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A title to real property is the record of ownership. In a real estate transaction, a title company completes an extensive search to show items that have occurred within the chain of title that would have an adverse effect on ownership or marketability of the property itself. Title Insurance protects owners and lenders against a loss they might experience due to defects in title that have occurred prior to their ownership or interest. This could include liens or encumbrances, prior fraud or forgery, and errors in public records, and a variety of other adverse issues.
Two types of Title Insurance Policies are generally issued during a purchase transaction:
Owner’s Title Insurance
This provides coverage directly to the insured owner listed in the policy and describes the type of real property interest owned along with any outstanding interests. The one-time premium is collected at closing and the coverage lasts as long as the owner or their heirs are vested in title of the subject property.
Lender’s Title Insurance
A loan policy protects the Lender’s interest in the defined property. This is also a one-time premium that is collected at closing. The loan policy term limits are for the lifetime of the recorded loan. Once the loan is paid off, the lender no longer has an interest in the property and therefore no longer requires coverage.