Frequently Asked Questions About Title Insurance

What is a title?

A title is the evidence or right that a person has to the ownership and possession of land. It is possible that someone other than the owner has a legal right to the property. If that right can be established, this person can claim the property outright or make demands on the owner as to its use.

Do I need Title Insurance?

Most definitely! Title insurance is a means of protecting yourself from financial loss in the event that problems develop regarding the rights to ownership of your property. There may be hidden title defects that even the most careful title search will not reveal. In addition to protection from financial loss, title insurance pays the cost of defending against any covered claim.

What can make a Title Defective?

Any number of problems that remain undisclosed after even the most meticulous search of public records can make a title defective. These hidden “defects” are dangerous indeed because you may not learn of them for many months or years. Yet they could force you to spend substantial sums on a legal defense and still result in the loss of your property.

But the lender already requires Title Insurance, won’t that protect me?

Not necessarily. There are two types of Title Insurance. Your lender likely will require that you purchase a Lender’s Policy. This policy only insures that the financial institution has a valid, enforceable lien on the property. Most lenders require this type of insurance and which party in the transaction pays for it is negotiable between a seller and a buyer in a property purchase transaction.

An owner’s Policy on the other hand is designed to protect you from title defects that existed prior to the issue date of your policy. Title troubles such as improper estate proceedings or pending legal action could put your equity at serious risk. If a valid claim is filed, in addition to financial loss up to the face amount of the policy, your owner’s title policy covers the full cost of any legal defense of your title.

How much does Title Insurance cost and should I shop around for the best deal?

The one time premium is directly related to the value of your home. It is a one-time only expense, paid when you purchase your home. Yet it continues to provide complete coverage for as long as you or your heirs own the property.

The State of Florida regulates the rates for title insurance. However, transaction fees such as settlement fees, closing fees, wire transfer fees, overnight fees and other types of non-insurance fees are not regulated and are subject to market conditions. Comparing the overall cost of the title insurance policy and all insurer fees should be considered in making a final decision.

Can Southern Cape Title Agency handle the closing?

Absolutely! Whether the transaction is a property purchase or a mortgage loan refinance, Southern Cape is a fully licensed and experienced title agency. We will act as the central clearinghouse for all the parties involved - collecting necessary documents, insuring adherence to the lender’s title instructions, making arrangements for proper payment and distribution of funds. We are fully prepared to work with you from the beginning of your transaction all the way through to conclusion.