What is Title Insurance?

When you buy a home, you receive a deed to the property, meaning you are now the full legal owner of that property. Title insurance for real estate provides protection against loss if a covered defect is found in the title to real property. It is insurance for clear title from the day of closing backwards to the time of Statehood. You can purchase it for a one-time premium, paid in most cases at closing.

Title insurance usually covers four types of “hidden” risks: errors, liens, ownership claims, and invalid deeds. If a claim is made against your property, the title insurance company will negotiate with the other party to settle the claim, defend you in court if necessary, pay any incurred legal costs, and satisfy any covered claims. Having title insurance can save you time, money, even your home.

There are two types of title insurance policies available: an “owner’s policy” and a “lender’s policy.” A mortgage lender usually will require a borrower to pay for a lender’s policy of title insurance, to protect the lender against financial loss in case of title defect or failure of title to the property covered by its mortgage.

A lender’s policy does not protect the buyer, who must take out a separate owner’s policy of title insurance if owner wants title insurance protection in case the title to the property is defective. You should ask for an owner’s policy, or an owner’s attorney title opinion to protect you. When the lender requires a lender’s title insurance policy to insure title for its mortgage, an owner’s policy is available for an additional charge. The premium will be based on the higher amount that is insured.

"Title insurance policy" includes a preliminary report, binder, or commitment.  For purposes of this definition, a commitment or binder means any written instrument, or verbal representation which creates an obligation (whether conditional or not) to issue a title insurance policy.

It may pay to shop for Title Insurance.  Insurance rates are not regulated in Oklahoma.  This means that Title Insurance rates may vary with Title Insurance Companies.