What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is usually required by the lender to protect against loss resulting from claims by others against your new home. In some states, attorneys offer title insurance as part of their services in examining title and providing a title opinion. In other states, a title insurance company or title agent directly provides the title insurance.

To save money on title insurance, compare rates among various title insurance companies. Under RESPA, the seller may not require you, as a condition of the sale, to purchase title insurance from any particular title company. Generally, your lender will require title insurance from a company that is acceptable, and in most cases you can shop for and choose a company that meets the lenders standards and save significant money on closing fees.

Ask what services and limitations on coverage are provided under each policy so that you can decide whether coverage purchased at a higher rate may be better for your needs. However, in many states, title insurance premium rates are established by the state and may not be negotiable. If you are buying a home that has changed hands within the last several years, ask your title company about a "reissue rate," which would be cheaper. If you are buying a newly constructed home, make certain your title insurance covers claims by contractors. These claims are known as "mechanics liens" in some parts of the country.

A way to compare title insurance quotes to see where you can save money is to look at the Good Faith Estimate. A Good Faith Estimate is (GFE) is not just full of “mandatory” charges by the bank. If you look at a GFE, you will see there are also Title Insurance charges on it. These charges, unlike popular belief, are not mandatory charges. In fact, nearly almost every charge on your GFE are all estimates, hence the name Good Faith Estimate.

Here is a link to what the standard GFE looks like blank: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/ramh/res/gfestimate.pdf.

 

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