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  • NVT&E Team

What is Title Insurance?

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

A man holds a calculator at a home closing

If you are in the process of buying a piece of property, you’ve likely come across the term title insurance. You know that your title company is going to offer you a title insurance policy to purchase at closing, but you are not sure you need it. Does this mean you just disregard it? Shove it aside? Absolutely not.

Take a moment to learn about title insurance and how it can protect you as soon as you take ownership of the property - and for years down the road.

What is Title Insurance?

In its simplest form, title insurance protects both homebuyers and lenders from any title issues that arise after the closing.

As part of the title process, a title search is performed. This is a deep dive into all of the public records that date back to the property’s beginning. Title experts look at the chain of title to confirm that the seller has the authority to sell the property as well as any issues with the title that may need to be addressed before the sale can take place.

Unfortunately, sometimes things get missed and title issues may not arise until after you take ownership of the property. And now that you are the new owner, these issues become your responsibility. Many times this turns into costly legal battles - and can even jeopardize your rights to it.

With title insurance, you are protected against any missed title issues. Should they arise, you can file a claim and feel confident that you are protected.

Most Common Title Issues

There are many different types of title issues, though some appear more frequently than others. A few of the most common title issues include:

  • Unknown heirs

  • Fraudulent or forged documents

  • Judgments

  • Liens

  • Outstanding taxes

  • Encroachments

  • Recording errors

  • Human error

  • Undiscovered wills

  • Easements

Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive. Many different title issues can arise out of nowhere. And this could happen as soon as you take title to the property - or any time in the future.

Types of Title Insurance

There are two main types of title insurance - an owner’s title insurance policy and a lender’s title insurance policy. While both offer protection from title issues, their protection comes in different ways.

An owner’s title insurance policy protects the owner. It is not a mandatory purchase at closing, but it is highly recommended. With one premium payment at closing, you can be protected for as long as you - or your heirs - have an interest in the property.

A lender's title insurance policy is a separate policy that protects the lender, not you. Because they agreed to give you a loan, they now have a vested interest in your property. This policy will protect them should any title defects appear while the mortgage is outstanding. It is not uncommon for this title insurance policy to be a condition of your loan, requiring you to pay the premium at closing.

Each of these title insurance policies applies to both residential and commercial properties.

Title Insurance from NVT&E

The process of purchasing real estate can be confusing, but having title experts from NVT&E can make the process smooth and hassle-free.

To learn more about title insurance, contact us today at one of our convenient locations:

Oakton/Fairfax 703-938-3200

Lake Anna 540-894-4342

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