Title search and examination is the first step.
Insuring a home’s title begins with a search of public land records affecting the property. The title agent or attorney working on behalf of the underwriter examines pertinent documents to determine whether the property is insurable. Those documents include deeds, wills, trusts, outstanding mortgages and judgments, property liens, highway or utility line easements, pending legal actions and notary acknowledgements.
When title problems are disclosed during the search process, they are corrected whenever possible to avoid future claims. According to surveys done by the American Land Title Association (ALTA), title problems consistently arise in one out of three real estate transactions (36%).
A corrective process is vital to curing title problems.
The process of performing title searches and curing title problems does not come cheap. Industry studies find that title insurers spend an average of 92 cents out of every premium dollar as their cost of doing business.
Why do lenders need It?
Lenders require the homeowner to purchase lender’s insurance, just as they call for fire insurance and other types of coverage to protect their financial investment in the property. A lender’s policy insures that the mortgage is valid and the lien priority is correct. In addition,lender’s insurance is required for lenders who package and sell their loans in the secondary mortgage market.
For the homeowner to be covered, he or she must purchase an owner’s policy in addition to the required lender or mortgagee policy.
A separate owner’s policy is the best policy.
Owner’s title insurance lasts as long as the policyholder or his or her heirs have an interest in the property -maybe even after the homeowner has sold the property. It is either purchased for an additional premium or an owner may pay a simultaneous issue charge (usually a smaller amount) for both lender’s and owner’s coverage.