You’ve read all about how to stop a lien on your property, which convinced yourself that title insurance is a must. But now you’re wondering how to get title insurance. Where do you buy one? Is it something you must ask your real estate agent?
Well, you can, but he will probably answer what we’re about to answer, as real estate agents do not sell title insurance: whenever you enter the closing process and sign the purchase agreement, your escrow agent will launch the process of getting it (if you want to). The escrow agent or your attorney will choose which of the five major US title insurance companies will underwrite your policy.
How much will it cost to get title insurance? Differently from other types of insurance, with title insurance you typically pay a one-time fee of about $1,000 – but this amount can change from state-to-state. FYI, this fee is typically included in the closing costs, so that’s why the escrow agent is the one who asks you if it should be included. Another thing that will be asked to you is if you want both kinds of title insurance: the owner’s policy and the lender’s policy.
The Lender’s policy is typically required by most lenders in order to secure your mortgage. It’s a type of insurance for them to continue getting their loan amortization should a problem with your title arrive. And the owner’s policy is what most people are referring to when they talk about title insurance: in the event of a title problem, they cover the home buyer’s costs with the problem.
Fun fact: the normal would be, of course, that the home buyer pays for both kinds of title insurances, right? However, there are some states where it’s either negotiable who gets to pay, or the home seller is the one who pays for these insurance fees. The thinking behind it is that the home seller should be the one giving away a clean title, so he’s the one who should be responsible for covering everyone should a problem arise.
So, as you can see, it’s pretty simple to learn how to get title insurance. What’s very important is that you do get one. Just like that old phrase says: better be late than sorry!