Why Title Insurance?
Your property is usually your family’s most valuable asset. Laws protect your ownership of the property and the improvements located you make on the land. You, your family, and your heirs have rights or claims on the property that you are buying. Governmental bodies, contractors, lenders, judgment creditors, the Internal Revenue Service, or various other individuals or corporations may have an interest in or lien upon the property. The property may be sold to you without the knowledge that someone may have a right or claim on the property. If that happens, these rights or claims remain attached to the title to the property that you are buying until they are extinguished.
Title insurance is a unique form of insurance which provides coverage for future claims or future losses due to title defects which are created by some past event (i.e., event prior to the acquisition of the property.) These risks are far less obvious than those protected against by automobile insurance, but can be just as devastating.
A Clear Title
It is of utmost importance that you receive clear title to the property when you purchase real estate. In order to do so, you must first be informed of any existing rights or claims that may, in the future, threaten your title and possession to the property. Title insurance provides you with this twofold protection.
In order to determine the status of title, Imperial Land Title conducts a diligent search of the public records for those documents associated with the property. Imperial Land Title then examines those recorded documents to determine if there are any rights or claims that may have an impact upon the title to the property.
The title search may reveal the existence of recorded defects, liens or encumbrances upon the title such as unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments and tax liens against the current or past owners, easements, restrictions and court actions. These recorded defects, liens and encumbrances are reported to you prior to your purchase of the property. Once reported, these matters can be accepted, resolved or extinguished prior to the closing of the transaction. In addition, you are protected against any recorded defects, liens or encumbrances upon the title that are unreported to you and which are within the coverage of the particular policy issued in the transaction. This is the first benefit you receive from title insurance.
The title to the property that you have purchased could be seriously threatened or lost completely by hazards which are considered “hidden risks.” “Hidden Risks” are those matters, rights or claims that are not shown by the public records and, therefore, are not discoverable by a search and examination of those public records. Matters such as forgery, incompetency or incapacity of the parties, fraudulent impersonation, and unknown errors in the records are examples of “hidden risks” which could provide a basis for a claim after you have purchased the property. In order to protect you against this possibility, Imperial Land Title provides insurance coverage for such claims. This is the second benefit you receive from title insurance.
Title Insurance Policy Protects Against Claims
If a claim is made against your insured title, Imperial Land Title Insurance Company protects you by: (1) Defending your title, in court if necessary, at no cost to you, and (2) Bearing the cost of settling the case, if it proves valid, in order to protect your title and maintain your possession of your property.
Only One Premium
Unlike other forms of insurance, the original premium is your only cost as long as you or your heirs own the property. There are no annual payments to keep your Owner’s Title Insurance Policy in force.