Buying a new house is a big deal, and it’s full of decisions. One of the less talked about, yet needs careful consideration, is whether to get title insurance. This type of insurance isn’t about the physical house, but about its title – the legal document proving you own it. Think of title insurance as a safety net. When you buy a house, you expect that it’s truly yours. But sometimes, issues pop up with previous owners or with the property’s history. These can be anything from unpaid taxes to legal claims. Title insurance protects you from these hidden problems.

What Is a Title Insurance?

Unlike car or health insurance, you don’t pay monthly premiums. Instead, it’s a single payment made at closing. But what does it do? It protects you and your mortgage lender against problems with the house’s title.

So, what’s a title? It’s a document that shows you legally own the property. Usually, before you buy a house, a title search is done to ensure there are no issues. This search looks for any legal troubles that could question your ownership, like liens from unpaid debts or disputes over property boundaries. Even with a thorough search, some issues might slip through.

That’s where title insurance comes in. It covers any legal costs if these hidden problems surface later. There are two kinds: one for you, the homeowner, and one for your mortgage lender. Both are about safeguarding against the unexpected and ensuring your property rights are clear. So, in simple terms, title insurance is your backup plan to keep your home truly yours.

The Role of Title Insurance in Real Estate Transactions

In real estate transactions, title insurance’s role is protective and preventive. Once a property is chosen, a title company or attorney steps in to conduct a thorough review of the property’s title. This review is meticulous, delving into public records, past deeds, court records, and more to trace the property’s ownership history. The aim is to uncover any irregularities or issues like outstanding liens, easements, or encumbrances that could impede a clear transfer of ownership.

Despite this comprehensive search, some risks remain hidden and may not surface until after the purchase. These could include forgery in historical documents, unknown heirs claiming the property, or clerical errors in public records. Title insurance is designed to address these unforeseen issues. It’s not just about covering legal defense costs if these problems arise; it also covers the financial losses incurred due to a valid claim against the property.

For the buyer, obtaining title insurance is a final step in the transaction process, typically concluded at closing. It’s a unique form of insurance that guards against past events rather than future occurrences. For lenders, ensuring their investment is secure is a necessary safeguard. In a title dispute, the insurance policy helps maintain the property’s value and ensures the mortgage remains valid.

Common Risks Covered by Title Insurance

Title insurance protects against a range of risks that might not be immediately apparent when you buy a property. Here’s a list of common risks it covers:

  1. Liens for Unpaid Property Taxes: If there are any unpaid property taxes from previous owners, title insurance covers this.
  2. Outstanding Mortgages or Judgments: Covers any unknown debts or legal judgments against the property that weren’t cleared before you bought it.
  3. Legal Claims From Unidentified Heirs: If someone comes forward claiming to be a rightful heir to your property, title insurance has you covered.
  4. Easements or Use Limitations: Addresses issues where others might have rights to use part of your property, like shared driveways or utility access.
  5. Forged Documents: Protects you if it turns out that a previous deed or other legal document related to your property was forged.
  6. Boundary or Survey Disputes: Helps resolve issues if a new survey shows different property lines than expected.
  7. Clerical Errors in Public Records: Covers problems arising from mistakes in public records related to your property.
  8. Claims of Adverse Possession: If someone claims they have a right to part of your property because they’ve used it for a long time, title insurance can help.
  9. Encroachments or Improper Setbacks: Deals with issues if, for instance, a structure like a shed or a fence is found to be encroaching on a neighbor’s property.
  10. Pre-existing Violations of Zoning Laws: Covers you if it’s discovered that the property doesn’t comply with local zoning laws.

While these risks might seem rare, they can be costly and stressful. Title insurance offers peace of mind by protecting you from these potential legal and financial headaches.

What You Need For Closing 

When preparing for closing on a house, there are several key items and considerations related to title insurance and the overall process:

  1. Final Review of the Closing Disclosure: Ensure all the financial details are accurate.
  2. Title Insurance Policy: Be ready to purchase title insurance to protect against any future title issues.
  3. Valid Photo ID: Typically required for verification purposes.
  4. Certified or Cashier’s Check: For any payments due at closing.
  5. Proof of Homeowner’s Insurance: To protect your new investment from potential damages.
  6. Other Relevant Documents: Any additional documents requested by your lender or title company.
  7. Understanding of All Documents: Be prepared to review and understand all the paperwork involved.

This preparation ensures a smooth closing process, safeguarding your new property ownership rights and securing your investment.

What To Expect After You Sign

After signing the purchase documents for your new home, the process isn’t quite finished yet. The title company or attorney will ensure all the paperwork is correctly finalized, including recording the new deed. This step legally documents you as the new owner. They will also manage the transfer of funds from you to the seller. You’ll receive copies of all the documents you’ve signed, including the title insurance policy, which you should keep in a safe place. Once everything is settled and recorded, the keys to your new home will be handed over to you, marking the completion of the transaction.


If you’re on the journey of buying a home and need assurance that your title is clear, we at Utah Title are here to help. We specialize in providing comprehensive title insurance services to safeguard your real estate investment. Our expertise can simplify the complexities of your real estate transactions, ensuring a secure and smooth process. Contact us today to learn how we can support you in protecting your new home’s future. You can visit five locations: Layton, Fort Union, River Park, and Ogden. For more information, consider taking a look at our booklet.

Call Now Button