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Dan Green

Since 2003, Dan Green has been a leading mortgage lender and respected industry authority. His unwavering commitment to first-time home buyers and home buyer education has established him as a trusted voice among his colleagues, his peers, and the media. Dan founded Homebuyer.com to expand the American Dream of Homeownership to all who want it. .

New Mexico Home - Title Insurance

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What Is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is a form of indemnity insurance that protects lenders and home buyers from financial loss related to defects in a title to a property. Title insurance defends against lawsuits or claims against the property.

A Longer Definition: Title Insurance

Title insurance differs from other types of insurance in that it focuses on risk prevention rather than risk management.

Title insurance safeguards against future losses linked to past events that affect ownership rights to a property.

When you buy title insurance, a title company thoroughly searches public records to trace the property’s ownership history and identify potential legal or financial claims against it.

Unlike other insurance policies requiring ongoing premiums, such as homeowners insurance, title insurance is a one-time closing cost paid at settlement. It comes in two forms: lender’s title insurance, which protects the mortgage lender, and owner’s title insurance, which covers the buyer.

Lender’s title insurance is typically mandatory with a mortgage, whether it’s a conventional mortgage, FHA mortgage, USDA mortgage, or VA mortgage.

Owner’s title insurance, which protects the home buyer from future claims, is optional and recommended.

Title Insurance: A Real World Example

First-Time Home Buyer Stories: Title Insurance

Imagine a scenario where a first-time home buyer purchases a new home.

After a few months, they are notified that a third party is claiming ownership over a portion of their property related to a previously undisclosed easement in the backyard.

Because the buyer purchased an owner’s title insurance policy at closing, the insurance company handles the legal defense and associated costs, protecting the owner from potential financial loss. Without owner’s title insurance, the home buyer would be responsible for the legal costs of defending their ownership rights.

Common Questions About Title Insurance

What Does Title Insurance Cover?

Title insurance generally covers past issues affecting the property’s title, such as fraud, forgery, undisclosed heirs, mistakes in public records, and similar issues. It does not cover future disputes or issues that arise after the purchase date.

How Long Does Title Insurance Last?

Title insurance remains in effect as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property. There are no ongoing premiums after the initial purchase.

Is Title Insurance Mandatory?

Lender’s title insurance is usually required when you take out a mortgage. Owner’s title insurance, while optional, is recommended to protect your investment.

Can You Purchase Title Insurance After Closing?

Title insurance is typically purchased at closing. Purchasing title insurance after closing is rare and might not offer the same level of protection, as any issues discovered post-closing may not be covered.

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       Title insurance is a form of indemnity insurance that protects lenders and home buyers from financial loss related to defects in a title to a property. Title insurance defends against lawsuits or claims against the property.

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