Shop Around for the Best Deal
Title insurance involves a two-part process. First, a search of a property’s title history is conducted to look for errors or problems with the deed. Then, an insurance policy is underwritten to protect the buyer if any issues are discovered.
A good place to start comparison-shopping is the website of the American Land Title Association, which provides a search engine based on geography.
Negotiate the Add-On Fees
In Florida we have promulgated rates, meaning that the State of Florida has established the rates based on purchase price and loan amount. Homebuyers should not find much difference in premiums from one company to another. However, you always want to verify because there are title companies that will charge more than the promulgated rate.
However, extra fees are part of the transaction when you buy a title insurance policy. These add-on expenses include mail and courier charges, copy fees, and costs for searches and certificates—and these charges can be negotiable, even when the insurance premiums are not.
Ask for the ‘Simultaneous Issue Rate’
Homebuyers purchase title insurance (Owner’s Policy) to protect themselves. At the same time, their mortgage company will require that a separate insurance policy (Lender’s Policy) be issued in the lender’s name.
In Florida it is the borrower’s responsibility to pay for both. Although the two insurance policies are independent of one other, borrowers can buy them together and save.
In Florida when the policies are issued at the same time, there is something called the ‘simultaneous issue rate’. It includes a highly discounted premium ($25.00) for the lender’s insurance.
As a result, the total title cost for both policies is usually a lot less than if they were purchased independent of each other. Always be sure to ask for this discount. Many title companies will charge in excess of the $25.00.