How to Save Hundreds on Title Insurance!

Hello Hampton Roads,

There's a saying that "applied knowledge is power" so keep reading to get a better understanding of title insurance in general and how you can save yourself hundreds on this cost.   Buying a home entails many costs and title insurance is one of them. While the state of Virginia doesn't require title insurance, if you are getting a mortgage, your lender will require lender's title insurance while owner's title insurance is optional.

Save on Title Insurance

What's title insurance? It's insurance that protects the lender and/or  buyer from title defects and fraud. It assures that the seller does own the home and can convey it with clear title. Title insurance protects against such things as:

  • Forged title
  • Unknown heirs/ Conflicting wills
  • Back taxes
  • Mechanics liens
  • Errors on deed
  • Undisclosed easements
Lender's title insurance lasts for as long as the loan is in place and owner's title is a one time fee that  lasts as long as the owner and the owner's heirs have a claim on the property. 

Title insurance is a multi-billionaire dollar industry run by an oligopoly of First American Title, Fidelity National Title (who now owns both Chicago Title and Commonwealth Land Title) and Old Republic Title who garner most of the business (collectively about 63% market share).  Lack of significant competition tends to keep prices high even though the costs for the actual title searches have gone down with records being available online. 

The costs of title insurance is tied to the priice of the property so higher priced properties have higher costs which can run in the thousands for both lender's and owner's title.  The buyer can shop for and compare rates and owner's title insurance is where the savings come in!  How much can a buyer save? Hundreds of dollars--Up to 30% on the regular prices!

Here's how it works:  If the buyer and seller are using the same settlement agent to close or if the buyer can get a full copy of the seller's title insurance policy and the policy was issued within the last 10 years, the buyer can ask the settlement agent if the re-issue rate is available. A re-issue rate is the home buyer discount on owner's title and it doesn't matter if owner's title insurance is from a different title insurance underwriter than whom the settlement company uses, the re-issue rate still applies.   According to Federal Title & Escrow, 65% of real estate transactions around DC, Maryland and Virginia qualify for the re-issue rate.

If you have any questions or need any help wiht buying or selling, feel free to contact me! I'm happy to help!

Thanks for Reading,


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