There’s no doubting it – title insurance rates are confusing. They’re baffling because most people immediately compare it to car or health insurance. But title insurance (both owner’s and lender’s) are nothing like a traditional insurance package that fluctuates in price, cost and coverage. That is where the confusion sets in.
If you’re asking yourself “Do title insurance rates increase over the time of a mortgage?“
The answer is no. Title insurance is paid in full with your closing costs if you choose to buy it. The policy remains yours until you transfer the title or sell the property. Although it’s a one-time cost, the value of the title insurance does increase as property value increases, so it’s like an added win for you. The longer you have the policy, the more it covers you for, and you never pay another penny on the policy.
Important thing to note: Only enhanced title insurance value increases with the increased value of the home up to 20% on average.
It is also important to know that there are two major types: owner’s and lender’s policies. The owner’s policy is issued for the purchase price of the property and contains all the basic coverages. The lender’s policy covers the amount of the loan. But these are different than automobile or health insurance.
Auto, health and even care insurance policies are typically paid in monthly installments as you use or own the item that is insured. The item can go up and down in value or become higher or lower risk. That is the reason why they fluctuate and change. Title insurance is a one time fee which is why it looks expensive when you see the price at your closing appointment, but title insurance rates do not change because you have already paid in full.
Title insurance is an added expense when purchasing real estate, and it’s an absolute must. Why? It protects you from any loss (claims or legal fees) that arise from issues connected to the title to your property, such as:
- Unpaid real-estate taxes
- Unpaid mortgages
- Other liens against the property that are unresolved, including foreclosure that give creditors the right to foreclose on the property
- A forged signature in the past to transfer title from one property owner to another
- Transferor did not own the property to begin with
- Gaps in prior title ownership like a deceased owner whose estate has not been finalized and may have heirs with legal rights to the property.
You may now be asking yourself “What if my property value goes up?“ or “Does the title insurance policy still cover it, or does my rate increase?“.
This is worth reiterating because it’s another frequently asked questions. The answer is no, your rate will not go up. You pay a one-time fee for your title insurance at closing, and regardless of how much value your property gains, the title insurance policy will remain the same. The insurance coverage on “Enhanced Policy” goes up with inflation up to 20% in most states. But the premium paid at closing doesn’t change.