Frequently Asked Questions about Title Insurance

Why Title Insurance?

Buying a new home is one of life's most gratifying experiences. As you approach the big day of closing all the details can be a little overwhelming. You might easily overlook the most important step in the entire process - the purchase of title insurance on that wonderful new home of yours.

What is a Title?

A title is the evidence, of right, that a person has to the ownership and possession of land. It is possible that someone other than the owner has a legal right to the property. If that right can be established, this person can claim the property outright or make demands on the owner as to it's use.

What Can Make a Title Defective?

Any number of problems that remain undisclosed after even the most meticulous search of public records can make a title defective. These hidden "defects" are dangerous indeed because you may not learn of them for many months or years. Yet they could force you to spend substantial sums on a legal defense, and still result in the loss of your property.

When you purchase a title insurance policy through U.S. Title & Escrow we provide complete protection through our underwriters from these and a host of other hidden defects:

  1. Creditor claims
  2. Deeds executed under false or expired powers of attorney
  3. Mistaken interpretation of wills and trusts
  4. Incorrect representation of marital status
  5. Undisclosed heirs
  6. Mistakes in recording legal documents
  7. Incorrect legal descriptions
  8. Forged deeds, releases etc.
  9. Federal, state inheritance and gift tax liens
  10. Errors in tax records
  11. Federal condemnation without notice filing
  12. Capacity of foreign fiduciaries
  13. Duress in execution of documents
  14. Want of jurisdiction over persons in judicial proceedings
  15. Deeds from minors or non existent entities
  16. Discovery of later will after probate of first will
  17. Easements by prescription not discovered by a survey
  18. Deeds delivered after death of grantor or grantee or without consent of grantor

Two Types of Title Insurance

Your Lender likely will require that you purchase a Lender's Policy. This policy only insures that the financial institution has a valid, enforceable lien on the property. It does not protect you.

An Owner's Policy on the other hand is designed to protect you from title defects that existed prior to the issue date of your policy. It also covers the full cost of any legal defense of your title.

How Much Does Title Insurance Cost?

The one time premium is directly related to the value of your home. Typically, it is less expensive than your annual auto insurance. It is a one time only expense paid when you purchase your home. Yet it continues to provide complete coverage for as long as you or your heirs own the property.

What is a Re-issue Credit?

Re-issue credit is a discount offered to parties that can prove that a prior title insurance policy existed on the real estate being insured. Because it was previously insured there is less risk ti the insurance company and a lower rate applies. This credit could save you a substantial amount on the cost of title insurance.

How Can I Get a Re-issue Credit?

In order to receive a re-issue credit for title insurance, a copy of the prior title policy issued in the name of the seller, or borrower on a refinance transaction, must be submitted and one of the following conditions must apply:

a) Policies on real property which is unimproved except for roads, bridges, drainage facilities and utilities where the current owner’s title has been insured prior to the application for a new policy, or

b) Policies issued with an effective date of less than three years after the effective date of the policy insuring the seller or mortgagor in the current transaction, or

c) Loan policies issued on refinancing of property insured by an original owner’s policy which insured the title of the current mortgagor.

When Should I Look Into It?

Call U S Title & Escrow as soon as you and the seller sign the earnest money contract. With a brief summary of the details, our team of title experts will begin a search of the public records and issue a title commitment. Because there are a number of steps we must take to make certain that we know all we can about the title, it is wise to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

Why U.S. Title & Escrow?

Your title insurance policy provides both peace of mind and wonderful financial protection. But that protection is only as strong as the issuing company itself. Our underwriters Old Republic National Title Insurance Company and Chicage Title Insurance Company have been insuring American homes for over a hundred years and weathering every storm, providing complete protection through good times and bad. In fact they both consistently earn the highest ratings in the title industry for financial strength and prudent management.

At U.S. Title & Escrow we also know your neighborhood ... the same way we know title insurance. Contact us today.