The term title refers to the ownership or interests in land. How does one know if a purported “title” holder is indeed the true owner of said property before purchasing same? The answer to this seemingly simple question is at times a fairly complex one, hence title insurance was born. Although it is rarely prudent to purchase property without acquiring title insurance, no institution will lend (mortgage) money against uninsured property.
Title insurance is like NO OTHER form of insurance product. ALL other forms (car, health, liability, etc.) are insuring against acts taking place in the future, and usually come with ongoing premiums or payments. Title insurance is insuring against acts that took place in the past, is good for ever, and is paid for with a one-time premium.
When a purchaser buys a home and takes out a mortgage (hence requiring title insurance) in order to do so, the following happens; they pay the one time premium for their owners title insurance policy, and they pay $25.00 for the simultaneously issued lenders title insurance policy. This lenders policy insures the lender they are in first position on the home. If this mortgage is “refinanced” in the future, the new lender will make the homeowner buy title insurance on their behalf, which comes with a lessor refinance premium.
All title insurance rates are set by The Department of Insurance and Banking. By law there is no difference in price between one title insurer and another.