And Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t let it happen to you…
Losing a home is a cruel thing, but life can be cruel—even to those destined for greatness.
Abraham Lincoln was born in a meager, one-room cabin on the Big South Fork of Nolin’s Creek near Hodgenville, Kentucky. It had a dirt floor, one window, and a stick-clay chimney. Lincoln’s father, Tom, had paid $200 for the cabin and 300 acres of discouraging land.
After four years of fighting mosquitoes, heat and hardscrabble land, the Lincolns found out that there was a defect in the title. They didn’t have the right sort of papers for the property and somebody else had a better claim to the land. They had to pack up and leave, so with three-year-old Abe in his mother’s arms, the family moved eight miles away to Knob Creek.
In less than four years after that move, Tom Lincoln had to go to court to prove his ownership rights to this second farm! Another claimant to the land sued him as a “trespasser.” Tom Lincoln won the suit but was haunted by the fear that he might someday lose another property. There was enough talk of land-titles, landowners, landlords, land-laws, land-lawyers, and land-sharks to make him unsure of his title. After all, Daniel Boone, the first pioneer of the Kentucky wilderness, had lost every inch of his once vast landholdings because he had “the wrong kind of papers.”
It was the anxiety and outright losses of the Lincolns and other hard-working Americans that gave rise to today’s title insurance industry. The first land title insurance company was founded in Philadelphia in 1876. Just a few years later, in 1889, the firm that was to become First American Title Insurance Company was established to protect buyers against the hidden hazards of real estate ownership: forgeries; faulty surveys; hidden liens; conveyances by a minor or mentally incompetent person; and many other title defects. Even the most complete search of records may not reveal them all.
Today, the unfortunate loss of the Lincoln family would have been covered by insurance had Thomas Lincoln owned a title policy.
How Do I Know If I Need Title Insurance?
What is Title Insurance?
- Insurance contract that protects the owner against losses due to defects in their title ownership to their real estate;
- Covers title defects as shown in the table below, such as missing signature by a prior owner or heir or more common problems such as missing proof (ie: recorded discharges) that liens of prior owners were paid off;
- We typically issue expanded title policies (ie: Eagle coverage) which cover losses that are not part of the title search (ie: Missing zoning permits)
What does Title Insurance Cost?
- Cost is directly related to the value of the real estate and is only paid once (unlike auto & home insurance) for the purchase value;
- Protects during the policyholder’s ownership and even after they sell, if a subsequent buyer tries to make claims later on.
What is Lender's Title Insurance?
- Lender will require own their own coverage for a purchase or refinance;
- Only protects the lender if a title defect or problem arises which affects their loan, which typically occurs upon or after foreclosure (at which point the owner is out of the picture);
- A significant discount is given on the cost when you buy both an owner’s and lender’s policy, so that is advisable at the time of purchase.
What does Owner's Title Insurance Actually Protect & Pay For?
- Defends against a claim or lawsuit attaching your title to your real estate, including attorneys fees and court costs;
- If the claim proves valid, your losses will be paid pursuant to the policy.
- We are agents and issue policies for 4 of the largest nationwide title insurance companies:
- First American Title Insurance Co.
- Lawyers Title Insurance Co.
- Olde Republic Title Insurance Co.
- Chicago Title Insurance Co.
183 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, NH 03053