When you buy a home, you are given a title to the property, which generally means you receive full legal ownership. Sometimes, there is a hidden mistake in a prior deed, will, mortgage, etc., that may give someone else a valid legal claim against your property!
For new homebuyers, title insurance protects against loss if a covered defect is found in the title to your home. It offers you information on the status of the title to land before you buy or refinance and protects against title claims that may affect the title after you buy.
Having title insurance can save you money, time, trouble, even your home!
HOW DOES TITLE INSURANCE WORK?
According to the American Land Title Association, title companies find and fix problems with the title in 25% of transactions - usually without the borrower or lender even knowing it! In addition, title companies pay millions of dollars each year in claims. Title insurance provides significant value to lenders and homeowners.
Before closing, ATC Title searches the public records for all matters affecting title. The search entails examining the records in the offices of the Register of Deeds, Clerk of Courts, and other municipal and county officials. These records include recorded documents, judgments, liens, taxes, street easements, sewer assessments, special taxes and other matters that could affect property ownership.
Through careful examination of these records, we determine who owns the property and what interests may already exist in that property. This process, called a title search, provides early warnings of title flaws that must be dealt with before the property can be sold or refinanced.
In those transactions where title insurance is involved, the title company must determine insurability of the title as part of the search process. This leads to the issuance of a title policy, which insures the existence or non-existence of rights to the property.
The title insurance company will, at its own expense, defend the title and will pay losses within the coverage of the policy if they occur.