Title insurance protects your claim of ownership of your property. When you buy real estate, you count on the paperwork being properly reviewed. You should get a “title opinion” from an attorney but that does not provide you any insurance that the attorney did not make an error or that someone later does not come back and claim an error was made (regardless who is right or wrong.) It is simply the opinion of the attorney you hired.
If you purchase title insurance and someone later questioned your ownership of the property, the title insurance company would be required to some defend your title.
A few things to note:
- Title insurance only covers the period of time before your purchase of the property. It does not cover from the time your purchase and beyond.
- Sometimes “exceptions” can be listed in your title policy. These would be things that were known when the policy was written such as, your driveway or storage building being on the neighbor’s property.
- Title problems are often called “clouds” which mean your ownership is not completely clear – that someone could raise questions about it. Even if your ownership would not be lost, it can be expensive to remove the “cloud” on your title.
Title issues can arise from forgeries, improper paperwork filing at the courthouse, incorrectly completed forms, deaths and bankruptcies, lawsuits between other parties, and many other unknown circumstances.
For more information about title insurance, contact my closing coordinator, Karen Burnette, at FirsTitle, 918-493-2241.