What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance is, simply put, insurance that protects your title—or ownership—to your property, and it is one of the most important types of insurance available.
It is further separated into the two categories below:
Owner's Title Insurance
This type of insurance protects your right to own your land, free and clear of any other people's claims, as well as someone else's mortgages, liens, or ownership interest. An enhanced policy (which applies if the property you own is your primary residence) also insures you for any work that was done on the property by a prior owner without a building permit.
Another feature of owner's title insurance is that it has no expiration date: the one-time fee covers your entire purchase price for as long as you or your heirs own the property. If a problem arises during this period, the title insurance company will clear the title for you, defend your right to own the property, or compensate you for your full purchase price if the problem cannot be resolved. However the situation plays out, you will have guaranteed peace of mind.
Furthermore, owner's title insurance is the only form of protection available to potential buyers in Massachusetts when it comes to owning real estate. This is due to the fact that sellers are not obligated to provide buyers with any warranties of title, and hazard insurance (homeowner's insurance) only covers the condition of the building itself, not the condition of your title to the property.
Consider very carefully before proceeding without owner's title insurance—the investment it represents has the potential to save you hundreds of thousands of dollars (and many headaches) in the future!
Lender's Title Insurance
This type of insurance is a form of protection for the lender when they place a mortgage on a property. It ensures that the lender is in first lien position, which means that they have the right to be the first one to foreclose on the property. Although all borrowers who take out a mortgage pay for lender's title insurance as part of their closing costs, it offers no protection for prospective homeowners.
For a more in-depth explanation on title insurance, give our office a call at (978) 266-9666. We would be more than happy to discuss its benefits with you and share real-life examples of how title insurance has helped our clients in unexpectedly difficult situations!