title. Making sure that a property is clear of all legal encumbrances is the job of a title company.
You pay the title 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 searches 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 before you close on the property.
Because Real Estate Law is so complicated, you need an expert to make sure that all previous transactions have been correct, so you don’t end up with legal problems or a problem with the title to your property. Your owner’s policy will describe the property and outline any recorded limitations on your ownership. It will also cover what the title insurance company is responsible for. Title insurance usually covers:
Contested title — Someone, usually a previous owner or occupant, claims they still own the property or have not given up their claim. If this happens, the title insurance company will defend the title at no expense to you.
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 complex problems define “Defective title.” The title insurance policy will protect you from these errors if the title company misses them.