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7 min read Feb 01, 2024

Lender’s Title Insurance: What it Covers and Costs

A lender’s title insurance refers to the policy that safeguards a mortgage lender against any property title-related disputes. These issues may include forgery, deed errors, encroachments, liens or lawsuits, etc.

There are two major categories of title insurance:

  1. Owner’s Title Insurance: A homeowner’s title insurance safeguards the buyer against any property title-related issues.
  2. Lender’s Title Insurance: A lender’s title insurance policy protects the mortgage lender against any property title defects.

👉 What is Title Insurance: Here’s everything you need to know about title insurance.

What is Lender’s Title Insurance?

A lender’s title policy generally protects mortgage lenders financing your transaction from any property-related issues like someone claiming a right to your house.

It safeguards the lenders against any disputes regarding the title of a house or property, in case of lawsuits from any third-party entity. They may be claiming a direct right to the house with respect to the title itself. A lender’s title insurance is required chiefly to get a mortgage loan.

You should know that a lender’s title insurance will only protect the lender, and if you seek similar protection as a homebuyer, you should consider getting an owner’s title insurance.

What does a Lender’s Title Insurance Covers?

The policy of title insurance for lenders generally covers the following issues:

  • Unpaid Property Taxes: If the previous homeowner has a list of unpaid taxes related to the same property, the whole title transfer is rendered false.
  • Errors in Deed: Small errors or mistakes in legal name and other details can render the ownership as unclear. It also flags the whole document as a false deed.
  • Forgery: Forged signatures and altering other significant details of the property can generally prove threatful to the whole deed.
  • Encroachments: Any irregularity in terms of boundary trespassing or fencing disputes or outbuilding by a third party, threatening the owner’s rights to the property.
  • Liens or Lawsuits: These are legal statements filed against the property of which the new homeowner might be unaware of. These may possibly include evasion of property taxes, fines or debts directly connected with the house by its previous owners.
  • Undisclosed Heirs: Someone else that may have not disclosed their identity, claiming direct rights to one’s property, for eg. a Utility Company. They remain hidden from the new buyers up until they own the property.

In such cases mentioned above, a third-party person or entity has the motive of claiming direct rights to the newly transacted property.

Difference Between Lender’s Title Insurance and Owner’s Title Insurance

Lender’s Title InsuranceOwner’s Title Insurance
The lender’s policy protects the lender’s interests in the real estate transaction.Owner’s title insurance looks after the buyer and protects their investment from title defects.
The policy is equal to the loan issued.The policy has a one-time fee paid at closing. There are two coverage options, standard and extended.
As the loan is paid back, the liability reduces.The policy lasts for as long as the buyer or his heirs own the property.
The lender’s title insurance is mandatory.Owner’s title insurance is optional but recommended.

Who Pays Lender’s Title Insurance?

The homebuyer is the one generally responsible for paying the lender’s title insurance policy costs. The overall title insurance as well as the other closing costs fees are negotiable but vary depending on different states.

However, in some states, sellers may also be involved in making payments for lenders’ title insurance. For example, the buyer pays for title insurance in Virginia, while in Nebraska and South Dakota, this payment is divided equally between the buyer and seller.

👉 Who Pays Title Insurance: Read further to know who pays title insurance costs!

How Much is Lender’s Title Insurance?

The cost of a lender’s title policy is usually equal to the amount the loan is issued for. The accountability of the title insurer decreases as the loan is paid off.

It constitutes about 0.5% to 1.0% of the total property sales price. The average cost of the title insurance which includes the owner’s, the lender’s and title search fees constitutes around 1% to 1.2% of the house sales price. These are the factors that affect the costs of title insurance premiums.

In states like Florida and Texas, the title insurance premium costs are fixed by the government itself, whereas in New Mexico and California, the premiums are flexible and can be negotiated and shopped around.

👉 How Much is Title Insurance: Click here to know more.

Do You Need a Lender’s Title Insurance?

Yes. You will mandatorily need a lender’s title insurance policy for buying a new property through a mortgage loan. The policy ensures the lender, as well as the buyer about the house in which they are dealing, is clear from any disputes or past legal frailties.

As a thorough search is conducted also known as a title search, the title company does all the record digging on your property and certifies the title as safe for the transaction. This search provides an ultimate seal of approval thus safeguarding you from any title defects that prove fatal in the future.

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Do You Need Lender’s Title Insurance for a Refinance?

Yes, you will mandatorily need a lender’s title insurance policy in order to apply for a refinance on the mortgage loan. It helps the new mortgage lender to skip the hassle of title search and clearance, saving time and some precious bucks off your wallet too.

Generally, refinance mortgage loans are done in order to get lower mortgage interest rates or whilst requesting a new extended term to repay the amount.

Things to Consider while Buying a Lender’s Title Insurance

For a new homebuyer whilst opting for an owner’s title policy, the things to take into consideration are:

  • Shop around: A number of title companies with alternate cash offers are always present nearby. So it becomes better for the new homebuyer to choose from.
  • Negotiate and Bargain: Homeowners can always negotiate the terms and know in detail about them. You can also bargain the prices if the government has not fixed them as in the state of Florida.
  • Combine, if possible: Buying owner’s and lender’s title insurance from the same title company can substantially reduce the total premium cost.

A lender’s title insurance policy remains effective the whole tenure of the mortgage loan. However, the lender can also choose to extend the insurance by choosing the right options.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is title fees?

Title fees are a part of closing costs. They include the charges for carrying out the title search of the property, attorney and notary services, settlement fees, etc. If you want to know how much you will need to pay as closing costs, use Houseo's closing cost calculator.

2. How much does the whole title insurance cost?

When bought together, the lender's title and owner's title policies usually cost about 0.5% to 1.0% of the home's purchase price. The premium rate is based on the location of the property and the mortgage amount. In some states, title insurance premiums are regulated by the state, while in others, the policies are competitively priced. They can even go as high as $1,000.

Also Read

  • Best Time to Buy a Home: Want to buy a house and wondering when you should take the plunge? Read this blog to understand the best time to check out the real estate market.
  • Seller Closing CostsWhat are the closing costs as a seller? Get to know the real deal as a seller and the best practices.
  • Buyer Closing Costs: What are the closing costs as a buyer? Get to know the real deal as a buyer and the best practices.
  • What is a Seller Disclosure: Check out the seller disclosure requirements in each state.

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