Buying a home or condo can be a tricky process. One of the unforseen costs first time buyers may not expect is title insurance. In many cases, borrowers cannot obtain a loan without title insurance.
What Is Title Insurance?
Title Insurance insures owners that they are acquiring marketable title to the property. Unlike casualty insurance policies which insure against future events, title insurance is designed to eliminate risk or loss caused by title defects from past events. Title insurance provides coverage only for title problems that were in existence at the time the policy was issued.
A title insurance policy is a contract of indemnity that guarantees that the title is as reported. If it isn’t, and the owner is damaged at a later date, the title policy covers the insured for loss up to the face amount of the policy.
What Is A Title Search?
Issuing a title insurance policy is an extensive and exacting process. Title insurance companies work to eliminate risks by performing a painstaking search of the public records, or the title company’s own “plant”, where public records, laws, and court decisions pertaining to the property and the parties to the escrow are maintained. This is done to determine the current recorded ownership, recorded liens or encumbrances, and other matters of record which could affect the title to the property. Once a title search is complete, the title company issues a Preliminary Title Report detailing the current status of title.