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Las Vegas Title Insurance

Most Las Vegas real estate transactions are closed with the issuance of a title insurance policy in favor of the owner, lender or both. Many home buyers erroneously assume that when they purchase a piece of real property, possession of the deed to the property is all they need to prove ownership. Not so, because hidden hazards may attach to real estate. Forgeries, faulty surveys, hidden liens, the false representation of ownership of a married person as being single are just a few examples of factors which may cloud the title of real property ownership. A property owner’s greatest protection is a policy of title insurance.

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance insures property owners that they are acquiring marketable title. Unlike casualty insurance (policies which insure against future events), title insurance is designed to eliminate risk or loss caused by defects in title from past events. Title insurance provides coverage only for title problems. A title insurance policy is a contract of indemnity which insures against loss if the title is not as reported; and if it is not and the owner is damaged, the title policy covers the insured for his/her loss up to the face amount of the policy.

The Title Search

Issuing a title policy is an extensive and exacting process. Title companies work to eliminate risks by performing painstaking search of the public records or the title company’s own “plant,” where public records pertaining to the property and the parties to the escrow are maintained, to determine the current recorded ownership, any recorded liens like Las Vegas Mortgage loans, or encumbrances, or other matters of record which could affect the title to the property. Once a title search is complete, the title company issues a preliminary report detailing the current vesting, description, taxes and exclusions from coverage.

The Preliminary Report

The preliminary report contains vital information which may affect the willingness and the ability of the parties to close the escrow such as: ownership of Las Vegas home for sale, the manner in which the current owners hold title, matters of record which specifically affect the subject property or the owners of the property, as well as a legal description of the property and an informational plat map.

The preliminary report indicates the type of title insurance offered by the title company and the exclusions exceptions from coverage, such as recorded deeds of trust, easements, agreements, and covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC & R’s).

What is Covered

Not all risks can be eliminated by a title search, since certain “hidden defects” like forgeries, identity of person, incapacity,
incompetence and failure to comply with the law, cannot be disclosed by an examination of the public records. While the preliminary report is an offer to insure under certain circumstances, the title policy is a contract, providing coverage against such “hidden defects.” Realtors®, buyers and sellers should not assume that all title policies and title companies are the same. They’re not, and it is important to ask questions of your title company to determine the type and cost of coverage available.

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