Title Insurance: As a homebuyer, the term is probably familiar - but is it understood? What is your dollar actually paying for when you purchase a title policy?
Title Insurers, unlike property or casualty insurance companies, operate under the theory of risk elimination. Title companies spend a high percentage of their operating income each year collecting, storing, maintaining and analyzing official records for information that affects title to real property. Their technical experts are trained to identify the rights others may have in your property, such as recorded liens, legal actions, disputed interests, rights of way or other encumbrances on your title. Before closing your transaction, the title company will proceed to clear those encumbrances which you do not wish to assume.
This theory is different from that of most other insurance where, for example, rates and anticipated losses are based on actuarial studies and premiums are pooled on the assumption that a certain number of claims will be made. The distinction is important: title insurance premiums are paid to identify and eliminate potential risks and claims before they happen. Medical and casualty insurance premiums, for example, are paid to insure against an unpredictable future event, knowing that risks exist and claims will occur. Furthermore, title insurance involves a one-time premium, paid when you close the real estate transaction, while property, casualty and medical insurance require regular renewal premiums.
The goal of title companies is to conduct such a thorough search and evaluation of public records that no claims will ever arise. Of course, this is impossible -- we live in an imperfect world, where human error and changing legal interpretations make 100% risk elimination impossible. When claims arise, professional claims personnel are assigned to handle them according to the terms of the title insurance policy.
As in all competitive business environments, rates vary from company to company, so you should make comparisons before deciding on a particular title company. Your real estate professional can help you do this. In addition, there are many helpful customer services provided by title companies which you and your real estate professional may find helpful to your transaction.
The issuance of a title insurance policy is highly labor-intensive. It is based upon the maintenance of a title plant, or library of title records, in many cases dating back over a hundred years. Each day, recorded documents affecting real property and property owners are posted to these title plants so that when a title search on a particular parcel is requested, the information is already organized for rapid and accurate retrieval. This investment in skilled personnel and advanced data processing represents a major part of the title insurance premium dollar.
Article by CLTABack to Table of Contents
Already registered? Login
FREE AUTOMATED EMAIL UPDATES
Sign in to take advantage of all this site has to offer. Save your favorite listings and searches – also receive email updates when listings you like come on the market for free!
*Contact Information NOT Shared*
The data relating to real estate for sale/lease on this web site come in part from a cooperative data exchange program of the multiple listing service (MLS) in which this real estate firm HouseMax Pro Realty participates. The properties displayed may not be all of the properties in the MLS\'s database, or all of the properties listed with Brokers participating in the cooperative data exchange program. Properties listed by Brokers other than this Broker are marked with either the listing Broker\'s logo or name or the MLS name or a logo provided by the MLS. Detailed information about such properties includes the name of the listing Brokers. Information provided is thought to be reliable but is not guaranteed to be accurate; you are advised to verify facts that are important to you. No warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the data herein, or for their use or interpretation by the user. The Florida Association of Realtors and its cooperating MLSs do not create, control or review the property data displayed herein and take no responsibility for the content of such records. Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin in the sale, rental or financing of housing. © Space Coast Association Of REALTORS® 2019. Information last updated on 2019-03-26.