Title Insurance

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance for property owners, called an Owner’s Policy, is usually issued in the amount of the real estate purchase. It is purchased for a one-time fee at closing and is valid for as long as the owner or his heirs have an interest in the property. Only an Owner’s Policy fully protects the buyer should a covered title problem arise with the title that was not found during the title search. Possible hidden title problems can include:

  • Errors or omissions in deeds
  • Mistakes in examining records
  • Forgery
  • Undisclosed heirs

Title insurance for mortgage lenders title insurance is called a Loan Policy. Most lenders require a Loan Policy when they issue a mortgage loan. The Loan Policy is usually based on the dollar amount of the loan and it protects the lender’s interests in the property should a problem with the title arise. It does not protect the buyer. The policy amount decreases each year and eventually disappears as the loan is paid off.

The title industry is an important part of every American's life. It may seem like a grandiose claim, but the work we do benefits not only each individual policyholder, but the nation as a whole. And yet, many people are unfamiliar with what title insurance is, what it does for them and the benefits of having a healthy title industry. So we’d like to offer a quick glimpse into what we do for our customers day in and day out at Stewart and the benefits all Americans receive from the work done by the title industry. 

We protect policyholders from the unknown.

More than likely, your home is your biggest investment, and we protect your interest in that investment. Title insurance protects real estate owners and lenders against any property loss or damage they might experience because of liens, encumbrances or defects in the title to the property. Each title insurance policy is subject to specific terms, conditions and exclusions. While other types of insurance (such as flood, auto or homeowners insurance) provide coverage that focuses on possible future events, title insurance protects against loss from hazards and defects already existing in the title to a property. Some examples of such defects might be improperly executed documents from a previous sale of a lien against a previous owner. 

Over half of all real estate transactions have a problem somewhere in the chain of title. We find these issues and assist in taking corrective action to enable the transactions to go through and allow our customers to have peace of mind about their new home purchase. 

Title insurance provides valuable protection at a good value.

Another difference between other types of insurance and title insurance is in how the policies are paid for. Title insurance is purchased with a one-time premium and provides coverage for as long as the policyholder or their heirs own the property. This is unlike the annual or monthly premiums you must pay for other insurance types.

Examine the cost of title insurance over the life of the policy versus other types of insurance and you'll find that policyholders receive a great value for the money they spend.

If a homeowner were to pay the national average cost of a title insurance policy and live in their home for just five years, the annual average cost of the title insurance policy would be less than $200 a year.

By comparison, the national average cost of a homeowner’s insurance policy is over $700 per year. 

The title industry provides benefits to the entire country, not just our policyholders.

Beyond the security and peace of mind we provide to our customers, the title industry helps to improve the transaction process in ways that benefit all of the transaction parties and the country as a whole.

  • We save consumers $10 billion annually in interest costs through timely closings, putting those dollars to work in the hands of the American homeowner
  • By expediting the closing process, we save consumers and the real estate industry
    $1 billion a day
  • We provide educational materials concerning the real estate process that empower consumers and help improve their transaction experience
  • We help collect $1.75 billion in delinquent federal taxes annually, lessening the tax burden for everyone
  • We help collect $325 million in past due child support annually, enabling children to be properly cared for