This month, we had the pleasure to sit down with Barb Fox—Senior Account Manager at Rainier Title & Escrow. Barb has been providing exceptional service for more than 17 years in the title and escrow industry. As our go-to professional, Barb is a wealth of knowledge and it was incredibly valuable to sit down with her to get some must-know information about title insurance and escrow as part of the home buying process.
Read the Q&A below!
Chris Kallin (SBD): What is title insurance and why do you need it when you purchase a home?
Barb Fox: The title insurance industry has been protecting the American dream of home-ownership for more than 130 years. Real estate property is the nation’s largest asset. The objective of title insurance remains the same as it has always been—helping the parties in real estate transactions to determine their rights and interests. Protecting the parties involved is the reason the title insurance product was developed.
Chris Kallin: Why do you need title insurance?
Barb Fox: When you purchase a home or property, you expect to be able to occupy and use the property as you wish, to be free from debts not created or agreed to by you. Title insurance is designed to cover these and other rights.
A Seller typically purchases the title policy for the Buyer. It is a onetime charge and starts at the beginning of the title transfer and ends when the new owner sells the property in the future.
Standard Owner’s Coverage – this policy applies to owner-occupied residential property. Ownership taken as an entity (LLC, Corporation, etc) can only receive this type of coverage.
Homeowner’s Coverage – this policy does not require the insured to occupy the property. There are some risks that are covered even if they occur after the policy date. The Homeowner’s Policy is the most popular and covers the most risks.
Extended Owner’s Coverage – this policy requires a survey of the property which can cost thousands of dollars. It is mostly ordered with waterfront properties.
Chris Kallin: What happens if an owner believes there is a title error (example: someone claims rights to your property due to fraud)?
Barb Fox: If an owner is worried about an adverse claim to the title, for instance, contacting the title insurer is the first step. Title Insurance includes coverage for legal expenses which may be necessary to investigate, litigate or settle a claim.
Most people don’t know this, but title insurance protection lasts as long as the owners, or their heirs, maintain an interest in the property!
For more information, please visit RainierTitle.com.