You would never dream of making a major real estate purchase without legal guidance. Since you’ve got an attorney involved from the start, why do you need to bother with title insurance?
Well, for the most part, an attorney can substitute an opinion or certificate of title for title insurance that guarantees the title you’re taking is clear and free for transfer. However, if the attorney is wrong, you generally only have one year in California to make a claim for malpractice. Your title insurance, however, is good for the entire time you own the property.
In other words, it’s worth the price to make sure you have the right insurance from the start. That doesn’t mean, though, that you cannot reduce your overall costs.
How can you save on title insurance?
When you’re looking for a deal, it pays to be informed. You can reduce your title insurance costs without sacrificing the protection you need by:
- Asking for a combined policy. Buyers generally have to pay for two policies – one that protects themselves and one for their lender. Many title insurance companies will combine the policies and drop your rate (if you ask).
- Ask the seller to pay your title insurance. This may be easier in a “soft” real estate market when sellers are looking for buyers – but it’s worth putting on the negotiation table even when they’re not.
- Shop around for a better deal. No two title insurance companies are the same. You won’t lose anything by getting multiple quotes and looking for a better deal.
Unfortunately, even when you’re prudent and prepared, things can go wrong with a title insurance claim, especially if the insurer isn’t playing fair. If you think that you’re getting the runaround from your title insurance company, find out what legal steps you can take.