Innovation is all around us. It seems like every day, new products and platforms are being developed to change the way we look at virtually every process of our lives. One area where we are seeing rapid transformation is in real estate. Over the last few years, we have reimagined how we find properties, obtain financing, get to the closing table and even move into our new property. When it comes to title insurance, all these new innovative factors will affect how a property is insured in 2020 and beyond.
What exactly is title insurance? As a lifelong title insurance professional, I have heard this question more than any other in my life. Being the third generation of my family in the title insurance business, I was born into a world of deeds, mortgages, title commitments, liens and closings. When I say I have heard this question my whole life, I truly mean my whole life.
Title insurance is a unique form of insurance that protects what in most cases is the largest monetary investment you will ever make in your lifetime: your real estate. Whether you are a homeowner, a small investor or a large commercial landlord, obtaining a title insurance policy when you purchase your property can give you peace of mind that your investment is safe and that if there is a problem, you will not be on your own to fight it.
On average across the nation, title insurance costs roughly 0.5% to 1% of the purchase price when you get a policy protecting you as well as your lender (which is customarily required by the bank). On a $300,000 purchase, that only equates to $3,000 for a policy that will protect you as long as you own the property and your lender as long as they hold the mortgage.
Title insurance is unlike other insurance products such as homeowners, medical or auto insurance. It is a one-time payment as opposed to monthly or annually. It does not protect you from future incidents, but rather from what has already happened in the past. By researching the history of the property and the people selling it to you, the title insurance company knows and corrects any issues that could possibly come up in the future based upon these past events.