Questions About Title Insurance

Central Florida residents often times have many questions about title insurance. We’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the most common questions people have regarding title insurance and the title process.

Q1: What is a title?

A title is the foundation of property ownership. It is the owner’s right to possess and use the property.


 

Q2: Why is transferring the title to real estate different from transferring the title to other items, such as a car?

Because land is permanent and can have many owners over the years, various rights in land may have been acquired by others (such as mineral, air, or utility rights) by the time you come into possession of it, even if the land has never before been built upon. In order to transfer a clear title to a piece of land, it is first necessary to determine whether any rights are outstanding.


 

Q3: What is a title search?

A title search is a detailed examination of the historical records pertaining to a piece of property. These records include deeds, court records, property and name indexes, and many other documents. The purpose of a title search is to verify the seller’s right to transfer ownership, and to discover any claims, defects and other rights or burdens on the property.


 

Q4: What kind of problems can a title search reveal?

A title search can show a number of title defects and liens, as well as other encumbrances and restrictions. Among these are unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments against the seller and restrictions limiting the use of the land.


 

Q5: Are there any problems that a title search cannot reveal?

Yes, there are some “hidden hazards” that even the most diligent title search may never reveal. For instance, the previous owner could have incorrectly stated his marital status, resulting in a possible claim by his legal spouse. Other “hidden hazards’ include fraud and forgery, defective deeds, mental incompetence, confusion due to similar or identical names or clerical errors in the records. These defects can arise after you’ve purchased your home and can jeopardize your right to ownership.


 

Q6: How does title insurance protect me?

The title insurer will, at no expense to you, defend against the following possible attacks to your right of ownership:

  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Loss because of impersonation
  • Indexing or filing errors in the clerk’s office
  • Guardianship and probate issues arising from heirs/devisee’s of former owners
  • Boundary disputes (Surveyor’s errors)
  • Title Examiners’ oversights

 

Q7: What is Real Estate Title Insurance?

Real Estate Title Insurance is your policy of protection against loss if any problems results in a claim against your right to ownership – even a “hidden hazard”.


 

Q8: How long does my coverage last?

Premiums for most other forms of insurance are recurring and must be paid for periodically. Title insurance has only ONE premium, paid at the time of settlement. That single premium will protect you for as long as you or your heirs retain an interest in the property and, in some cases, even beyond.


 

Q9: What are the costs involved?

Charges vary in different sections of the country, but generally the cost of title insurance (including the search, examination and related services) amounts to about one percent (1%), or less, of the cost of the property.


 

Q10: What do i need prior to a closing?

  • Comply with all lender requirements for approval of your mortgage.
  • Determine your homeowner’s (hazard and fire) insurance needs
    – Confirm loss payee clause with lender
    – Contact your insurance agent to determine coverage needed
    – Secure an original insurance certificate and a one year paid receipt
    – Call your closing coordinator with premium amount and insurance Agents name and phone number
  • Contact utility and cable companies
  • Contact your closing coordinator for special arrangements if all parties cannot be present at closing

 

Q11: What do i need to bring to my closing at The Title Bridge?

  • Certified or Cashier’s check payable to The Title Bridge, LLC. for The amount due at closing (contact your closing coordinator if you wish to wire your closing amount to our escrow account)
  • Photo identification (driver’s license or passport)
    – For notary purposes
  • Social Security number(s)
  • Closing conditions and any special documentation required by your lender

 

Q12: What do i need to bring to my closing at The Title Bridge?

  • Escrow officer will collect all your lender requirements
  • Final settlement statement will be reviewed and signed
  • Closing documents will be reviewed, signed and notarized
  • Information on homestead exemption will be provided
  • Funds are collected and disbursed
  • Keys, garage door opener(s) and other property information will be exchanged

 

Q13: What are some of the risks The Title Bridge, LLC. helps cover when they issue a title?

  • Claims by someone who has a hidden interest in your property
  • Documents which are not prepared, signed, acknowledged, delivered or recorded properly
  • Forgery, fraud, duress, incompetence, incapacity or impersonation
  • Unmarketable title, which allows someone else to refuse to perform on a contract to purchase, lease or make a mortgage loan
  • Liens recorded against the property during previous ownership