Title insurance is an important part of the way we purchase real estate – our homes, investment property, and business property. And yet, many people are unfamiliar with what title insurance is, what it does for them and the benefits of having a title insurance policy. So we’d like to offer a quick glimpse into what we do for our customers day in and day out in partnership with our title insurance underwriters.
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. Title insurance rates are highly regulated in Florida and have not been increased in many years.
By comparison, the national average cost of a homeowner’s insurance policy is over $700 dollars per year (and rising).
What to look for when buying title insurance – purchase or refinance
All title agents in the United States issue the same standard title insurance policy created by the American Land Title Association. More important than the language of the title policy are the following qualities that you should be looking for in the title agency:
- Security and peace of mind that your file is being handled by real estate professionals including knowledgeable real estate attorneys such as we have at SafeKey Title & Closings.
- Protection that your title examination, lien search, and closing documents are being reviewed by knowledgeable real estate attorneys such as we have at SafeKey Title & Closings.
- Confidence that your title agent is vigilant that your transaction is compliant with all laws, lender instructions, and other requirements so that no one can later accuse you of real estate fraud.
- Comfort that we at SafeKey are expediting the closing process to get you to the closing table as fast as possible without sacrificing your security or your pocketbook.
- Knowledge that your file is being handled by a title agent that consistently receives referrals from real estate agents solely because they know that SafeKey will protect and keep their clients happy – thereby guaranteeing them repeat and referral business.
- Reliance that our professional staff and attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience in the title industry and constantly keep up with the changes required by the new real estate realities.
- Pride that your closing attorneys at SafeKey Title and Closings have been regularly instructing real estate agents in real estate law and practices for over 10 years.
- Freedom to know that our competitive fees are available for quotation from the beginning of the transaction – never a hidden or surprise fee. Title Insurance and Closing Fee are all we charge.. NO FEES FOR COPIES, WIRES, FAXES, NOTARIES, OUTSIDE CLOSERS, COURIERS, ETC.
- Satisfaction knowing that SafeKey Title is fully compliant with RESPA* and all state law and federal laws regarding title insurance and closings – NEVER A KICKBACK for referral of business. We earn our business.
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.
The following matters are examples of why you need a title insurance policy. Remember that the best title examination or search cannot protect your equity and home from matters not appearing in the public records. However, a title insurance policy* issued by SafeKey Title & Closings LLC through one of its national underwriters can protect you from:
- Documents executed under false, revoked or expired powers of attorney
- False impersonation of the true land owner
- Undisclosed heirs
- Improperly recorded legal documents
- Prescriptive rights in another not appearing of record and not disclosed by survey
- Failure to include necessary parties to certain judicial proceedings
- Defective acknowledgements due to improper or expired notarization
- Corporate franchise taxes as liens on corporate real estate assets
- Gaps in the chain of title
- Mistakes and omissions resulting in improper abstracting
- Forged deeds, mortgages, wills, releases of mortgages and other instruments
- Deeds by minors
- Deeds which appear absolute, but which are held to be equitable mortgages
- Conveyances by an heir, devisee or survivor of a joint estate who attempts to attain title by ill-gotten means
- Inadequate legal descriptions
- Conveyances by undisclosed divorced spouses
- Duress in execution of wills, deeds and instruments conveying or establishing title
- Issues involving delivery of conveyancing instruments
- Deeds and wills by persons lacking legal capacity
- State inheritance and gift tax liens
- Errors in tax records
- Demolition and substandard building liens
- Administration of estates and probate of wills of missing persons who are presumed deceased
- Issues of rightful possession of the land
- Issues concerning the rightful conveyances by corporate entities
- Deeds and mortgages by foreigners who may lack legal capacity to hold title
- Legal capacity of foreign personal representatives and trustees
- Issues involving improper marital status
- Improper modification of documents
- Rights of divorced parties
- Conveyances in violation of public policy
- Misinterpretation of wills and ancillary instruments
- Deeds by persons falsely representing their marital status
- Claims by creditors of decedent against property improperly conveyed by heirs and devisees
- Issues concerning unlawful takings by eminent domain or condemnation
- Special tax assessments
- Real estate homestead exceptions
- Forfeitures of real property due to criminal acts
- Issues concerning adoption of children
- Conveyances and proceedings affecting rights of military personnel protected by the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act
- Issues concerning interests noted in financial statements filed under Uniform Commercial Code
- Interests arising by deeds of fictitious parties
- Adverse possession
- Lack of jurisdiction or competency of persons in judicial proceedings
- Community property issues
- Utility easements
- False affidavits of death or heirship
- Intestate estates
- Probate matters
- Federal estate and gift tax liens
*Subject to certain limitations set forth in the policy.
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.
Helping you learn more about title insurance and title services
We’d like to help you learn even more about title insurance and the real estate transaction process. Our attorneys are experienced at and available to present free educational seminars at real estate offices, realtor boards, homebuyer seminars and other venues.
*Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act