Looking for your title insurance? Here’s where to find it
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Buying a house is so much more than collecting your new keys after signing the closing documents. To start, there’s a mortgage and escrow to deal with, not to mention making sure the electricity is up to code, the gas is working, and so much more.
But in some ways, that stuff is all bells and whistles if you lose the title to your home. To make sure you retain full legal ownership of a property, you’ll want to invest in title insurance, a policy that protects both the homebuyer (in this case, you!) and the lender (the bank that gave you the mortgage) from any conflicting claims to the property.
There are two types of title insurance policies: lender’s title insurance and owner’s title insurance. These policies protect the lender and the owner if a third party claims to have partial ownership even after you purchased the property.
And while title insurance is a must-have when purchasing your home, it’s also important to hold onto and know how to locate if you ever want to refinance or sell your house at a later date.
Having title insurance protects you as the homeowner, full stop. Coverage kicks in if you face questions about ownership, lawsuits, outstanding property taxes, will complications, illegal encroachment, inappropriate public records, and other property-related disputes. More broadly, title insurance will bring you peace of mind knowing that no one can swoop in and claim ownership of your home.
A clear title is important for any real estate transaction. When you purchase an owner’s title policy, the provider will do a check to see if there are any claims on your property. A title search involves scrutinizing public records that go back at least three decades to identify any property title issues. You wouldn’t want to buy a lemon or find yourself in the middle of an inheritance dispute.
With title insurance, you’ll be able to learn of any underlying complications, including financial encumbrances, liens, back taxes, or title claims that can affect your ownership rights as a future property owner. In case an issue arises with the sales deed at any stage of the real estate sales process, your title insurance will cover legal fees and other payments.
Moreover, this policy will protect you from financial or other damages that occur if someone else makes a claim on your property. If that happens, the owner’s policy will cover any resulting loss and damages from unauthorized signatures on a will, forgery and flawed records, unrecorded easements, lawsuits, and liens.
As we mentioned, you won’t just want a title insurance handy when you buy your property. If you ever decide to sell in the future, you may also need to provide a copy of your title insurance. A real estate agent will want to know that the property is protected before showing your home to potential buyers.
Not sure where to find your title insurance? Don’t worry. There are several ways to request a copy of your title insurance policy.
Your title insurance agency will have a copy of your title policy on file, so they’re a great starting point. Just a heads up: In most cases, you’ll need to verify your identity in order to confirm that you are indeed the homeowner. Which is especially important, since you'll want to protect yourself against home title theft.
Contacting your lender is another way to obtain a copy of your title policy. Your lender will likely be able to find a copy of your title insurance policy within their paperwork (like in the loan policy document). Your lender may also be able to find the name of your title insurance agency if you can’t remember where exactly you purchased your policy.
There should be a copy of your title insurance in the closing statement paperwork, so that’s another good place to look. You’ll need the HUD-1 Settlement Statement or Closing Disclosure to prove your premium payments for title insurance. If you don’t remember the title insurance provider, these documents might help you determine the name of the title agency and figure out who to contact for more information.
Can’t keep track of all your pesky paperwork? Consider organizing your title insurance with Marble, where you can save your policy to your digital wallet. Sign up for a Marble account today!