Title Insurance FAQ's
For a homebuyer, purchasing a house is typically the largest investment most of us make in a lifetime. To buy with confidence, get owner’s insurance and protect your home from legal and financial claims. To help understand common questions and concerns that come up, read through the Q&A below:
What is title?
Title is an owner’s right to their property. The goal here is to always have a clear title to ensure you’re not inheriting existing debts or legal issues that could interfere with property rights. A clear title also allows the homeowner to use and/or modify their property.
What is a title search?
A standard part of the home buying process is a title search. This is a detailed accounting of the history of the title which is done to uncover issues preventing a homeowner’s right to the property. Our closing agents review public records to identify vulnerabilities in titles.
What if I don’t have owner’s title insurance?
If an issue with your title occurs and you don’t have owner’s title insurance, you could lose everything you’ve invested in the property or face expensive legal costs to mend the title issue.
What is title insurance?
If you’re buying a home, title insurance is a policy that protects your investment and property rights. There are two different types of title insurance: owner’s policy and lender’s policy.
Type 1: An owner’s policy provides you with protection against the loss of your home caused by someone in the future finding a defect in your title.
Type 2: A lender’s policy is usually required by the lender and protects only the lender’s financial interests.
How does owner's title insurance protect me?
If someone initiates a claim against your title, having owner's title insurance provides you with the legal defense and, if your title should fail, reimbursement of the equity in your home up to the face value of your policy. It also covers attorney’s fees.
Does lender’s title insurance protect me?
No. If there’s a complete failure of title, you have no protection and would lose both your property and your equity in the property. The lender is the only one protected under a lenders title insurance policy.
How can a title professional help me?
Our title examination team performs extensive research, digging through public records to identify defects that could cause legal issues. As your title company, we also manage the closing process. When trusting your title to First Choice Title, our team provides you with a complete title search, writing of the title insurance policy and reduced risk of ownership issues in the future. We have your back! We sweat the small stuff, so you don’t have to.
It seems unlikely that I will face a title problem. Is title insurance really necessary?
Estimates show that title companies find problems in 25% of their title searches, yet 8 in 10 Americans opt for owner’s title insurance. Anything from unpaid child support to parking tickets can disrupt a clean title. Other factors that are not so easy to detect include forged signatures, clerical errors, undisclosed easements and title claims by missing errors or ex-spouse’s. It may seem unlikely, but if an issue does arise with your title, you could lose your home or face extensive legal costs. Even lenders don’t approve property loans without title insurance. Play it safe, choose title insurance.
How much does owner’s title insurance cost?
The one-time payment for owner’s title insurance is low relative to the value of your home. The typical owner’s title insurance policy costs around 0.5% of the home’s purchase price. It can cost even less when purchased in conjunction with the lenders policy.
How long am I covered?
Your owner’s insurance policy lasts as long as you own your property. Your life will change over time, but your peace of mind never will.
What if my attorney reviews the title?
Real estate titles have hazard even the most competent attorney cannot discover – hidden defects such as improper indexing of records, forgery of documents, unknown are missing errors, and more. Even worse, your attorney cannot be held liable should you suffer a loss because of a head and defect. Owner's title insurance will protect you from these types of hidden defects.
If I purchase an owner's title insurance policy when I bought my home why do I have to pay for title insurance again when I refinance?
When you obtain a new loan, your new lender will require lenders title insurance, which will provide protection for that lender. He will not need to purchase the new owner's title insurance policy when refinancing. Owner's title insurance is a one-time fee and will last as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property
Am I required to purchase owner's title insurance?
Owner's title insurance is optional, but highly recommended. The State of Tennessee Department of Insurance requires the purchaser to sign a waiver should you decide not to purchase owner's title insurance. First Choice Title’s policy is that we will only handle a closing when a title policy is being issued. In the event of a cash sale, this means an owner’s policy must be purchased.
When should I get owner's title insurance?
During the course of the purchase of your new home or land. If it is not mentioned, you should request the option to purchase owner's title insurance.
Contact First Choice Title
If you’re looking for an expert to guide you in your next real estate transaction, contact our team today.