What is Title Insurance?
It's there to protect possibly the most important investment
you'll ever make-the investment in your home.
Preserving The Past,lnsuring The Future
Most kinds of insurance are self-explanatory, Fire insurance protects
against losses from fire. Collision insurance guards against the (ost of a
crunched car. Theft insurance-well. you get the point.
But title insurance? What does it mean to insure your title to real
estate? And what are the risks that make title insurance important?
Chicago Title of Washington has been asked these questions before.
Here's how we answer them.
A Word About Real Estate
Real estate has always been considered man's most valuable
possession. It is so basic a form of wealth that many special laws have
been enacted to protect ownership of land and the buildings which
stand on the land. You should realize whenever you buy property that
the owner who is selling it to you has extremely strong rights as do
family and heirs. Also, there may be others-in addition to the ownerwho
have "rights" in the property you are going to buy. These may be
governmental bodies or contractors or individuals who have perfectly
proper unpaid claims against the property. Anyone who has such a claim
is, in a sense, a part owner. The property may be sold-to you-without
the party who has a claim knowing about the sale. And you may know
nothing about such a claim at the time you buy. It doesn't matter. Such
claims may remain attached to the real estate you have purchased.
Will You Get A Clear Title'?
It is of the greatest importance that you do. But this means that you
must be informed about any of these claims against your land so that
you can make certain they are cleared up before you buy. And it means
that you must be protected against any undiscovered claims that may
arise in the futUre to threaten your title and the possession of your
property. Title insurance provides this two-fold protection.
How Do You Learn What Claims Exist'?
Bya search of the public records. This is the first step we take in order
to insure your title. We keep track ofrecorded documents which might
affect the title to every parcel of land.
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Some things a title search uncovers are any unpaid taxes or mortgages,
judgements against previous owners, easements, court actions and
many other recorded documents which can affect title to real estate. We
find and report such defects in the title to the real estate you wish to
buy, so that these matters can be cleared up. It is the first benefit you
receive when title insurance is ordered.
What If There Is A Defect In The Title Search,?
This can happen. We call them "hidden risks "-the undiscovered claims
which may arise long after you have bought your home. Protection
against loss from claims on real estate which cannot be discovered by
examination of the public records is the second part of the two-fold
benefit which title insurance provides.
The title to the home which you have paid for-and to which you have
received a deed-could be seriously threatened or completely lost by such
circumstances as a forgery, confusion due to similar names, error in the
records-to cite just a few hazards.
How Does A Title Insurance Policy Protect Against All These Dangers'?
If a claim is made against your title as insured, Chicago Title of
Washington protects you by: 1) defending your title, in court if necessary.
completely at our expense; 2) bearing the cost of settling the claim if it
proves valid, in order to protect your title and keep you in possession of
your property.
By Now, Vou Know The Answer To Our Question - What Is Title
It is assurance that possible clouds on the title to the land you are
buying-which can be discovered from the public records-have been
called to your attention so that such defects can be corrected before you
buy. And, it is insurance that, if any undisclosed claim covered by your
policy arises out of the past to threaten your ownership of real estate,
it will be disposed of, oryou will be reimbursed, exactly as your title
insurance policy provides.
Only One Premium
Unlike other forms of insurance, the original premium is your only
cost as long as you or your heirs own the property. There are no annual
payments to keep your Owner's Title Insurance Policy in force.