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What is title insurance?

Title Insurance is important enough that your lender will require you to purchase a lender's title insurance policy to protect their interest in the property. We are used to thinking of insurance as protection for something that might happen in the future. Title insurance is different. It is an insurance policy for actions or events that may have already occurred and some that may happen in the future that might threaten the title to your property.

Here are some of the most common risks to your title:

  • Mistakes in public records
  • Previously undisclosed heirs claiming ownership
  • Forged deeds
  • Outstanding judgments or tax liens
  • Unfortunately, a defect in your title can have devastating effects if you are not properly insured. With escalating house and land values, the loss of property can bring a family to ruin. Consequently, both buyers and sellers should insist on the stability and reliability they receive through coverage by Great American Title.

    It will never happen to me

    The American Land Title Association (ALTA) warns that an estimated 40 percent of U.S. homeowners (almost 50 million homes) may not be protected against a challenge to the title to their homes. As a homeowner, you could face large legal fees or even the risk of losing your home if there is a problem with the title to your property.

    How does title insurance work?

    Title Insurance ensures the safe and efficient transfer of real estate. Before you go to closing, your attorney will have all recorded public documents searched to see if there are any encumbrances that might prevent the free and clear transfer of title. Even a new home is at risk because the land passed through other owners before you purchased it. A recent ALTA survey revealed that title problems arise in one out of every four real estate transactions. Fortunately, most of these problems can be resolved before closing.

    Is it expensive?

    The cost of title insurance pays primarily for the labor intensive process of searching public records. It is a one-time fee and is generally less than 1.5 percent of the mortgage amount. Great American Title offers standard coverage policies that average $3.90 for every $1,000 of owner's protection, and enhanced policies for an additional 20 percent. Furthermore, if the property you are purchasing has been previously insured through one of our companies, you may be entitled to receive a substantially discounted fee called a reissue rate. Please inquire to the Great American Title Manager to see if you are eligible for a reissue rate.



    Questions or Comments? Please contact Vicki Darden at vdarden@greatamericantitleva.com