Title insurance is one of those things that New Orleans home buyers don’t give a lot of consideration, but it’s a critical component in protecting you from defects in the title you take when buying a property.
What is a title?
The title to property is proof that someone is the lawful owner of the property.
Why do you need title insurance?
Title insurance protects you against claims from defects. Examples of title defects:
- Someone claiming ownership of your property
- Improperly recorded documents
- Gaps in the chain of title
- Forgery (ex: forged deeds, mortgages and wills)
- A host of other issues involving the past transfers of the property
Do I have to renew the insurance each year?
No. Title insurance is a one time premium paid at closing that covers you for the entire time you own the insured property.
Related: Title Insurance Premium Calculator
Is title insurance mandatory?
If you finance your home purchase, your lender will require you to purchase a lender’s title policy. However, this only protects the mortgage company against defects in the title. For your protection, an owner’s policy is highly recommended, but not required.
What’s the worst that could happen if you skip the insurance?
Consider this story.
Mary owns a piece of property she inherited from Grandma, who never had title insurance.
Susie buys a parcel of land to build her house on. She also buys title insurance.
Years later, Mary gets the feeling that Susie’s house may be on her land. When Mary decides to investigate, it’s discovered that there are two different chains of title going back generations. Guess who is out of pocket for attorney fees in a long, drawn out court battle? It’s not Susie, since she insured her purchase and continues to live in the house while litigation drags on and on.
Moral of the story? Title insurance is worth every single penny if there is ever a dispute about ownership of your property.