Purchasing lender’s title insurance is generally a part of the home buying process. But what about the owner’s title insurance? If you did not purchase an owner’s title insurance policy during the home buying process, can you buy one after closing? The short answer to this question is “yes,” but there are a few more details worth mentioning.
The Ideal Time to Buy Title Insurance
If you close on your home and then realize you want title insurance, a title service will typically allow you to buy a policy. However, buying title insurance after closing is not the best choice. You’re far better off buying such a policy during the home buying process, when possible.
There are a number of issues that can be revealed with a home’s title shortly after closing. You may discover that there was an error in public records, and someone else has a claim to the property. Or, you may discover that there is an outstanding lien on the property. If these issues are revealed in the first few weeks that you own the home and you don’t have title insurance, you’ll be held financially responsible. On the other hand, if you buy title insurance before closing, you’ll be protected — whether an issue comes to light the day after the sale or 20 years down the road.
The Right Type of Title Insurance
Don’t assume that the lender’s title insurance that you’re paying for will also cover you, as the owner of the home. That policy exists to protect the bank that holds your mortgage. Lender’s title insurance is required when you buy with a mortgage, so it will automatically be included as a part of your home purchase. The buyer typically pays for the lender’s title insurance as a part of their closing costs.
For your own protection, you need an owner’s title insurance policy. Typically, you can purchase such a policy from the same title company that issues your lender’s title insurance. Sometimes, you may be able to negotiate with the seller and arrange for them to pay for your title insurance policy. This can be seen as an act of good faith; it’s a reassuring sign that, to the seller’s knowledge, the home’s title is clear and free from defects.
If you recently purchased a home and did not buy an owner’s title insurance policy, then buying one now is better than having nothing. On the other hand, if you have not yet purchased a home, then you should aim to buy title insurance prior to closing.
Feel free to contact Heritage Land Transfer if you’re looking for an escrow agency and title company Pennsylvania residents trust. We’ve been in the business for more than 30 years, and we take a personalized approach with every client. Our guaranteed lowest rates, efficient processes, and lightning-fast, convenient closings make us the favorite of buyers, sellers, realtors, and lenders alike!