What is Title Insurance?

What is title insurance?
Title insurance provides protection from "hidden risk", due to unforeseen claims that may be asserted to your property. The policy provides protection from financial loss and payment of all legal cost to defend title claims.

Why do I need title insurance?
Even though a title search may be extensive and exacting, it is limited to public records, so the possibility of "hidden risk" remains. This is where Homeland's expertise comes in. Records may not reflect claims of missing heirs, false impersonations, forgeries, improperly probated wills or clerical errors in recording legal documents, so without title insurance your investment is at risk. But the risks don't stop there. Confusion due to similar or identical names, deeds executed under expired or false powers of attorney, unsatisfied claims not shown in the records and mistaken interpretation of wills and trusts are just a few of the hidden risks that make the purchase of title insurance and a thorough title search a most prudent one-time investment.

Do title companies charge different rates for title insurance?
Title insurance rates are set and regulated by the State of Virginia, Bureau of Insurance. You only pay the premium once. The cost depends upon the purchase price of the property (owner's policy), and the loan amount (lender's policy). Quotes available upon request.

What types of policies are available to me as a homeowner?
There are two types of title insurance policies that you need to be aware of:

1) Owner's Title Insurance Policy

2) Enhanced Owner's Title Insurance Policy

How does title insurance differ from other types of insurance?
Title insurance is different from other types of insurance in that it protects you, the insured, from loss that may occur from matters or defects from the past. Other types of insurance such as auto insurance, life insurance or health insurance, cover you against losses that may occur in the future. Title insurance does not protect against a defect that may originate at a later date.

What are the risks?
There are numerous defects or problems that can arise to cause an attack or loss of the title to your property. Some of these include problems not disclosed by the most careful search of the public records (the title search). Hidden risks can cause a total loss of your investment or heavy legal expenses in the defense of a claim.

Some title problems may show up months or years after the original purchase of the property. The following are examples of some of the matters that can cause loss of title or an expensive lawsuit:

- Forged deeds, releases, wills or other legal documents
- Failure of spouses to join in conveyances
- Undisclosed or missing heirs
- Deeds from minors, aliens or persons of unsound mind
- Errors in indexing of public records
- Liens for unpaid taxes including estate, inheritance, income or gift taxes
- Erroneous reports furnished by tax officials
- Mistakes in recording legal documents
- Deeds from defunct corporations
- Unprobated wills

How does title insurance protect against these hidden risks and defects?
Title insurance defends you in a lawsuit attacking your title and either corrects the title problem or pays the insured's losses up to the face amount of the policy. The policy also protects you after you sell the property, for defects occurring prior to your ownership that cause a loss to a purchaser if the title was warranted by you.

The title policy guarantees that at the date the deed was conveyed in the name of the insured, the title was free of defects apart from those "excepted to" in the policy.

How do I obtain title insurance?
It's easy!, Contact HomeLand Title & Escrow. This is only an introduction to title insurance. The exact terms and conditions of coverage are provided in your policy.

Who's Covered?
Lender's Policy - a Lender's Policy only covers the lender in the amount borrowed. Lender's insurance is required by the mortgage company.

Owner's Policy - an Owner's Policy insures the purchaser for as long as they or their heirs have an interest in the property. Title policies are normally issued in the amount of the purchase price.

Enhanced Owner's Policy - by choosing an Enhanced Owner's Policy, you are protecting your home and land for the future. Ask your Settlement agent about all of the benefits of the Enhanced Policy.

Why do you need and owner's policy?

Title insurance defends your investment against claims on your property. Under this policy, your insurance will pay for the defense of your property, as well as pay valid claims against title. Your insurance coverage extends to those hidden hazzards that cannot be detected by a thorough title search. Some defects will emerge during the purchase of the property, while others might not make themselves known until long afterward.

What is Escrow?
Escrow is the holding of assests by a third party until certain conditions are met. In real estate, an escrow company holds the seller's deed and the purchaser's money until all terms of the sale are completed.

However, HomeLand Title & Escrow does much more than simply hold the deed and purchase money. Our reponsibilities include making certain the title is insurable, as well as recording the deed and other necessary documents with the courts. We will also pay various Settlement expenses such as the agent's sales commission, appraisal fee, transfer fee, and the seller's mortgage balance, as well as other tasks.

Why do I need and Enhanced Policy?
By investing in the Enhanced Homeowners Policy, you not only protect your property up to the time of purchase, but also insuring your investment for the future...

Some of the benefits included in the enhanced policy are:

- Inability to use land for single family dwelling because of a violation of a zoning ordinance or restriction.
- Post policy automatic increase in value up to 150%
- Forced removal of a structure which violates an existing zoning law
- Restrictive covenants violations and Covenant violation resulting in reversion
- Unrecorded easements
- Forced removal of a structure which encroaches onton another property or an easement

If you have questions or would like to make an appointment, please call us at 804-935-0043.

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