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Title Insurance:

What it is and How it Can Help You Save

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What is title insurance and why should I purchase it?

“Title” refers to the legal ownership of a property. When you buy a house, the seller transfers the title to you giving you legal ownership over the house and the land it sits on. 

Title insurance protects you from past problems related to the property—which become your responsibility once you are the owner. Prior title defects, such as a previous owner’s debt, forgeries, liens, and other claims of ownership, could end up costing you money (and may call your ownership of the home into question), even though you weren’t the owner at the time.

There are two types of title insurance policies you can purchase: an owner’s policy and a lender’s policy.

  • Owner’s title insurance protects your equity in the property up to the amount of your purchase price
  • Lender’s title insurance — which is required by most banks and other mortgage lenders — protects the lender up to the amount of the loan they provided

Before a policy is issued, a title search — the process of verifying the seller’s right to sell or transfer property ownership — must take place. This process aims to alert you to any problems with the title that need to be addressed prior to closing

But sometimes even the most thorough title search misses something. As the new property owner, you’ll be responsible for any claims and legal fees if you’re not insured. Title insurance provides you with much-needed protection, security and peace of mind. 

You’re in control when you choose titlegenius by Radian. With easy-to-use tools—from remote check capture to online notarization—titlegenius streamlines your homebuying experience and gets you through the closing process quickly and confidently.

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Can I shop around for title insurance?

Yes! Your real estate agent might recommend a provider, but it is ultimately your decision. It’s your right to shop around for the best fit.

It’s best to start shopping for title insurance early in the process of buying or selling a home. Some title insurance providers won’t be able to take you on as a client if your expected closing date is too soon.

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What will title insurance protect me from exactly?

Before you purchased your home, it may have gone through several ownership changes – and the land it's built on went through many more. Someone along the way may have forged a signature in transferring title or not paid real estate taxes.

Title insurance protects you from having to deal with those issues and others like them. Some common examples of problems covered by title insurance include:

  • Undisclosed liens
  • Fraud
  • Undisclosed easements
  • Possible lawsuits

If a claim is made against the owner or lender, the title insurance company protects the insured by:

  1. Defending the title, in court if necessary, at no cost to the owner or lender.
  2. Bearing the cost of settling the case, if the claim is valid and covered under the policy, in order to protect your title and maintain possession of the property 

Titlegenius by Radian provides an unprecedented level of transparency into the title purchasing and closing process. Our easy-to-access digital platform provides real-time updates to ensure that both you and your real estate agent always know where you stand during the closing process. With titlegenius, you can navigate a typically stressful experience with confidence.

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Why do I need title insurance if a title search found no issues?

A title search involves researching public records and legal documents for any events that could affect property ownership, such as:

  • Deaths
  • Divorces 
  • Court judgments
  • Liens
  • Taxes
  • Wills

But it’s not a perfect process. For example, a title search will not uncover that a valid deed was indexed improperly in the land records. 

Many banks and other mortgage lenders require that you get lender’s title insurance, even if the title search reveals no issues. The most thorough title search can still miss things, and that’s where title insurance — and titlegenius by Radian — can help.

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Who pays for title insurance?
It depends. Local regulations dictate whether the buyer or seller pays for title insurance, but sometimes sellers and buyers negotiate who will pay the title insurance premium as well as other closing costs. If you’re unsure, contact us and an experienced Radian representative will walk you through the process. 
Do I have to purchase title insurance?
If you’re paying cash for a home, you aren’t required to purchase an owner’s title insurance policy, but it is recommended because it helps protect your equity in the property. 

If you’re getting a loan or a mortgage, a vast majority of banks and other mortgage lenders require that you get lender’s title insurance equal to the loan amount. But that only protects the lender’s stake in the property — not your investment. 

Title insurance is purchased with a one-time premium payment paid at closing, so there are no monthly bills to worry about.

Buying both owner’s and lender’s title insurance is recommended. Doing so can save time and money if any problems with your title crop up after closing.
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Everything you need to know about Title
Difference between owner's and lender's title insurance: image
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