Ensuring that your home is as fully protected as possible is one of the most daunting parts of being a homeowner. While you may immediately think of homeowner’s insurance and even mortgage insurance as the types of investments that you make to keep your purchase secure, many people tend to forget about title insurance. If you remember something about title insurance during closing but are not sure if you actually have a title insurance policy for your property, there are a few ways to know.
Did You Purchase Title Insurance?
One of the simplest ways to check whether you have title insurance on your property is to go back and look to see if you purchased it. Unlike most other types of insurance that you pay for via a premium that is deducted monthly, title insurance is paid upfront at closing in one lump sum. However, do not be confused here; you likely did purchase a type of title insurance called a lender’s policy.
This does not cover you, but instead, it covers the lender who provides your mortgage. Most mortgage lenders require that the homeowner cover the cost of the lender’s title insurance policy so that their investment in your home is secure against unexpected expenses. The lender’s policy will do nothing to protect you from financial loss if an issue occurs, so you will need to buy your own title insurance in order to benefit.
Did A Family Member Already Have Title Insurance?
In many circumstances, family members who have previously lived in the house may have a title insurance policy that also covers heirs and dependents. While the specifics of the title insurance may vary—and you may or may not qualify for this protection depending upon a variety of factors, such as how you acquired the home—it is worth checking whether any family members have previously secured a title insurance policy on the property.
If so, you may be able to benefit. However, be aware that title insurance cannot typically be transferred from person to person; if a family member did have a policy, this does not mean that you do as well, only that you are covered under its protection in certain circumstances. It is still best to acquire your own individual policy.
Did You Receive The Property In A Will?
The one exception to the transfer of title insurance is the process of property inheritance. If you have inherited property as part of a will, any former title insurance policy that was in effect can continue to protect you as long as you correctly navigate the process. You should still secure your own title insurance policy, but it is important to talk to the executor of the estate as well as a title insurance professional to ensure that all the necessary processes are complete. A property that is transferred or gifted to you rather than acquired via inheritance is not eligible for this exception.
How To Check If Your Property Has Title Insurance
In general, the best way to find out if you have title insurance on your property is simply to look and see if you purchased it as part of your closing documents. However, sometimes, the process may not be so simple, such as if the house has already been in the family for some time. Your real estate agent or the office that was responsible for closing on the home when you became the homeowner can look to see if you have a title insurance policy effective on the estate.
There is no harm in asking for them to check since it is important for you to acquire your own policy in the event that you do not have one after all. Closing on a home is a chaotic time, and it can be difficult to remember whether you included a one-time payment for title insurance among the myriad other costs and considerations that you had to think about during that time.
Trust The Experts To Help You Understand The Ins And Outs Of Title Insurance
Whether you are looking for help understanding how title insurance policies can work for you or you would like to proceed further and secure a policy suited to your needs, do not hesitate to ask any questions that you may have to the experts. The professionals at Mathis Title Company would be happy to help you navigate the ins and outs of title insurance so that you can make an informed decision. Reach out to learn more or to schedule an appointment.