First American Title Insurance Company, through its subsidiaries, branches, affiliates and agents, provides title insurance services to real estate sellers and buyers, builders and developers, lenders, brokers and many others who have an interest in real estate. These parties are concerned that their rights and interests in the property are clear at the time the property is purchased, that the transfer is handled correctly, and that their interests in the property are safeguarded to the maximum extent possible.
It is insurance against loss resulting from defects or failure of title to a specifically described parcel of real property.
Not all risks can be eliminated by a title search, since certain "hidden defects" cannot be found through an examination of the public records. A few examples of "hidden defects" are: forgeries, undisclosed or missing heirs, identity of persons, incapacity, incompetency, failure to comply with the law, status (marital, partnerships, unincorporated companies, etc.) and errors in indexing of public records. Coverage against such "hidden defects" is provided to the insured by the title insurance policy.
As opposed to other types of insurance, the premium for a title policy is paid at the time the policy(ies) is issued and is good for the life of the policy. The premium is based on the amount of the sales price and/or loan insured.
An owner title policy insures the purchaser that he owns the property subject to listed exceptions. A mortgagee title policy insures the lender that the lien they hold is a valid lien again the property. The policies perform different functions; therefore, it is not possible for one policy to cover both the purchaser and the lender.
An owner title policy insures you for as long as you and your heirs remain in ownership. A mortgagee title policy protects the lender until the loan is paid off.
The title insurance industry in Texas is regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance. Rates are fixed and forms promulgated by that entity.