Trish & Cheryl Niagara on the Lake RealtyNiagara-on-the-Lake Realty

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Title Insurance – What is it and do you need it?


Today Lawyers are strongly suggesting you buy title insurance, do you not own your home, and did you not just pay for it? Can you not sell the home when you want to? If you have homeowner title insurance then yes you can. 

There are 2 types of title insurance, lender and owner.  Lender insurance protects the lender against losses that might occur because of unknown title problems and guarantees the lender (company/institution) holding the properties primary lien. Most lenders insist on it.


 A homeowner title insurance policy insures the home you bought is indeed yours. It also protects you from personal loss should challenges to your legal ownership arise from the time before purchase. The lender’s policy offers you no such coverage. By the time an owner policy is issued, the title agent/lawyer has searched public records to discover and address any liens, claims, easements or restrictions on the property. He or she has looked for issues such as: Delinquent tax payments Heirs of previous owners who could assert a claim. Unsatisfied liens stemming from a legal judgment awarded to an individual, business or homeowners association, a lack of legal physical access to the property, such as from a public roadway.

What if there’s trouble in the future? After any problems are resolved, a policy is issued. Granted, a hidden title “defect” can escape even the most diligent research. Heirs may have been undisclosed or missing. A signature was forged. Someone along the line made a simple human error. Barring exclusions or exceptions detailed in the policy, you can file a claim to have the underwriting title insurer step in to resolve the issue. In fact, the title insurer may take the matter all the way to court. Your protection extends up to the coverage amount specified by the policy. That amount is most often the market value of the home at the time of purchase. A homebuyer pays for owner title insurance once, generally as an itemized expense at closing. However, the protection it offers lasts as long as you own the property. 

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