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Title Insurance 101: What You Need to Know Before Closing on Your Home in Florida

Nov 13 2023

Buying a home is an exciting and significant life event, but it also comes with its fair share of complexities. One crucial aspect of the home-buying process that often gets overlooked is title insurance. In Florida, like in many other states, title insurance is a critical component of the closing process. So, before you close the deal on your new Florida home, let’s dive into Title Insurance 101 to help you understand what it is and why it’s essential.

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is a type of insurance that protects both the homebuyer and the mortgage lender from any potential financial losses or legal issues related to the property’s title. In Florida, as in most states, real estate transactions involve a series of legal and financial intricacies. These intricacies can create vulnerabilities, including hidden claims, liens, or disputes that may affect your ownership rights and financial investment in the property.

The Two Types of Title Insurance

In Florida, there are two types of title insurance: lender’s title insurance and owner’s title insurance.

Lender’s Title Insurance:

This insurance protects your mortgage lender’s interests in their mortgage lien on your property. Typically, your lender will require you to purchase this policy as a condition of giving you a mortgage loan. This type of policy safeguards the lender against any title issues that could affect the validity of the mortgage.

Owner’s Title Insurance:

This insurance protects your interests as a homeowner. While it’s not typically required, it is strongly recommended. When you purchase a lender’s title insurance policy, the additional cost to add an owner’s policy is minimal. Owner’s title insurance provides coverage against a wide range of potential title problems, such as fraud, forgery, undisclosed heirs, improperly recorded judgments, and more.

Why Title Insurance Matters

Protecting Your Investment:

Your home is one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make. Title insurance gives you peace of mind by ensuring that your investment is protected from hidden issues that could jeopardize your ownership.

Defending Your Rights:

Title insurance protects your rights as a homeowner and requires the title insurer to bear the cost of defending title claims (including paying the attorney’s fees). With it, you could avoid losing your property or facing expensive legal battles if title issues arise.

Peace of Mind:

When you purchase title insurance, you gain peace of mind knowing that your property’s title has been thoroughly examined and that any issues have been resolved before you take ownership.

The Title Search and Examination Process

Before issuing a title insurance policy, a thorough title search and examination are conducted. Here’s an overview of this process:

Title Search:

A title professional will search public records to trace the property’s ownership history. This includes looking for outstanding liens, judgments, or claims against the property.

Title Examination:

Once the search is complete, a title examiner will review the findings to determine how to resolve the title issues. If issues are found, they will need to be addressed and resolved before the closing date.

Title Insurance Issuance:

Once all lien and title matters are resolved and the closing takes place, the title insurance policy is drafted. The deed and mortgage also have to be recorded in the public records before the final title policy can be issued.

The Cost of Title Insurance

Title insurance premiums are determined by the State of Florida based on a formula that the State has created. The State’s formula for determining the title premium is calculated according to the property’s purchase price and the loan amount. While title insurance does add to the closing costs, it’s a one-time fee that provides ongoing protection. In Florida, the cost of the owner’s title insurance is typically paid for by the homebuyer or seller, while the buyer generally pays the lender’s title insurance. 

In conclusion, title insurance is a crucial component of the home-buying process in Florida. It offers protection and peace of mind to homebuyers and lenders, ensuring that the property’s title is free from hidden issues that could lead to financial losses or legal disputes. When you understand the importance of title insurance and the steps involved in the title search and examination process, you’ll be better prepared to make informed decisions as you embark on your homeownership journey. Remember, in Florida, investing in title insurance is not just a financial safeguard; it’s a wise and prudent decision to protect your most valuable asset – your home.

How Marina Title Can Help

Marina Title provides title, closing and escrow services throughout the State of Florida. Our attorney owned and operated title company issues title insurance policies in a effective and efficient matter, also helping to resolve any title matters that may arise before closing. For more information about our title and closing services or to get started, please call us at (800) 604-1871 or send an email to Info@MarinaTitle.com.

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