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What is Title Insurance?

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When a property is bought, financed or sold, a record of that transaction is generally filed in the public records. Likewise, records of other events that may affect the ownership of a property, such as liens or levies, are also recorded.

Title insurance is a type of insurance that covers potential damages from errors in public ownership records of your property.

Typically, title insurance is purchased when a property is financed. A title insurance policy covers either the property owner or mortgage lender, but you’ll usually need to pay for both types as part of your real estate closing costs.

Title insurance will protect you if someone tries to claim ownership of your property or seeks payment from an unpaid lien. The title insurer will be responsible for fighting that battle for you and paying any money that may be owed.

Title Insurance Protects You From:

  • Previous unreported liens on the property
  • Forged transfers of ownership rights in the property
  • Unintentional errors in recording or filing of closing documents
  • Any title defect that existed prior to the start of your policy

How Much Does Title Insurance Cost?

Mandatory lender’s title insurance will typically cost between $500 and $1,500, based on the state and the amount of your loan.

While optional, homeowner’s title insurance is generally more expensive than lender policies. It may range from $700 to $2,000 on title coverage for yourself. While you are not required to purchase homeowner’s title insurance, the policy never expires and can protect you from title issues that may arise long after you sell the property.

By Dana Ash-McGinty

Dana Ash-McGinty is the Principal Broker of ASH | MCGINTY, a Washington, DC Real Estate Brokerage. This real estate maven has 15+ years experience in residential, commercial and land sales in addition to multi-state residential renovation, re-zoning, and condo conversion projects. A sought after real estate authority, she has been featured on CNN and in various real estate and financial publications. Dana is married to the highly esteemed Dr. Dana W. McGinty, a Washington, DC internal medicine physician and medical correspondent. They are often referred to as "The Danas".

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